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    Allan Maitland previews Brechin City game 

    Thursday, March 17, 2011 7:01:04 PM

    I’d like to offer a warm welcome to Jim Weir, Kevin McGowne, the players, directors and supporters of Brechin City for today’s match. Our opponents were involved in a terrific Scottish Cup Tie last week against St Johnstone and have the replay to look forward to next week as they hope to reach the semi finals. They have been excellent all season and once again the form of Rory McAllister stole the show as so called expert “pundits” suddenly became aware of the fact that there is a player in the second division who is perfectly capable of playing at a much higher level. I have meet Rory on numerous occasions and his hard work and consistency in performances are such that he deserves the opportunity that will surely come his way. Jim and Kevin have nurtured his talent well this season and have undoubtedly played to his strengths but huge credit must also go to the rest of his team mates who have obviously created the chances and helped him develop over the last two seasons.
    We approach today’s game on the back of a defeat at Ayr United last week when (in my opinion) we were the better side and controlled much of the game. When you’re on a poor run of form it’s important that you take something from games when you play well and last week was classic example of things not going your way when you’re struggling for form. Having started the game so well we missed two or three great chances to score and Michael McGowan had a shot from the edge of the box strike the base of the post and come back out to safety. Ayr had created very little when they scored just before half time when the ball broke nicely to Moffat to set up the chance for Ryan McCann. The second half was much more even and Jim Lister was unfortunate not to score with a header but the defining moment of the game came when Jim was pulled down in the box for what seemed a clear penalty, which wasn’t given and in the ensuing passage of play Jim Lauchlan clearly punched Fraser Forrest’s header off the line – a clear penalty and sending off but the referee and his assistants unfortunately missed it. As I said earlier things don’t go your way when you’re struggling but it’s vital that we keep working hard in the hope that things will turn for us. I know if we play with the same spirit and composure that we showed last week then we should start climbing the league. The performance of Brown Ferguson last week was a huge boost especially when you consider that he hadn’t played this season prior to starting against Ayr United. His long term absence has been a blow and we’ve missed the experience and drive he gives the team from the middle of the park – I know he felt stiff and sore on Sunday morning which is perfectly understandable but we hope we can manage his health to enable him to play every Saturday. With the injuries and suspensions we have at the moment it was a blessing that the Bo’ Ness game was cancelled due to the adverse weather and that allowed us to have Fraser Forrest and Roger Duffin as trialists – I thought that both played really well against a good strike force and more than held their own.
    Finally I confirm that Ross Philp has put pen to a new deal for next season which is testament to how well he has performed over the last month since coming into the first team. I had a long discussion with Ross during the close season and we spoke about how difficult it was for him last season training with the first team then adjusting to playing with the under 19’s at the weekend. It’s clear to see that he has benefited this season from a bit of stability and only coming into the first team sessions sporadically until he was ready to be involved in the squad every Saturday. His development is great credit to Hugh McCann, Robert Campbell and all the other coached that have worked with him.
    I hope you all enjoy today’s game and that we can bring you the victory your support deserves.
    Allan Maitland
    Team Manager

    Managers Corner