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    Preview of Stranraer game 

    Sunday, August 31, 2008 4:29:30 PM

    As we approach the International break I think it’s fair to say that it couldn’t come at a better time for us as we try to get our injured players back to fitness and playing for the team. I don’t think that the injuries are the reason for our poor results but I believe that it would be reasonable to assume that we would have done better if we had Dougie Wilson, Brown Ferguson, David McClune, Fraser Forrest and Andy Ferguson all available for our first four league matches. However we haven’t had that luxury and now need to work hard to get our crucial first win of the season.
    Standing in our way today are Stranraer FC and we welcome Derek Ferguson, along with his coaches, players, directors and supporters and congratulate them for achieving promotion from the third division last season. Derek has done a tremendous job in difficult circumstances since taking over from Gerry Brittan and knowing him as a player I have no doubt that he will have his team playing a passing game as much as possible. Derek will be fondly remembered by our fans for his time here and I recall a chat I had with Stevie Thomson about him as a player at Alloa and he told me that the team only played well when he was in it. By the time he arrived at Hamilton Accies, Derek was unfortunate with injuries, but despite that he always made the team much better when he played – he was truly a wonderful talent.
    Stranraer have had a decent start to the season and were very unlucky to leave Kirkcaldy last week with nothing, when a late Kevin Smith goal gave Raith Rovers a victory they scarcely deserved. Gregory Tade again managed to score and has already managed three goals in the four league games played. With Steff McConalogue and Craig Frizzell joining from Cowdenbeath and Elgin respectively I know that Stranraer will offer a real threat up front and we will need to concentrate fully for the 90 minutes if we hope to keep a clean sheet today. Defensively, I like the look of James Creaney, Ian Dobbins, John Kane, and Kevin Nicoll at the back with Scott Black behind them and they have already shown that they’ll be difficult to break down this season.
    I was extremely disappointed with our first half showing (yet again!) last Saturday at Peterhead and felt we were fortunate to be only 1 goal down at the break. In the second half we show a greater desire, played much better and should have scored when Kyle MacAulay found himself unmarked at the back post after great work by Jamie but couldn’t steer the ball home. The highlight of the game for us was the introduction of young Gregg Spence who came on to make his debut in the second half. Gregg has been outstanding this season with our under 17’s and I have no doubt that he will make a big impact at the club over the next few years.
    There’s no doubt that we need that elusive first victory to get our season started but as I’ve said before we cant allow ourselves to get too despondent just as we can’t get too excited when things are going well. We have good players at this club and when we have them all available then we will hopefully see a transformation in the results – sooner rather than later preferably.
    I look forward to very difficult game today and hope we can provide you with the result you deserve. As always I thank you for your support.


    Allan Maitland - Team Manager

    Managers Corner