2 - 2Full Time
allan maitland reflects on the stranraer game
It was an incredible first half because we played really well and dominated large spells of the game, they had a couple of flurry’s but by in large we dominated the first half, we had a great opportunity for Andy Scott to score when he was right through, but his sot skimmed by the post, Dougie Hill had two headers, one which Scott Black made a magnificent save at a corner kick and the other one he came in at the back post and the back hit him and somehow when over the bar, Jamie Stevenson cut inside and had a great shot, the goalkeeper saved it, so we had plenty great chances but never scored. Stranraer were awarded a penalty when Craig Frizzell and Dougie Hill went for a chase for the ball, Dougie lunged in to knock the ball out for a corner but took Frizzel first so it was a penalty kick.
We went in at half-time incredibly 1-0 down but not discouraged , I thought the players at half-time showed a real good spirit. Stranraer came out in the second half and played better and they had a spell in the second half when they were better than us and almost against the run of play we equalised. Steven McKeown had a shot which came back off the crossbar and Andy Scott scored and then the game changed again, goals invariably change games. We had chances just after drawing level then Dougie Hill scored his goal and at that stage it looked as through we could get another goal. Then again we didn’t do enough with the ball when we had it and same as last week against Stirling Albion we started getting sucked in and playing deeper and deeper. Then with only four minutes left Stranraer had a free kick which was played to the back post and we didn’t defend it properly, the keeper should have come for it, but didn’t, I said to the players after the game they had shown great spirit to get back into the game and we have also now ended the run of losing every game away from home this season in the league.
It’s a start, it’s a game I would like to have won but I think on this occasion it was important not to lose and I think we played well. As the game went on I thought about putting “Jinky” on but the conditions were not right for him to make his comeback, it was muddy, it was heavy and there were challenges flying in which I thought was not the right time for him to return to the game. It was unusual for me to keep with the eleven on the park but it was hard to change a team which was playing well, it was a worthy draw and I’m pleased at that, I’ve seen us play better and lose, football is stange. This Saturday we will have Andy Ferguson available, after he came through the bounce game on Tuesday night against Shotts Bon Accord, “Jinky” has also came through that game as well and did well, John Grant will be added to the squad again after serving his period of suspension, so we now have options on the bench and I’m very pleased with the progress of the youth teams at the club, Greig Spence has been in the first team squad and his time will come, given the right opportunity to be brought on the park, Allan McKenzie, Martin O’Neill, James Stevenson and Steven Barker all from the 19’s have impressed, while in the under 17’s Ross Philp and Joseph Feenan have impressed. Looking forward to Saturday against Queen’s Park, I’m really looking forward to the game and we need to win if we want to continue to make progress in the league.