An update from our Manager

It has been a while since my last update and we have played 6 games between my last briefing after the match against Luncarty and this one. In those 6 games we have had a mixed bag in terms of results and performances. Wins against Lochore, Dunipace and Kinnoull in the league, a home cup win against Preston and 2 defeats against the University of Stirling in the Scottish Cup and Glenrothes in the league. I won’t bore everyone with a full rundown of these games,  however I will pick up on the important parts and my thoughts about them. 

I will start on the importance of the win against Lochore and more so young Gregor Goldie who scored the winner that day. Gregor has had some involvement with the first team throughout the season and has shown in training that he has the ability to be a real asset to the team. Although he has scored 4 goals in the 6 matches since the last update we have to be conscious that the lad is still only 17 years old and we must remain focused on his development. He will naturally get better training and playing with first team players and that’s why we have taken the decision to have him included in our squad on a permanent basis. This is a huge feather in the cap of Stuart Allan and Jack Inglis who have coached him for a long time and can be proud that he is stepping up into the first team. 

Good league performances followed against Dunipace and Kinoull with the latter being what I can describe as our best performance of the season. We played well enough against Dunipace but missed a few chances on the day. Last Saturday we looked like a different animal. We were relentless for 90 mins. We scored good goals, played some great football and were still pressing hard at 5-0 up, when in reality we didn’t need to. It was a performance I was extremely proud of. 

Our cup win against Preston I would describe as a professional performance. We were hurting from the previous defeat to Preston and wanted to right that wrong which we did comfortably,  winning that fixture sets us up for this week’s tough fixture away to Gartcairn. 

Our two defeats in this run hurt us badly. I will start with the Scottish Cup match against Stirling Uni. They are a very good side and we competed for large spells of the match. Unfortunately the main talking point of the game was Darren Smith’s red card incident. I think I can speak for Darren on this and make everyone aware that he is full of regret for this incident. From my perspective it’s an isolated incident and one which Darren has been punished for, he isn’t the first player to have been sent off and he certainly won’t be the last.

As a club we have drawn a line under it and we look forward to Darren being available for selection again. Our other defeat was against Glenrothes at the Warout Stadium. We played on a pitch that wasn’t conducive to pass the ball so we have to learn that we must be able to mix how we play if we want to pick up more points on these types of pitches. 

The last part of this update is regarding the playing squad. We have had some comings and goings as well as picking up more injuries which has led to more under 20’s players being involved with the first team over the last 2 or 3 weeks. On the injury front Johnny Edmond has suffered a setback in his recovery of his knee injury and hopefully we will have a better idea of what’s going on in the next week or two. Kerr Allan picked up a bad injury in the Dunipace game and will be out for the best part of 3 months. Liam Gregory has recovered and is now back involved with the team. 

Along with contract extensions to Darren Handling and Evan Fleming and the addition of Gregor Goldie to the squad we have managed to add vastly experienced player Josh Walker to the club. Josh may be one of the most decorated players to have signed for the club in recent history and can list captaining England at U20 level at a World Cup on his CV alongside playing in top leagues in both Scotland and England. We hope everyone wishes him a warm welcome as Josh could make his debut this weekend against Gartcairn. Finally Jordan Hopkinson has moved on recently and we wish him all the best in the future at his new club Newcraighall.

As always it would be great if you could come along and cheer on the lads, I understand there is still a limited amount of tickets on sale for the bus which is travelling to the MTC Park in Airdrie and are on sale via the club’s Fanbase app.

All the best 

Kevin Haynes