Coach John Sludden has described Tuesday’s latest friendly outing, a 3-2 defeat against Falkirk’s under-20 team, as “a good test” for the Shire squad with the start of the Lowland League season little more than a week away.
Shire trailed 2-0 at the interval but goals from Paul Sludden and Andy Rodgers levelled things off before Falkirk struck with two minutes left to win the match.
“Falkirk have a good crop of young players and it was a good test for us,” said John.”We are using these games to get everyone some game fitness and also to try things tactically.
“We started with three at the back and that took time to adjust to before we switched to a four,” he said. Shire also continued to play some squad members in unfamiliar positions as the coaching team looks for the right blend ahead of the opening competitive fixture against BSC Glasgow at Ochilview on Saturday 29th July.
There will be one final warm-up game prior to that this coming Saturday (22nd July) against Highland League Cove Rangers at Links Park in Montrose.
Falkirk took the lead after just ten minutes when Mark Stowe was set up for a tap-in from close range and they almost went 2-0 up a minute later as Stowe hit a shot off the crossbar.
The second for the visitors came after 17 minutes from Connor Langton but it took a great save from the Bairns keeper to keep out a great Andy Rodgers effort just after the half hour.
Two minutes after the break Sludden had an effort ruled out for offside but with 15 minutes to go the Shire striker took advantage of a poor defensive clearance to go round the keeper and put the ball into the empty net to reduce the leeway.
Keeper Robbie Mutch brought Rodgers down inside the box with five minutes left and the Shire man levelled the scores with the resulting penalty kick but with two minutes left Jamie Barclay saved a shot which he could not hold and Connor McBride hit the loose ball high into the roof of the net for Falkirk’s third goal.
FALKIRK : Mutch, K.Mitchell, Henderson, J.Mitchell, Finlayson, Peggie, Langton, Blues, Shepherd, Girdwood, Stowe.
SHIRE : Barclay, Greene, Ramsay, Faulds, Tapping, A.Grant, Rodgers, Ure, Kelbie, Sludden, McCormack.