Month: October 2016

Player Sponsors Invite

Everyone who has taken part in our successful player sponsor initiative is being given an invitation to a special presentation event on Saturday.

After the Lowland League match against Dalbeattie Star at Ochilview those who took part in the sponsorship scheme can come and not only meet the players and coaching staff, but also have their signed jersey presented to them by the member of the squad they chose to sponsor.

The event will go ahead in the Ochilview Bar next to the Stadium.

There will be the chance to mingle and have photos taken as well.

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The club is extremely grateful to all those people who paid into the scheme at the start of the season; the player sponsorship programme is an important source of revenue for Shire and helps us meet our aims both on and off the pitch.

As part of the deal each player sponsor receives either a home or away replica top signed by their player. They also get a mention in each match programme and their sponsorship appears on the player profile  on the club website.

Those who have signed up for the scheme are very welcome to join us after the full-time whistle in the Ochilview Bar for a fun event and also to receive the club’s thanks for their participation. Remember to bring your camera.

 

We Need Your Support

Everyone at the club would like to thank all the supporters who came along on Saturday to back the team against Annan Athletic on Saturday.

Although the outcome wasn’t what we would have wanted the numbers who turned up at the game to cheer and encourage were a good sign.

Over the past few weeks coaches and players have expressed their admiration for the sizable travelling support which has followed the team across the country to away matches.

Now we have four home games at Ochilview in successive weeks, starting on Saturday with a Lowland League match against Dalbeattie Star.

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It is an important match for the club; a win could put Shire in second place in the Lowland League table.

If everyone who turned up to the Annan match were to come back this weekend it would make such a difference to our chances in what’s sure to be a difficult encounter.

Please make the effort to come along and give the players the support they deserve.

Fixture List Update

Dates have been announced by the Lowland League for two of Shire’s three outstanding fixtures.

The need for a Scottish Cup replay yesterday against Annan Athletic meant Saturday’s scheduled trip to face Gala Fairydean Rovers at Netherdale was postponed.

This match has now been re-arranged for Saturday 3rd December with a 3:00pm kick-off.

The date for Shire’s SFA South Region Challenge Cup game against Newton Stewart has also been announced.

The South of Scotland League team will visit Ochilview on Saturday 12th November, again with a 3:00pm kick-off.

Shire still have one fixture awaiting a date; the opening league game of the season, away at Edinburgh University, which should have been played on 30th July, still has no date as yet.

 

Decisions Didn’t Go Our Way -Sludden

Coach John Sludden admitted it “will take a day or two” to get over Scottish Cup elimination at the hands of Annan Athletic.

The visitors struck with the last kick of the ball to take the tie 2-1 in Saturday’s replay after the teams had fought out a 0-0 draw at Galabank seven days earlier.

However, the coach is sure the players have what it takes to recover from the setback and get things back on track when the league resumes after a three week break.

East Stirlingshire v Hawick Royal Albert; 20/08/2016; Ochilview Stadium; Falkirk District; Scotland;  Shire manager John Sludden Pic by Alan Murray Contact - mob   07511 123 919                  home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk  East Stirlingshire v Hawick Royal Albert; 20/08/2016; Ochilview Stadium; Falkirk District; Scotland;  Pic by Alan Murray Contact - mob   07511 123 919                  home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk  East Stirlingshire v Hawick Royal Albert; 20/08/2016; Ochilview Stadium; Falkirk District; Scotland;  Pic by Alan Murray Contact - mob   07511 123 919                  home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk  East Stirlingshire v Hawick Royal Albert; 20/08/2016; Ochilview Stadium; Falkirk District; Scotland;  Pic by Alan Murray Contact - mob   07511 123 919                  home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk  East Stirlingshire v Hawick Royal Albert; 20/08/2016; Ochilview Stadium; Falkirk District; Scotland;  Pic by Alan Murray Contact - mob   07511 123 919                  home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk  East Stirlingshire v Hawick Royal Albert; 20/08/2016; Ochilview Stadium; Falkirk District; Scotland;  Pic by Alan Murray Contact - mob   07511 123 919                  home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk
Photo : Alan Murray, Falkirk Herald

“The guys are down and it will take a couple of days to get over it,” he said. “By the time Tuesday comes we will dust ourselves down and go again but we have to take a lot of positives out of the two games in terms of where we want to go as a club.”

The coach accepted his team had been unlucky over the course of the two Scottish Cup matches and praised Annan Athletic keeper Blair Currie for being the “man of the match” in both games.

But he was also disappointed at a number of refereeing decisions during the Ochilview match which did not go Shire’s way.

“We should be talking about our great team goal, about McKenna’s wonder half-volley to equalise and their keeper’s save which kept them in it with a minute to go,” he said. “But instead we are talking about refereeing decisions.

“We felt we should have had a penalty for handball early in the second half and we were looking for a free-kick for a clear foul when their boy goes on and scores at the end of the game. It’s a sore one to take.”

However, the coach says that despite the outcome of the game the players have nothing to feel sorry about. He says they matched their League 2 opponents all the way.

“At the start of the first game we said to the players to go out and show you are good enough to play at that level and they did that in abundance,” he said. “Each of them can be very proud of their own performances.”

To listen to John’s full post-game comments click on the link below.

Let’s Keep Moving Forward – Allison

Liam Allison says if the team can keep the essence of their performances in the two Scottish Cup matches against Annan Athletic they could become an unstoppable force in the Lowland League.

The Shire new boy described his team mates as “gutted” to lose to a goal in the sixth minute of injury-time against the League 2 side at Ochilview, believing that “missed chances” cost them their place in the next round.

But, he says, the positive displays in both games against Annan point the club in the right direction.

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“We look to the league and try to build on the positives,” said Liam. “We played a lot of good football, created a lot of good chances and defensively I thought the back four did well. Right through the team everyone is working hard which is brilliant to see; everyone working hard and giving everything for the club.”

The next challenge will be to try and take all of that into next weekend’s Lowland League match against Dalbeattie Star at Ochilview. Liam says if the team can translate its performances in the two cup games into similar displays in the league they could go on a run.

“I think we could be flying if we did that,” he said. “We should look to do that. This has only given us confidence and although it’s a hard one to take, that will pass. We surely can only get stronger from it.”

Saturday was only Liam’s third game in the team and he has yet to make his Lowland League debut for Shire. He started last season at Camelon Juniors but spent most of the campaign on the sidelines due to injury.

After a summer operation and plenty of rehab he is now ready to prove his worth and make his mark at his new club.

“I have been training with Shire for a wee while before I signed but I’m now back to more-or-less full fitness,” he said. “It’s brilliant to be back. There’s nothing better than playing with players who want to win, who want to do well and who want to work hard for each other. And That’s what we have here.”

Listen to Liam’s full post-game interview by clicking on the link below :

Annan Athletic Preview

Shire and Annan Athletic will face each other for the second successive Saturday following their inconclusive contest at Galabank in the second round of this season’s William Hill Scottish Cup.

The replay will go ahead at Ochilview tomorrow (29th October) with a 3:00pm kick-off. Admission prices have been set at £10 for adults and £5 concessions. Because it’s a cup-tie season tickets are not valid.

Both teams will wear the same colours as they did at Galabank; with Shire in their traditional black and white hoops while the visitors are in gold jerseys and black shorts. The match referee is unchanged as well with Alan Newlands appointed to be the man in the middle, as he was last weekend.

If the game again ends in a draw there will be 30 minutes extra-time and, if there’s no winner after that, the winners will be decided on shots from the penalty mark. Also, in a new rule change, if the game goes into extra-time each team will be permitted to use four substitutes.

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MATCH : Last week’s game ended in a 0-0 draw but was far from devoid of entertaining action. Shire had the best of things early in the match and could have had an interval lead especially after Derek Ure hit the post with a shot and Andy Rodgers forced Blair Currie in the Annan Athletic goal into a great save from a powerful header.

However the home side fought back after the break. Darren Ramsay’s effort hit the post and there were a few narrow escapes for Shire with efforts from the Annan strikers which went close but just wide.

At Ochilview Shire are defending a six game unbeaten run going back to early August and have won their last five home matches. Annan Athletic have already won at Ochilview this season, however, 2-0 in the Betfred Cup in July.

Watch our match highlights from last week’s game below :

THE PAST : Last weekend’s encounter was the first Scottish Cup meeting between the two teams but was the 35th match overall since Annan Athletic joined the Scottish Football League in 2008.

This weekend’s match falls on the fifth anniversary of the last Scottish Cup replay that Shire were involved in. That game, on Saturday 29th October 2011, took place at Buckie Thistle’s Victoria Park and followed a 1-1 draw between Shire and the then reigning Highland League champions at Ochilview.

Andy Stirling and Bradley Coyne had Shire 2-0 up within the first half hour of the replay but Buckie Thistle struck back with two goals in the first fifteen minutes of the second half. The game finished 2-2 after 90 minutes but further strikes in extra-time from Nico Gibson and Fraser Team saw Shire through 4-2 and on to a third round away match at East Fife.

The last time Shire played in a Scottish Cup replay at Ochilview was exactly one year prior to the Buckie game when, after a 0-0 away draw at Highland League Forres Mechanics, Shire had home advantage for the replay.

Kevin Cawley hit a quickfire hat-trick to put the team 3-0 up after just 47 minutes and the outcome of the match was not in doubt after that. However, late on, David Dunn made the final score 4-0 to Shire with one of his trademark free-kicks.

TEAMS : Shire coach John Sludden will be able to consider giving starting slots to Jamie Glasgow and Drew Ramsay for the match. Both players were given places on the substitutes bench at Galabank after having been absent from the squad in the weeks leading up to the game due to injury.

Glasgow made a late appearance as a substitute last week but Ramsay missed out for the second week running. However, the coach has confirmed both will be available to start this weekend which leaves him with some thinking to do about team selection.

Annan Athletic lost Steven Black and Rabin Omar to injury very early in last Saturday’s game and will hope these two key players will be available for the return tie.

VIEWPOINT : Coach Sludden is cautiously optimistic for the replay. He has warned his players that they should not believe for a moment that the difficult part of getting through to the next round has been achieved simply by bringing Annan Athletic back for a home replay.

“The job isn’t done,” said John. “It’ll be even harder on Saturday because they (Annan) were disappointed with their own performance last week. We’ve got a really hard, important game to come.”

Listen to John’s full pre-match thoughts by clicking on the link below :

Striker Andy Rodgers was one of the closest to breaking last week’s goalless deadlock at Annan. He says the team have to approach the replay in a confident frame of mind but he too says Annan Athletic will start as favourites.

“If we think the hard work’s done then we are going to get a shock,” said Andy. “We are going to need to be as good as we were last week, and probably a bit better, if we are to go and get the result we need.”

To listen to Andy’s pre-game interview click on the link below.

The Job’s Not Done – Coach

He welcomed the plaudits his players received after their 0-0 William Hill Scottish Cup draw against Annan Athletic at Galabank last Saturday, but coach John Sludden says that will mean little if they come up short in this weekend’s second round replay against the League 2 club at Ochilview.

And he’s sending out a cautionary note to those who think the job will get easier now the team have negotiated a tough away trip and brought the tie back home, where Shire are unbeaten in their last six games.

John Sludden - Head Coach

“We came out with a lot of praise on Saturday but now we need to go that little bit extra if we want to get to the next round,” said John. “There might be a mindset (that says) because we got a draw and a replay the job’s done. Well the job isn’t done. It’ll be even harder on Saturday. They’ll come and they’ll be hurting because they were disappointed in their own performance.

“So we will be trying to make sure everyone is focused on the job. Not for one minute do we think that’s us into the next round of the cup. We’ve got another hard, really important game (against Annan) to come.”

However, the coach also wants to instill in his players a belief that they can go out and win and get through to the next round. John witnessed plenty of encouraging signs in last week’s goalless encounter.

A strong opening period saw Shire create some great chances which they were unlucky not to see converted into goals.

“We asked the the question, ‘Can you play against players at the higher level ?’ and they proved that (they could) for spells in the game on Saturday, so we have to take great confidence out of that.

“They are looking for a bit of improvement . We have looked at it and spoken about it as a group and we feel if we can get that improvement then it could take us through to the next round of the cup.

“They will still come as favourites,” said the Shire coach. “They play in a higher league than us and they have beaten us already at Ochilview this season but we have to take confidence from the way we played in long spells on Saturday.”

The visitors may well still be favourites to go through but Shire have won their last five matches at Ochilview and have now not conceded a goal in four consecutive outings. Playing at Ochilview will, says the coach, hopefully count for something.

We have been starting games well at home,” he said. “Hopefully that is something we can continue to do on Saturday. We will give them the respect they deserve but we will certainly look to take the game to them.”

The coach and players would really appreciate your support at this important Scottish Cup-tie. Let’s get as many Shire supporters along to the game as we possibly can. Admission is £10 adults/£5 concessions.

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We’re Aiming For Better – Rodgers

Andy Rodgers knows Shire will have to play even better than they did at Galabank on Saturday if they are to knock Annan Athletic out of the William Hill Scottish Cup when the teams meet again in their second round replay at Ochilview on Saturday.

The players picked up plenty of plaudits for their performance in the original match last week which ended in a 0-0 draw, but Rodgers says he and his team mates still have a mighty job on their hands if they are to claim a third round tie away at either Formartine United or Banks O’Dee.

And the striker knows too that their opponents will have been told to up their game from last week if they are to avoid a cup shock. Andy says he’s been involved in too many cup-ties to believe the job is half done simply by bringing the tie back home.

East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland;  Andy Rodgers Pic by Alan Murray Contact - mob   07511 123 919                  home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk  East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland;  Pic by Alan Murray Contact - mob   07511 123 919                  home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk  East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland;  Pic by Alan Murray Contact - mob   07511 123 919                  home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk  East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland;  Pic by Alan Murray Contact - mob   07511 123 919                  home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk  East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland;  Pic by Alan Murray Contact - mob   07511 123 919                  home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk  East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland;  Pic by Alan Murray Contact - mob   07511 123 919                  home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk
Photo : Alan Murray, Falkirk Herald

“If we think the hard work’s done then we’re going to get a shock,” he said. “We need to be at least as good as were were last week, and probably a bit better, if we are to go and get the result we need.”

Annan Athletic were favourites to beat Lowland League Shire at Galabank and their failure to get the result will, no doubt, make them doubly keen not to end up on the end of a cup shock. The Shire man, back for his second spell with the club, expects a backlash from last week and says the visitors will be up for the cup.

“I would be very surprised if they didn’t come all guns blazing,” said Andy. ” I can’t imagine (Annan manager) Jim Chapman was happy with their performance last week so you have to expect them to be a bit better this week.

“But we have to look at ourselves and if we do things the way we should then we should be looking to win the game.”

Shire, though, will look back to chances they had during the first half of the Galabank game and might be wondering whether there would have been any need for a second game if thy had taken them.

“Especially in the first half we had numerous chances and whether it was deflections, saves, woodwork, it was just one of those days when it wasn’t going to go in. But we did things right at the other end and stopped them getting a goal and that kept us in the tie.”

While he is well aware of the dangers that Annan Athletic will pose in this weekend’s game Andy says the Shire players have to be confident in their own abilities to cause a shock result.

The team has won five and drawn one of its last six games at Ochilview and it’s that kind of form which should add to their own sense of self-belief.

“We’ve got to be confident and I’m confident,” he said. “We showed last week we can at least match them and then this week we need to try and go one better. The hard work’s not done. I’ve played in cup-ties where things don’t go to plan in the replay so we need to be switched on and as good as we were.”

Andy and the rest of the team would appreciate a good-sized home support to help them. Admission to the game is £10 adults and £5 concessions.

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Injured Duo Back In Frame

Injured pair Drew Ramsay and Jamie Glasgow are back in contention for a place in the team as coach John Sludden considers his options ahead of Saturday’s William Hill Scottish Cup second round replay against Annan Athletic at Ochilview.

Left-back Ramsay broke his wrist playing in Shire’s last home match, a 3-0 Lowland League game against BSC Glasgow, and hasn’t played since, although he was an unused substitute in the original Annan tie.

Glasgow made a brief substitute appearance at Galabank but that was his first action since picking up a hamstring injury against Spartans in September, which caused him to miss three games.

Now both players look set to come fully back into the equation as the coach  looks at team selection ahead of the Ochilview replay.

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“It was maybe a bit early to start with Jamie at Annan,” said the coach. “But maybe we will look again at that for Saturday. We will see how he’s feeling after putting two training sessions in on Tuesday and Thursday.”

The coach is also delighted to have Drew back in the mix. John admitted he had resigned himself to being without the big left-back for an extended period of time.

“We thought he might be out for a few weeks,” he said. “But after a visit to the hospital he is now ready to come back into the squad for Saturday. It’s good because it gives us a few options and after we have gone through training on Tuesday and Thursday we will have a look at how we want to start on Saturday.”

FH East Stirlingshire v Stirling University 21/09/2016
Photo : Falkirk Herald

With the return of Ramsay and Glasgow the coach now has an injury-free playing squad which counts as a luxury after a terrible run of problems. Last weekend’s 0-0 draw marked the return to the starting eleven of another injury victim, Andy Grant.

“It was great to be able to get Andrew back,” he said although he was quick to point out that his return was no reflection on the performances recently of Adam Murray. “We felt Andrew offers that bit more experience.

“We’ve spoken to Adam who maybe feels a bit unlucky. He’s played a few games in there and he’s learning all the time and having a young lad like Adam there can only be good for the future of the club.”

 

Looking For Good Omens ?

If you’re the superstitious kind that’s always looking for signs ahead of football games as a guide to how the next match might go, then you might be encouraged by this tale before our William Hill Scottish Cup second round replay against Annan Athletic at Ochilview.

In 2010/11 season Shire were given a second round away tie at Highland League Forres Mechanics. That game, like Saturday’s at Galabank, ended 0-0 with the replay scheduled for Ochilview the following Saturday.

The first game at Mosset Park had been a difficult one for Shire and the team were by no means certain to progress even though they now had home advantage.

The first half hour was very even with both teams creating decent opportunities. Then Shire striker Kevin Cawley turned things the home side’s way.

Five minutes before the break and, having withstood a Forres fightback, Craig Donaldson’s pace took him on a run down the right wing.

Kevin Cawley finished again to make the interval score 2-0. Surely Shire could rest easy after that ? Well, maybe, but they certainly would have liked to put even more daylight between themselves and their Highland League opponents.

There were just three minutes gone in the second half when Scott Johnston decided to take the ball for a run.

3-0 and a hat-trick for Cawley. That pretty much wrapped up Shire’s spot in the third round of the Scottish Cup although Forres made sure life was a difficult as possible for Shire. The score didn’t move again. Then a rash challenge by the visiting keeper on Johnstone.

After Forres changed their keeper following the red card, the ten men had to face a Shire free-kick just outside the box. To make matters worse for them David Dunn shaped up to take it.

So 4-0 it finished and Shire were through to the third round of the Scottish Cup and away match at Spartans.

Needless to say this weekend when Shire welcome Annan Athletic to Ochilview in our first Scottish Cup home replay since the Forres game we can expect it tough from the League 2 team who have already recorded an away win over Shire in the Betfred Cup this season.

But we really need the fans to turn out in numbers to give the players that great extra help. Admission prices have been set at £10 for adults and £5 concessions, so please try to make the effort to get to Ochilview. You never know what might happen.

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