Given a choice Martin Mooney would probably do anything to avoid a repeat of the feeling he had after Shire’s 7-4 defeat at Selkirk in September.
Ahead of this weekend’s return meeting, as Shire prepare to welcome Selkirk to Ochilview for their latest Lowland League match, the club’s assistant coach described the first meeting of the clubs at Yarrow Park as, “one of the worst days I have had in football.”
Shire had gone to the Borders in good spirits and were favourites to beat the side at the bottom of the league. But it all went wrong straight from kick-off with the visitors 3-0 down after barely 15 minutes.
And although Shire recovered and drew the scores level at 4-4 midway through the second half there was a sting in the tail as Selkirk, rather than folding, found new life to win the match.
Despite the disappointment he felt at the result, the coach says the events at Yarrow Park may have been a positive in the long run for a Shire team who have won seven of their subsequent ten games and who have scored 17 goals in their last three games.
“I think we turned a corner after the last time we played them,” said Martin. “It was a shock result for us and in all my time in football I’ve never been stunned as much.
“But we didn’t turn up. We went down there with the wrong mentality and players went there thinking it would be an easy three points. We have said all along that if they don’t prepare properly in this league then that sort of thing can happen.
“Hopefully this Saturday that will prove the motivation enough to go on and get the three points.”
The transformation since that day in Shire’s performances is no better illustrated than by the team’s defensive record. After conceding seven goals in 90 minutes at Selkirk Shire have let in the same number of goals in their next ten games, and two of those seven have come from the penalty spot.
Martin says the team which will take the field this weekend should be confident, especially after their last three matches which have all ended in wins.
“Anyone coming to watch us will see we are exciting to watch, we are always playing on the front foot and there are goals there. From the coaches’ point of view we are not conceding many either.”
But there will still be a warning to the players prior to kick-off this weekend that they must keep striving to maintain and even better their recent performances and results.
“Complacency can still count against us,” said Martin. “We will prepare properly for the game and the players are now buying in to what we want to do. ”
The match is one that is being keenly-anticipated by the coaches and the players. They are hoping as many Shire fans as possible will come along to cheer them on. If you can then please make the effort to be at Ochilvierw this Saturday for another important Lowland League encounter.