Shire return to Lowland League action on Hogmanay for the final game of 2016 when the team visits BSC Glasgow at their temporary home of Alloa’s Recreation Park.
It will be the team’s first competitive outing in a fortnight, a result of the league’s policy of not scheduling any fixtures in Christmas week, and coach John Sludden and his players will be hoping to extend an unbeaten run of league matches which currently stands at eight.
In that time Shire have recorded seven wins and a draw, with the only dropped points being in the 3-3 draw against Civil Service Strollers on 10th December. Shire last lost a Lowland League game on 24th September when Spartans scored with the last kick of the game to win 1-0 at Ainslie Park and since then in the 12 league and cup matches played Shire have lost only once in a Scottish Cup replay against Annan Athletic, who also scored their winner with the last kick of the game.
Shire will wear their traditional black and white hoops for this game and the match referee is Ryan Hardie. Kick-off at The Recs is 3pm and the coaches and players would love to see as many fans as possible there to cheer on the team. It’s one of the closest away games of the entire season, so why not come along to support the Shire ?
Despite the holidays, and the blank Saturday last weekend, the players have been hard at work on the training pitch in the weeks surrounding the festive period. Coach Sludden organised a closed-door match against Stirling Albion which Shire won 4-0, but more importantly it gave players coming back from injury, especially Adam Murray, the chance to get some important game time.
Shire have not seen league action since 17th December when the team travelled to Innerleithen to face Vale of Leithen, they came back with a 4-2 victory.
It was Shire’s second successive win on the road and they will go to The Recs this weekend hoping to make it three after a spell of three successive away defeats came to an end with the 10-1 victory at Gala Fairydean Rovers at the beginning of December.
But BSC Glasgow are sure to be confident with some great results of their own in recent weeks. Their last outing was a narrow 2-1 defeat away at Spartans but they have been in good form in their home matches lately and have lost just four of their 12 competitive games at The Recs this season and recently defeated Preston Athletic 8-3 there.
The game this weekend will only be the second-ever meeting of the clubs. The first was back in October at Ochilview, and although Shire won that game 3-0 the visitors were always in the hunt for the points until late on.
The Shire coach has again impressed on his players the need to be on the top of their form if they are to stand the best possible chance of extending the unbeaten league run to nine matches.
He was dealt a blow this week with the recall of on-loan Clyde defender Michael Oliver, who had been playing well, but John now has a full squad to select from after some injuries cleared up and will re-shuffle the pack to take account of Oliver’s departure.