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No Break For Shire

Coach Craig Tully will not be giving his first team players any time off despite a break in the League 2 action this weekend.

All the squad players have participated in normal session this week on Tuesday and Thursday at Little Kerse and they will be back in on Saturday at the training venue for another work out.

Shire have no scheduled match because of the concluding round of Euro 2016 qualification matches but the players won’t be getting much time with their feet up all the same.

"We need to keep working hard and even though we don’t have a match that’s no need to alter our routine," said Craig.

"They guys accept that and we have put in some really good sessions this week," he added.

The team is next in action on Saturday 17th October when they return to the Ladbrokes League 2 schedule with a match against Elgin City at Ochilview, kick-off 3:00pm.

Ross Set For Return

Shire midfielder Ross Gilmour could be set for a return to first team action soon.

The former Dundee United man played for the first time since the middle of July in Monday evening’s Development League match against Raith Rovers at Bannockburn.

Ross showed no ill-effects of his return to action and was able to train with the squad as normal on Thursday evening at Little Kerse.

Coach Craig Tully is monitoring the player’s progress closely and could now consider him for a first team return in the coming weeks.

"Ross was shaping up to be an important player for us this season," said Craig. "It was disappointing for him to get injured when he did and injuries to other players since have only made his absence a bigger blow."

Ross was forging a place for himself in the team when he ruptured a tendon in his foot in a pre-season match against Stenhousemuir at Ochilview on July 14th.

Berwick Rangers 2 Shire 1

Shire were desperately unlucky to leave Berwick’s Shielfield Park after suffering another disappointing defeat.

Despite putting in a gritty, determined performance in very difficult circumstances they were left with nothing to show for their efforts due to a five minute period at the start of the second half where they simply lost concentration.

Having worked so hard to get a half-time lead through Nathan Shepherd’s fifth goal of the season, Shire were caught cold immediately after the break and two simple crosses and two free headers later they were behind and chasing the game.

The players showed no sign of giving up and, especially late in the game, created some real opportunities to to take something from the match but could not turn the pressure into goals.

The depleted squad, missing five first team players, was augmented by the emergency loan signing of Alloa Athletic utility man Aron Lynas, and coach Craig Tully promoted a number of his under-20 development squad.

That meant a start for Kyle Carruthers and Andy Kay with Adam Murray on the bench along with Mark Hansen and Ciaran McBrearty, who were getting their first taste of first team football.

Shire also gave a debut to Darren Dolan in goal and handed Neil McCabe the captain’s armband in the absence of Richie Barnard.

McCabe was given a much more defensive role as Shire sought to subdue Berwick Rangers in the early stages and the home team, although given plenty of the ball, found it difficult to break free of the defensive shackles imposed by their visitors.

In the opening period the best they could muster was a shot from outside the box that gave Dolan a comfortable save.

Then, after 14 minutes, Shire took the lead. Ally Roy’s perfectly-judged ball into the box was met by David McKenna’s header which crashed back off the bar.

The Shire striker sent the rebound towards goal but his effort was hacked off the line. However, Nathan Shepherd collected the loose ball and, at the third time of asking, it landed in the back of the net.

Berwick tried to respond and Michael McKenna saw his shot fly across the face of goal and wide after 23 minutes.

Shire had their skipper to thank after 41 minutes when McCabe cleared McKenna’s shot off the line and they went in at the interval 1-0 ahead.

Berwick made a number of changes at the break and started the second half positively. Just a minute in Ewan McNeil crossed to the back post where Blair Henderson seemed to have far too much time and space to plant his header in the back of the net from close-range.

Five minutes later, with Shire still reeling from the goal, they conceded a second in similar fashion, This time David Morris’s cross was headed past the exposed Dolan by Darren Lavery.

The visitors took a while to recover but slowly found their way back into the game.

David McKenna teed-up Ally Roy on the edge of the box but his shot sneaked wide.

The McKenna won possession close to the goal line and crossed but, instead oof firing the ball across the face of goal, he cut it back too deep and the opportunity was lost.

Then Roy got a clear sight of goal but his effort was blocked. The rebound fell to Andy Kay and his shot was charged down as well.

Shire created more menacing moments as the game went on but time ran out on them on what was a very frustrating afternoon.

BERWICK RANGERS : Walker, McNeil, Drummond, Notman, Fairbairn, R.Graham, McKenna, F. Graham, Henderson, Lavery, Coultress.

SHIRE : Dolan, Kinnaird, Shepherd, Lynas, Donaldson, Carruthers(Court 67), Faulds, McCabe, Roy, McKenna, Kay.

REFEREE : Crawford Allan.

Next Fixture


East Stirlingshire v Elgin City
SPFL Ladbrokes League Two
Ochilview Park, Larbert
17/10/15, 3:00pm

League Table

Annan Athletic95221511417
East Fife9513157816
Annan Athletic9504149515
Elgin City94231610614
Berwick Rangers94231217-514
Stirling Albion9225813-58
East Stirlingshire92071024-146