This weekend Shire are back in Lowland League action when Selkirk are the visitors to Ochilview on Saturday (3:00pm kick-off).
It is the first return game Shire have played so far in this season’s league competition, having visited Selkirk’s Yarrow Park back in September losing a goal-filled, action packed encounter 7-4, one of only three league games Shire have lost so far.
Both teams will be keen to get a win for their own reasons; Shire are looking for a fourth straight victory while Selkirk will be keen to get their first away win in the league this season.
We look forward also to welcoming our match sponsor AJS & RJ Consulting Ltd and our match ball sponsor AiiB Consulting Ltd. and we thank both for their generous sponsorship which does make a big difference to us.
Shire will wear our traditional black and white hoops with Selkirk in their home strip of all-royal blue. The match referee is Craig Napier and kick-off at Ochilview is 3:00pm.
MATCH : Shire go into Saturday’s game on a run of three successive wins in which the team has scored a total of 17 goals. They started with a narrow 2-1 victory over Dalbeattie Star thanks to Connor Greene’s injury-time winning goal.
A week later we were reaching for the record books when Shire won 9-0 against Newton Stewart in the third round of the SFA South Region Challenge Cup on a day when Andy Rodgers scored five goals.
And last Saturday Shire were still in the mood for goals when the team beat bottom side Preston Athletic 6-2 at Ochilview with this time David Grant the top scorer with four.
This week’s game ends a run of five consecutive home games for Shire. Of the previous four the team has won three and lost one and Shire will go into the Selkirk match having won their last four league matches and will be defending an unbeaten home league record so far this season having won seven and drawn one of eight games.
Club captain Derek Ure missed last week’s win due to suspension but he will now be available for this week’s game while Graeme MacGregor, who hasn’t featured in the last three matches because of a hamstring injury has again trained this week.
Selkirk are still looking for their first away win of the season and have not won a league match since 1st October. They have lost their last five Lowland League matches although four of these defeats have been by a single goal margin, including last Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Gretna 2008.
PAST : This weekend’s game is Shire’s first reverse fixture of the league season so far. The teams met at Yarrow Park on 17th September when Selkirk were bottom of the table having lost six of their first seven games.
Their previous home game had seen them record a 7-1 victory over Gala Fairydean Rovers, their only points of the season so far. Shire were most people’s favourites but incredibly found themselves 3-0 down in the opening quarter and were 4-1 adrift at half-time.
Shire got themselves back on level terms at 4-4 but the home team struck back to score three more goals in the closing quarter to win 7-4.
VIEWPOINT : That last game has loomed large in Shire’s pre-game build-up for Saturday’s return encounter. Assistant Coach Martin Mooney says lessons have been learned and the team is determined to try to make amends for the trip to Yarrow Park.
Martin has praised his team’s most recent performances as “exciting to watch” and will be demanding the players reach the same high standards against this weekend’s opponents that they have established over the last few Saturdays.
To listen to Martin’s full pre-match interview click on the link below.
Shire defender Connor Greene was part of the Shire team who suffered when the club lost the last game against Selkirk and he says the players are determined to make amends.
Connor says the team has learned from that day and described the defeat as “perhaps the shock we needed”. He says the results since that day prove the loss jolted the team into action and a subsequent surge up the league table.
Listen to Connor’s thoughts ahead of the Selkirk game by clicking on the link below :