Andy Rodgers hit Shire’s 100th competitive goal of the season to open the scoring in the 3-0 Lowland League victory against Gala Fairydean Rovers, and after reaching the milestone reflected on what has been an incredible few months.
His two goals in the match took his personal tally to 29 and he was full of praise too for strike partner David Grant who scored the middle of the three goals. It means that the two players have now scored 59 of Shire’s 102 goals this season so far between them.
For Andy, a player who had never even scored 20 in any season previously, it has been one to remember.
But he was quick to praise his strike partner, whose 30 goals makes him the first Shire player to reach the landmark since Jackie Cockburn in 1962/63 season.
“He’s brilliant,” said Andy of David Grant. “He does a lot of good work holding the ball up for us and bringing others into play. But he doesn’t miss very many chances, either, that’s for sure.”
Of his own goalscoring exploits this season Andy says there hasn’t quite been anything like it in a career that has taken him through most of the divisions in senior football.
He beat his own previous personal best some time ago but has enjoyed going on from there and now has the 30 goal target in sight himself, something he would clearly relish.
“It’s been a great season goals-wise,” he said. “Granty and I are on the score sheet most weeks and it’s a credit to the whole team. The amount of chances we create is incredible. Even today their goalie made five or six saves. It’s great and I’ve enjoyed it and hopefully that’ll continue.”
But in a goalless first half against Rovers there were some concerns that Shire might continue to struggle to break down a team who had been dogged in defence and who had also not been afraid to try and test Shire at the back.
“We made our emphasis to get Jamie (Glasgow) and Fauldsy (Kris Faulds) a bit wider,” he said of the tactical switches designed to break Gala down. “We felt in the first half everything was tight and compressed. It started to open up a bit and once we got on the front foot we were hard to stop.”
It only took two minutes of the second half for Andy to swing his boot at a Steven Brisbane knock down following a corner kick and the first half stalemate was broken with the club’s 100th goal of the season so far.
“Big Brizzy managed to get the knock down and I was lucky enough to catch it on they volley,” he said. “And once we got one we were confident we could go on and put the game to bed.”
It had taken 47 minutes to get in front and even after going 2-0 up Shire still had to face a determined fightback from Gala. Andy never for a minute imagined that the team Shire had beaten 10-1 in December were ever going to lie down a second time. He says the team went into Saturday’s re-match under no illusions.
“They are a good side and they caused us a few problems but we managed to see it out,” he said. “They certainly were never going to accept what happened to them down there. Their results over the past few weeks have not been the worst and the big striker has played at a good level.”
Andy is now certainly hoping the team can go on scoring goals and he would no doubt want to be among them. But with three wins on the bounce now and not a goal conceded in any of them the target is simply to extend that sequence of results.
“All we can do is try to win every game between now and the end of the season, he said. “That’s what we want to do and we just need to see where that takes us.”