Today we take a nice Sunday drive, a 35 mile, 50 minute journey along the M9 to the Forthbank Stadium in Stirling, home to Stirling Albion (League 2) and where Stirling Uni groundshare.
Since last time and our soul-destroying defeat against 10-man-for-52-minutes Edusport we have had a keep-sharp friendly against Dundee University and another turn of month, though because we only had 1 competitive game (and it was s**t) I wont do more than touch upon the stats for the month. We’ve also had some reserve games, a 4-1 win away at Oakley Utd Res (Churchill, Downie, Hopkinson 2) and a 1-0 away win v Abbey Vale Res (Hopkinson).
Friendly – Civil Service 4 (Clapperton 10,12,23 Hainey 42) Dundee Uni 0 Att 22 (4 Away)
Dundee lined up with a narrow 4-4-2 Diamond, we went Gegenpress for the first half, Tiki Taka for the 2nd. Comprehensive as it should be, Clappers with a 13 minute hat-trick early in the first half and Hainey just before half time. I changed to Tiki Taka in the 2nd half with a raft of subs and it all looked a bit disjointed. The take away is start on Gegenpress; if we need to break down a defensive side go Tiki Taka in the 2nd half, if we need to be a bit more defensive go Control.
The turn of the month has come and gone and I’ve run in the stats as per normal.
Lots of attribute changes – Mainly positive (Churchill, Barras & Kelly the standouts, Barras has now improved by 3 points in 4 mental attributes, Churchill improved in 16 separate attributes in February!!) but some disappointments as well, with Faye dropping in 7 areas. I think he wont be getting a new contract, his form has been pretty week as well.
18 yo Tom Kelly is now up to 68kg from 67kg.
We have our first personality change of the save – David Churchill (He of the 16 attribute rises in February) is now Balanced (Was Fairly Ambitious). he is in a Mentoring Group with Paul Cairney as the influencer – However he himself is Fairly Ambitious so its a bit of a shock that David has reverted to Balanced….and that that has led to such a surge in his attributes.
As we only had the 1 competitive game I wont look at the stats this month.
And so, Sun 3rd March rolls on – Away v Stirling Uni in wet 10C conditions (Its rained for about 4 months) who are in 10th and apparent favourites with the bookies. Their squad isn’t as strong as ours, but we know that matters not a jot. Both East Kilbride & BSC played on Saturday 2nd, these are the results:
BSC won to take the lead by 1 point, East Kilbride drew 0-0 to go above us by 1 goal. A win today is a must.
We start with the high press. Clappers keeps his spot as BWM and McVitie as BBM. Faye is out – Barras starts as the IF on the right and Mair moves up to winger with Newall as WB. Lets see if we can batter them into submission in the first 45.
HT Stirling Uni 0 Civil Service 0
The game started surprisingly in sunshine (shadows and everything, not 4 shadows so no lights :)) and we hustled and bustled, lots of crosses and attacking intent but no finishing, mainly due to their keeper pulling off a worldie from close range against Hainey. They seem to be sitting very deep for a 4-4-2 – Tiki Taka here we come. Mair is coming off for Faye (Faye & Barras swapping sides) as he’s not having a good game.
FT Stirling Uni 0 Civil Service 0 Att 22 (2 Away)
Well, nothing happened on Tiki-Taka so we went back to the press on 70 minutes. Nothing. 0-0 it finished. I think we need to press but the Gegenpress tactic is just too scattergun. Need to have a think about this. Maybe adapting the Control tactic to press a bit more.
Toight!!!!!! Its still in our hands, but the BSC Glasgow game on the 16th March is for title I reckon – East Kilbride could slip past but they’ve got an interesting run in. All to play for.
Next up is in 3 days – The South Challenge Cup Quarter Final Away to Camelon Juniors – so rest is the order of the day. See you then.