Part 67 – S2 C1 P13 Match Day 8 – Stirling Uni (A) 6th Oct 2019 15:00

Alan Murdoch – now with Cumnock IRL

Alan Murdoch (26, 6ft 2in) is now an integral part of the 3 centre-back formation, and with 13 Marking, Tackling, Pace & Strength is starting to make the position on the right of the 3 his own.

Today we face Stirling Uni, but before then we have had a Reserve game & a month-end.

Our Reserves played on 29th Sep and lost 2-1 to St Cuthbert Res – Pooler with the goal – but we also had injuries to Craig Newall (Ankle Ligaments, 2 Weeks) and James Hainey (Bruised Shin, 2 days).

End of month for September – here are the headline stats.

A few rises (Kieran Balfour with a couple) but a lot more falls (Neil McVitie and worryingly Regan Lumsden) showing how the blocking by the board of signing another coach (Even though it shows as allowed by the numbers) is starting to harm us a fair bit.

A mixed month result-wise (P5 W2 D2 L1) and we still see we are passing the ball a fair bit less than last season (Our main passer, Paul Cairney is at least 30 pass attempts less than the main passer would have had last year) – This may be down to formation, but we are still attempting a Control Possession style. Cairney has 2 key passes per 90 mins though, so not too bad in that respect.

Regan Lumsden stands out massively with regards to the heading – completing 70.7% headers as an attacker is huge, 15 key headers in a month is also huge. Looking at the starts for last season James Hainey (Also a tall chap at over 6ft) had 18 key headers all season….

Bernard Coll (especially v Gretna) is tearing it up with his 5 crossing attribute – completeing a third of his crosses in September, attempting 13 per 90 mins. Long may that continue.

Lastly our other wing back Aiden Gibb is very good at interceptions – 3.41 & game only surpassed by Clappers in the 116 minutes he played in the month.

The day before the Stirling game (Being played on Sunday due to Stirling Uni’s ground-share with Stirling Albion) there was a full league programme.

A win for us will take us above East Kilbride after their draw with Queen’s Park, most probably into 7th, 2 points from the lead but having played one more game. Nobody is unbeaten – its a very open league this season.

Also on Saturday our Reserves beat Musselburgh Athletic Res 2-1 – Clappers and Callum Brown, 16, with his 2nd reserve team goal.

We go with the 3-5-2/5-2-1-2/whatever you want to call it, Hainey in for the injured Docherty, knowing if that doesn’t work Glasgow is there in the wings. Everybody else staying the same – Looking for Coll again to pump the crosses over to Lumsden. Stirling go with a 4-4-2, could be an interesting clash of styles in the pouring October rain.

First Half Comprehensive Highlights

HT Stirling Uni 0 Civil Service 1 (Lumsden 15)

A good start, with the Stirling keeper keeping them in the game. In the 15th minute another Coll/Lumsden combination led to a goal – a beautiful hanging cross to the back post, Lumsden finishing well. Stirling started looking quite dangerous, so I reverted my Wingbacks to Defend, and we played much better after that – 1-0 at HT. We aren’t getting many chances, but they tend to be on target.

Second Half Comprehensive Highlights

FT Stirling Uni 0 Civil Service 1 (Lumsden 15) Att 53 (1 Away)

In the half time I changed Cairney to an AM as he was sitting too deep as a Support AP – getting the No. 10 to work is proving difficult – and moved McVitie back to BWM Defend. The half started quietly, and at 60′ Glasgow came on for Hainey as a Pressing Forward on Support, Balfour for Churchill as a Mezzala. Lastly Scott Mackay came on for Cairney as AP. Stirling really came at us in the last 20 but we defended like demons – 1-0 it finished.

So 7th – A game more than most but its very tight in the top half. The next game is versus East Kilbride at home, 1 place below us, in 6 days time. See you then.

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