Part 89 – OS2 C2 S1 P6 Match Day 5 (SMD 24) Stirling Albion (A) 1st Feb 2020 15:00

The Forthbank Stadium in Stirling – Home to Stirling Albion & Stirling Uni in the Lowland League

Before we make the 97 mile journey to the banks of the River Forth in Stirling for today’s league game v 9th placed Stirling Albion we have a few bits to go through.

Allison (3 weeks in a row), McNiff (2 in a row) and Barr all make it into the League 2 team of the week.

We also have a senior affiliate – Dundee (Premiership), and a £25k/yr fee!!! Enough for 3 months of wages!!! A massive boost for us financially.

31st Jan 2020 – LOAN SIGNING

Jay Campbell (18, 5ft 10) comes in from Inverness Caledonian Thistle on a loan deal worth £0/wk to the end of the season. Jay joined Inverness from Falkirk in January and will be a understudy to McIlduff for the leftback position, maybe even pushing his way into the team.

Very solid for an 18 yo, very good mentals as well.

Pretty good fan reaction too.

Stats time on 1st Feb 2020 – Nearly all of the drops down to 2 people, Craig Reid (33) and Martin McNiff (28) – Hopefully i can stabilise Martin, Craig will be leaving at the end of the season. A few ups, with Tom Sutherland standing out, hoping he can be a Chris Barras.

Last months stats (P4 W2 D1 L1 GF6 GA6) – Tom Sutherland attempts a good amount of passes, lowish completion though, trying them killer balls. Conor, Jordan & Cameron dawson all 20% cross completion or better, which stands us in good stead, as does Daryl Healy completing 54% headers up top. With Lewis Allan now as well I’m hoping we may have a partnership up top in the making. Rodrigues only completing 2/3rds of headers is a slight worry for a centre-back, would be hoping for more. Good interceptions for the back 2 , with Lewis Barr also doing really well intercepting in the middle of the park. Everything else is much of a muchness -3.6 Roentgen (not great, not terrible),

Lastly Martin McNiff has lost weight (77kg to 76kg – first time I’ve seen that) and Ryan Scullion has gained a kg (63kg to 64kg)

Also a quick peak at Civil Service (i’ll do this monthly for my last club during the journeyman, half yearly after the first season)

So, a good month for the Strollers (W2 D1 L1) leaves them second with 6 games left, with Queen’s Park falling off their earlier pace. Interesting that Kieran Balfour has been let go to Morton and James Hainey to Buckie Thistle… They need BSC Glasgow to falter I think, and not to lose to East Kilbride who are in the mix too. Note they’ve gone 4-3-3 narrow as well……

So to Stirling Albion ( ) – On paper they have a really good squad, season preview has them top, yet they are 9th, 7 points behind us with only 1 point out of their last 4 games, the honeymoon period of 4 wins and a draw well and truly over for new manager Darren Young. This game starts a month where we are away 4 games out of 5, so I’m hoping for solid performances rather than remarkable ones.

Healy and Allan start up top in a 4-4-2. Stirling start with the same, lets see where the spaces are.

First Half Comprehensive Highlights

HT Stirling 0 Berwick 2 (McNiff 2, Barr 11)

A slow start in drizzly Stirling, for the first 99 seconds; then McNiff scored another direct FK – 1-0 Berwick in the 2nd minute!! Both sides looked dangerous in attack, but it was Berwick who scored next, making it 2 in the 11th minute, Barr in an acre of space, finishing from 20 yards. An amazing start! And it should have been 3 on the stroke of half time, Allan missing a point-blank header with his 15 heading… 2-0 at half time, absolutely rampant!

Second Half Comprehensive Highlights

FT Stirling 0 Berwick 4 (McNiff 2, Barr 11, Allan 87, Adamson 90+3) Att 517 (61 Away)

Stirling started well, and had a good chance in the first 5 minutes of the half, but it was pretty slow. Gardiner on for Sutherland on 65. Adamson on for Healy on 70. Orru on for Watt on 75. Allan needs to sort his rangefinders out – he missed another golden header just before 80 minutes. Allison again having a worldie in goal – he is majorly in form. And it was game set and match in the 87th minute – I’d just turned on keeper distribution over the top when Allan was the recipient of the long ball from Allison, taking it down well and scoring beautifully from just outside the area. 3-0. I honestly think we could have played all day and Allison would have kept Stirling out. And with one of the last touches of the game it was 4-0 – A Barr thunderbolt coming back off the post, Adamson being in the right place to slot home. 4-0, absolutely ecstatic, especially after them turning me down 🙂 Lewis Barr MotM with a 9.2 (1 Goal 1 Assist 3 Key Passes) – I think we will have a few players in the team of the week 🙂

Up to 6th, just 2 points off Stenhousemuir, pulling Peterhead with us. I don’t think 4th is out of reach here, Cowdenbeath 6 points above us and we play them soon.

Next up is top-of-the-table Buckie Thistle at home a week hence – and the chairman has called for a fan day to celebrate. See you there 🙂

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