Aug 22 2012 by David Ogilvie, Stirling Observer Wednesday
STIRLING Albion have been dealt a blow with the news that striker Bradley Coyne is expected to be out for up to eight weeks after straining the medial ligament in his right knee.
The 19-year-old summer signing from Forfar suffered the injury late in the opening-day 5-1 win over Annan and now faces around two months on the sidelines.
Binos boss Greig McDonald said: “It’s a big blow and it’s a real shame for Bradley. He is gutted, as you can imagine, but he is already desperate to do as much as he can and we are having to calm him down. His knee will be assessed again this week but at the moment we are thinking six to eight weeks out.
“He has worked really hard since he came to the club and I thought he was excellent against Annan. I’m sure that if he hadn’t picked up the injury he would have gone on to score in that game. He has shown in training that he is a terrific finisher.
“We will miss him but, as always, there is now an opportunity for other players to step up and show what they can do.”
Albion welcome Clyde to Forthbank on Saturday, with the manager demanding a big improvement after the 3-1 defeat away to Elgin City.
The Binos travelled to Borough Briggs top of the table and an early Scott Davidson goal gave them a massive boost but Craig Gunn equalised before half-time and Mark Nicolson and Dennis Wyness completed a deserved victory for Ross Jack’s team with second-half goals.
Stirling kicked off by thrashing Annan 5-1 at Forthbank and McDonald will be hoping they can again make home advantage count in the first meeting between the teams since April 2010, when a Scott Robertson header earned Albion a 1-0 home win en route to the Division Two title.
Jim Duffy’s team endured a difficult campaign in 2011/12, when they finished ninth in the table, but they stormed back from two goals down to win their opening fixture 3-2 at Montrose before losing 2-0 to a Peterhead team who are probably favourites to finish second to Rangers.
McDonald said: “We didn’t deserve anything from the game. It’s disappointing because it’s something of a missed opportunity after taking the lead so early. For the first 15 minutes we passed the ball well and were in control of the match but we seemed to take our foot of the gas. I told the players at half-time we were not playing at a level that we could win the match.
“We reverted to playing the long ball and that is not what I want us to do. I want us to continue to pass the ball – for whatever reason we stopped doing that.
“We made a couple of changes at half-time but we didn’t do enough in the second half and I don’t remember us making many chances, which normally isn’t a problem. We made such a good start to the season when we were good value for the win against Annan but Saturday was the opposite.
“Consistency is going to be the key and maybe this was a harsh lesson about life in Division Three, both for the young boys and maybe some of the more experienced players who haven’t played at this level before, but it’s important that we bounce back against Clyde.
“Jim Duffy is an experienced manager and one of the best coaches around. He has strengthened the team over the summer. Clyde like to play football so it should be an entertaining game, although I would sacrifice style for a win.”
The Bully Wee have an excellent record at Forthbank, with seven wins to Stirling’s three. There have been four draws in the 14 meetings between the teams during that period.
Clyde recently signed former Gretna and Cowdenbeath midfielder Bryan Gilfillan, while ex-Albion duo Paul Hay and John Kane are also in their squad.
Stirling are again at home on September 1 when Queen’s Park visit but there are no games on September 8 due to Scotland’s World Cup qualifier with Serbia. The Binos return from the international break with back-to-back away games against East Stirling and Berwick Rangers.
Stirling Albion will again hand out vouchers to non-season ticket holders at Saturday’s game. The voucher system will continue for the Queen’s Park clash next weekend. Those holding most vouchers will have the best chance of a ticket for the visit of Rangers on October 6.
Prices for Saturday’s game are £10 for adults, £7 for seniors and students and £5 for children under 17. The referee is Des Roache. An event at The Peak is expected to put additional pressure on parking around the ground.
The club office will be open late tomorrow (Thursday) between 4-7pm for the sale of season tickets.
Albion’s Stirlingshire Cup first-round tie against Alloa at Recreation Park will be played on Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm. The winners travel to Dumbarton in the semi-finals.