Manager sets out stall ahead of second round cup clash
Stirling Albion boss Greig McDonald admits his side have to get it right when they take on Dalbeattie Star at Islecroft Stadium in the second round of the William Hill Scottish Cup tomorrow (Saturday).
The Binos are on a run of five straight defeats and the 4-1 reverse at Berwick on Saturday dropped them to the foot of Division Three - hardly ideal preparation for a tricky cup tie.
In contrast, Dalbeattie could not be in better form. The reigning South of Scotland champions, who are managed by 27-year-old former Annan player John MacBeth, have won seven out of seven in the league and have been scoring goals for fun.
It has all the makings of a potential shock but Albion manager Greig McDonald is determined to ensure the club take their place in Monday morning’s third-round draw, which will be made at Hamilton Racecourse.
He said: “After our poor run of results the players know we need to pick ourselves up, take the criticism on the chin and win the game on Saturday. There is no hiding place in football and the only way to respond is to win matches. Myself, Shaun Fagan, Marc McCulloch and the players are absolutely determined to do that.
“We are under no illusions that Dalbeattie will be right up for this game, particularly in view of the great start they’ve made to their campaign. I’m sure John MacBeth’s team will be determined to cause an upset – however, if our players show the right attitude then I’m confident we can book our place in the draw for the next round.”
Stirling will again be without last season’s top scorer Scott Davidson as he completes a two-game ban but Falkirk have given the club permission to field on-loan striker Jordan White – who scored on his debut against Berwick – in the Scottish Cup.
Full-backs David McClune and Kieran McAnespie could come into contention after injury and Shaun Fagan is also moving closer to a return. Bradley Coyne is out for several months after knee surgery.
Albion fans remember all too well the embarrassment of a Scottish Cup exit to Gala Fairydean 11 years ago and will expect better from their team tomorrow.
● If Saturday’s Scottish Cup tie against Dalbeattie Star ends in a draw, the replay will go ahead at Forthbank on Wednesday, October 10, kick-off 7.45pm.
● Season ticket and Bino Bond holders are reminded to collect their ticket for the Rangers match on October 6 from the club office as soon as possible. Fans holding a voucher from the Annan, Clyde and Queen’s Park games have until today to buy their ticket. Call 01786 450399.