Feb 15 2012 by David Ogilvie, Stirling Observer Wednesday
STIRLING Albion will hope to take advantage of a home double-header as they look to get their season back on track after a run of four defeats and a draw in the last five games.
Greig McDonald’s side crashed to a 4-1 loss at leaders Cowdenbeath on Saturday, despite a promising first half when Gary Thom cancelled out Lewis Coult’s opener.
It all went wrong after the break when Coult completed his hat-trick and Marc McKenzie added a late fourth goal before substitute Josh Flood was sent off for a reckless tackle on Kenny Adamson.
Albion now host Brechin on Saturday then entertain Cowdenbeath on Tuesday night, kick-off 7.45pm, before ending a hectic February with away games against Dumbarton and Brechin.
They go into Saturday’s match against a Brechin side they beat 1-0 at home in October just behind Forfar and Albion Rovers and were hoping the pair of them failed to make the most of rearranged games last night (Tuesday).
Binos boss McDonald left co-assistant manager Shaun Fagan to speak to the press on Saturday and the ex-Motherwell and East Fife midfielder pulled no punches in his assessment.
He said: “At the end of the day we got what we deserved.
“We did well to get ourselves back into the game in the first half with a good set-piece, which was something we had been working on in training.
“We had a few words at half-time and expected the boys to push on but for some reason we never started the second half and the second goal killed us.
“If it hadn’t been for Callum Reidford it would have been even worse.
“The park is not the best in the league so I don’t understand why our boys were trying to play passes in triangles. Cowdenbeath are top of the league and their centre-halves were just getting the ball forward to the big lad up front and it was effective, while we are trying to play pretty football on a difficult surface.
“It took us about 20 minutes to turn up and when we did turn up we gave as good as we got but the second half wasn’t good enough and the boys need to take a look at themselves.
“If we play as we did for 20 minutes in the first half we’ll win more games than we lose but playing in spells isn’t enough.
“Cowdenbeath are good at what they do and they will be up there at the end of the season but we gifted them goals.
“The first one: Devon Jacobs slipped at the vital moment and it’s probably an own goal. The second one is a free header and the third was because we were trying to play in the wrong area.
“When we first took over the fight and determination was always there – and that is the only thing we demand – but there was an acceptance on Saturday that we were getting beaten and that’s not acceptable.
But he insisted: “I feel we are good enough to get out of the position we are in.”
There were some who felt Flood’s late dismissal by Mat Northcroft was a shade harsh but Fagan added: “I spoke to the referee after the game and asked about the tackle and his opinion is that Josh went in with two feet off the ground and that it was reckless.”
The young winger will miss Saturday’s home game against Brechin following his red card. City drew 1-1 with Airdrie United on Saturday and went into last night’s home game against Arbroath six points above the Binos and also six adrift of the promotion play-offs.
Saturday’s home game against Brechin will be refereed by Willie Collum, who is widely recognised as one of the country’s leading officials. The 33-year-old took charge of the most recent Old Firm game at the end of December and was an additional assistant referee at the Champions League clash last night (Tuesday) between Bayer Leverkusen and holders Barcelona in Germany.