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The East Stirlingshire Thread


craigiemack

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Despite how difficult it is to comprehend, our 7th season in the Lowland League starts tomorrow evening against Stirling Uni. I would rate last season as a solid 7/10, did brilliant in the league to get into the top 4 but disappointed in the cups. However, it’s gave us something to really build on. This is one of the first off seasons (barring the money banter years) that I feel like we’ve improved on our squad in a long time. We’ve lost Fulton, Gibbons and Hamilton but I’m more than pleased with who we’ve brought in. Granted I only seen us play in the heatwave against Jeanfield but we played some tidy stuff before the heat kicked in for both teams. 
 

We’ve bulked our squad out a bit and have a lot more quality on the bench than in recent years. We were draw specialists last year and quite one dimensional on the bench so this can only be a good thing. Signings to look out for are Kyle Ewing, centre half from Dunipace u20s. A tall, athletic ball playing defender, he looks the part. We haven’t had a dominating CB in a long time and if he can solidify our defence further then it’ll give us a chance against anybody. Only Bonnyrigg conceded fewer than us last season and Ross Connolly is well on his way to breaking the Shires clean sheet record.

Marc Sludden is another exciting prospect from Dunipace u20s, with him, Dean Watson, Marc Allen and the Trialist winger if he signs. We have some frightening pace on both wings and if we utilise this on the big pitches then we could run riot. Main worry is a goal scoring striker, we’ll never replace Offord but I’ll give the strikers we’ve signed a chance to get going before making comment. I’d be disappointed if chances don’t come thick and fast to them.

Our first 5 games will really make or break the season. 5 winnable games and if we come out of them with less than 12 points then we could easily be embroiled in a mid table slog. I said in my pre season view that there’ll be around 10/11 teams viewing for those Challenge Cup places and if we don’t get off to a good start it will be hard to break free from the mid table bloc.

I feel quietly confident ahead of the season but I’m old enough now to not get too carried away with East Stirlingshire Soccer Club. A top half finish would be a fair return, if we could get into the Challenge Cup places that would be a great achievement giving the strength of the league. We’re in 4 cups this year, I will be boiling if we don’t get a decent run in at least 1 of them. We were unlucky in the Scottish and South Challenge last year but choked the LL Cup. The squads a year older and should be more mature now so hopefully they’ve gained some know how.

I’m hoping to make Cumbernauld next week and I’d be delighted to turn up to that with 6/6 but we will see. I look forward to posting a big LOL when we lose 2-0 tomorrow night. Ease Up.

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I was at the game last night and thought it was overall a decent performance. Ewing does indeed look like a pretty commanding CB and should form a good partnership with Greene, and Honeyman, a winger recently signed on loan from Falkirk, looks very exciting. He created our goal but we didn't do much attacking in general in the second half so he wasnt able to have much more impact on the game.

The main downside was Andy Kay getting a straight red for mouthing off at the ref, apparently refs have been told to clamp down on that from players this season so hopefully that's a lesson learned.

My main concern is at fullback, we've definitely downgraded there and in particular the guy playing LB looked about 12, very quick but I can see him being bullied off the ball a lot this season. We tend to do a lot of work through our fullbacks so hopefully that is something we can tweak and accommodate for over the coming weeks.

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18 minutes ago, MAC THE KNIFE said:

ANDY KAY SENT OFF FOR COMPLAINING ABOUT A FREE KICK BEING TAKEN TWENTY YARDS AWAY FROM THE PLACE OF THE INFRINGEMENT

Sent off again 😂😂😂

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Seen some of the footage from the game, jack hodges miss early on is an absolute shocker and if he'd put that away it might have been a different game. The Unis goal was well taken although Connolly did appear to be doing his best Ritchie Barnard impression which brought back bad memories. Honeyman did great to turn something from nothing in his assist for our goal. A neat finish from MacDonald too, he scored bucket loads I believe for his amatuer team so hopefully that gives him the confidence to kick on.

First game of the season so can't be too harsh but really disappointing to drop points in the first game. We are notoriously slow starters and we just can't do that this year. Could really do with 9 points from Edinburgh Uni, Cumbernauld and Edufrance. 

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SHIRE WERE NOT AT THE RACES FOR 85 OF THE 96 MINUTES PLAYED TONIGHT & DESERVED ZERO POINTS FROM THE PERFORMANCE. SUPRISED THAT WATSON WAS NOT BENCHED DURING THE MATCH & PROBABLY GREENE`S WORST GAME IN YEARS THOUGH THE DEFENCE WAS LEFT BADLY EXPOSED AT TIMES. A LOT OF THINGS NEEDING FIXED AT THE MOMENT

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12 hours ago, MAC THE KNIFE said:

SHIRE WERE NOT AT THE RACES FOR 85 OF THE 96 MINUTES PLAYED TONIGHT & DESERVED ZERO POINTS FROM THE PERFORMANCE. SUPRISED THAT WATSON WAS NOT BENCHED DURING THE MATCH & PROBABLY GREENE`S WORST GAME IN YEARS THOUGH THE DEFENCE WAS LEFT BADLY EXPOSED AT TIMES. A LOT OF THINGS NEEDING FIXED AT THE MOMENT

Got to agree our key players never turned up, Colts wanted it more than us even though we gifted two goals after the shire going 1-0 up. Reaction needed from the players this weekend v the braves, I worry where we will pick up points in the next few weeks after this match.

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Posted (edited)

I was quite optimistic before the season but christ almighty wednesday night was grim. I've raked my brain and only a 5-0 defeat away to Elgin in 2014 and being humped 3-0 by Clyde in our relegation season were worse performances. I've seen some absolute horrorshows but I don't really mind if theres a bit of fight or we actually try and play decent stuff.

Wednesday was embarrassing. Couldn't string two passes together, no communication, players were miles of the pace and to top it off the worst goal I have ever seen us concede. I didn't even have the arse to shout anything at the players, most of whom probably walked of without breaking sweat, the ones that did due to their chronically bad fitness levels. We're sleepwalking into a shitshow and the happy clappers don't realise it. If we dinny win the morra then we are right in a relegation battle which tbh I wouldn't mind. I'm sick of going to broadwood. 

Edited by craigiemack
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Surely Derek Ure must be under pressure. Looking back at his last few seasons there certainly hasn’t been much to justify his position and the start to this season must be a real cause for concern.

From a personal point of view I enjoy the local derby games and would always want shire to stay up as opposed to some of the long trips to Dalbeattie etc 

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9 hours ago, NewtonBU said:

Surely Derek Ure must be under pressure. Looking back at his last few seasons there certainly hasn’t been much to justify his position and the start to this season must be a real cause for concern.

From a personal point of view I enjoy the local derby games and would always want shire to stay up as opposed to some of the long trips to Dalbeattie etc 

He's pretty much untouchable. The board will never have the baws to sack him, and there'll never be any fan pressure cause we have a fantatical set of happy clappers that never critisice anything to do with the club, its all a SFA conspiracy etc etc.

I wasn't against him getting the job at the time but there were much better options out there and I sort of knew this would be the end result. He should've walked/sacked numerous times. Last season was the first season I would call a 'success' under him and it was still largely meh.

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Surprisingly good performance and result last night against St Mirren B. I thought we'd get leathered, especially when I saw Brophy in their starting line-up, but I suppose he's no match for Connor Greene and Tony Coutts. Hopefully use this to get the league season back on track.

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It was our best performance of the season so far by a distance. Every player worked their socks off.

Now to build on this in our league matches and get that elusive win.

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Been quite critical so far this season but fair play to the boys for last night. Gave us little chance especially when I seen their team. I know a few of our fans backed them on handicaps which probably shows the confidence a lot of us had last night.

Still worrying about our lack of goals which will continue to hold us back but if the effort is there then things might turn. We’ve done quite well against the better teams the last couple of seasons so need to just hope that we continue the trend as our next 6/7 games are pretty tough.

Good to get a clean sheet though, our first in 9, and Ross Connolly seemed back to his usual best. We’ve drew 11 of our last 16 competitive games which is quite mental, there surely can’t be many teams in world football that have the inability to win but not lose like we do. My younger brother also said to me that we haven’t lost in 10 away matches and are only a few games away from matching the clubs all time record? I’m sure @Dead may be able to confirm/deny this.

Big game in a few weeks against Killie which I’m looking forward too. If we could win that then we have the chance of going to Ireland or Wales which is literally my dream. Even if we didn’t, pretty much every team in the draw away would be a handy helping to the clubs coffers. Someone like Falkirk or Dunfermline away with the split gate would be a huge bonus. We’ll be underdogs again but if we can get the fighting spirit that we’ve shown the past couple years then we have a chance.

Big game on Saturday against the Dream Team. Could really do with a win to get the confidence rolling.

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Also I do find it amusing that Kieran Offord pretty much dragged us up the table with his goals, culminating in his 89th min winner on the last day against Berwick to secure top 4 and get into the Challenge Cup, then last night misses the penalty to send us through. A secret agent of sorts.

He was one of the best shire players I’ve seen in years and I’m sure he’ll go on to much better things in his career so I’m glad he could help us one last time.

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On 10/08/2022 at 20:52, gav-ffc said:

How’s Scott Honeyman doing?

He has hit the ground running. I have been really impressed with him since he made is debut for us in a pre season friendly at Crossgates Primrose at the start of July. 

Scott has got a lot of talent and incredibly is still only 16. He has been shown some great wing play and is a very decent crosser of the ball. I was particularly impressed with his work rate on Tuesday at Paisley when, after a 'Shire attack he was involved in,  Scott was willing to race back to our our 18 yard line to help out in defence. Looking forward to what he can bring to the team as the season progresses. 

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