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Stenhousemuir -vs- Annan Athletic


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Can Stenhousemuir win five games in a row for the first time since 1998 against Annan Athletic tomorrow? I think they have a decent chance!

The Warriors have looked pretty handy over the past couple of weeks, turning in their best performance of the season against Stirling Albion last weekend and getting the better of a stolid Albion Rovers side on Tuesday night (Cammy Binnie: thank you). We've beaten Annan Athletic earlier in the season but, let's be honest, that was not a match Annan should have lost. Their league form took a bit of a tumble but they seem have got their act back together with four points from the past two games.

They're obviously not a side to be trifled with and have some smashing players but I'd like to think we can keep our run going.

I'm tempted to make a couple of changes to the side that beat the Rovers earlier in the week. Does Ross Lyon deserve to lose his place at left-back? Is Ross Forbes fit enough to start? I'd maybe replace Darren Christie with Cammy Graham, but both players seem to be better coming off the bench but other than that, let's go with:

- Tam Orr -

- Euan O'Reilly - Adam Brown - Cammy Graham -

- Nat Wedderburn - Ross Forbes -

- Ross Lyon - Sean Crighton - Nicky Jamieson - Mikey Miller -

- Davie Wilson -

I'd be disappointed if we didn't win this, to be honest, but I know what happens when I get my hopes up - they get trampled into the ground!

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Most likely a straight swap with Hughes or Anderson going in but could also have Lyon and Coll as full backs with Miller going into midfield considering how well Coll played midweek.

Looking forward to it. We dream of 5 in a row before Kelty.

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That was a hard-fought but well-deserved three points today. The first 45 minutes were a struggle, with Annan Athletic pegging us back and keeping us inside our own half for uncomfortable periods, but we were streets ahead in the second half. We created a number of good openings, scored a fine goal to give us a cushion, rode out Annan's brief resurgence (a period in which Davie Wilson made a supreme save to stop Tommy Goss' goal-bound header), and saw the game out to its conclusion. That's now five consecutive victories, our best run of form since 2008 - the manager, his staff and the players deserve a huge amount of credit for how they've turned the season around.

A number of players stood out today. Nicky Jamieson is one of the most meat-and-tatties defenders I've seen at Ochilview but it does not matter a jot when he gets his big napper of every single ball punted in his general direction! His centre-back partner, Sean Crighton, also played well and dealt with Annan's limited attack. Nat Wedderburn dominated things in the middle of the park, especially after the interval, and it's always great fun watching using his big arse to barge opponents out of the way then hit a long diagonal with his left peg.

The best player on the park, however, was Euan O'Reilly. He was a little subdued in the first half but, almost immediately from the restart, he lit up the match, skinning Charlie Barnes time and again before capping his performance with a lovely goal. He's the most exciting player I've seen at the club since we had Paul McMullan on loan in 2015. Every time he gets on the ball, there's a feeling that something is going to happen. Long may it continue!

There are still a couple of grumbles - the lack of presence in attack without Robert Thomson, Declan Hughes' ineffectual presence - but this was such an important victory. Had we lost, Annan would have moved seven points ahead of us and the top four would have seen miles away. Now, we're right in amongst it and not far off Forfar Athletic in second. I don't expect much from next week's encounter with Kelty Hearts but we're playing well and I hope we can give them a good game.

Finally, it was great to see Colin McMenamin in the Wee Bar after the match. One of my all-time favourite Warriors and someone who has a great relationship with the club.

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Really pleased to hear Colin came in to the Wee Bar post match. He is a really good guy.

Pretty even first half. Softish pen but will take it.

Second half we totally dominated. Euan O’Reilly. Quite amazing. Once again he tortured the opposition full back. Twice in the first 5 mins of the half he delivered balls into the box we really should have scored from, before he took it upon himself to score the 2nd. Like FF said, he is the first player we have had since McMullan who you can’t wait to get the ball because you know something is going to happen.

Shout out to the goalie. It’s a bit of a worry when the goalkeeper is known as “wee man” but his save in the 2nd half was fantastic. Suspect he will be a little busier next weekend than he was today.

Crichton and Jamieson at the back were immense and Nat strolls through games. Shout out to BJ Coll. Last two games he has come off the bench and been quite superb. His pirouette was the highlight of the game. Ridiculous.

What a time to be alive.

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6 hours ago, Francesc Fabregas said:

That was a hard-fought but well-deserved three points today. The first 45 minutes were a struggle, with Annan Athletic pegging us back and keeping us inside our own half for uncomfortable periods, but we were streets ahead in the second half. We created a number of good openings, scored a fine goal to give us a cushion, rode out Annan's brief resurgence (a period in which Davie Wilson made a supreme save to stop Tommy Goss' goal-bound header), and saw the game out to its conclusion. That's now five consecutive victories, our best run of form since 2008 - the manager, his staff and the players deserve a huge amount of credit for how they've turned the season around.

A number of players stood out today. Nicky Jamieson is one of the most meat-and-tatties defenders I've seen at Ochilview but it does not matter a jot when he gets his big napper of every single ball punted in his general direction! His centre-back partner, Sean Crighton, also played well and dealt with Annan's limited attack. Nat Wedderburn dominated things in the middle of the park, especially after the interval, and it's always great fun watching using his big arse to barge opponents out of the way then hit a long diagonal with his left peg.

The best player on the park, however, was Euan O'Reilly. He was a little subdued in the first half but, almost immediately from the restart, he lit up the match, skinning Charlie Barnes time and again before capping his performance with a lovely goal. He's the most exciting player I've seen at the club since we had Paul McMullan on loan in 2015. Every time he gets on the ball, there's a feeling that something is going to happen. Long may it continue!

There are still a couple of grumbles - the lack of presence in attack without Robert Thomson, Declan Hughes' ineffectual presence - but this was such an important victory. Had we lost, Annan would have moved seven points ahead of us and the top four would have seen miles away. Now, we're right in amongst it and not far off Forfar Athletic in second. I don't expect much from next week's encounter with Kelty Hearts but we're playing well and I hope we can give them a good game.

Finally, it was great to see Colin McMenamin in the Wee Bar after the match. One of my all-time favourite Warriors and someone who has a great relationship with the club.

I think you’re absolutely spot on with this assessment.

 

Jamieson and Crighton both had a good game but then both were in their element when the rather tall striker came on for Annan (forgive the ignorance), he barely got a sniff.

 

O’Reilly is one of only a few players who I’ve been excited at watching turn out for Stenhousemuir whilst in the fourth tier.  His confidence to attack in 1v1 situations coupled with his tremendous work rate to defend and win the ball back have made Saturdays fun again.

 

I think your comment about the lack of presence in attack is being nice on Thomas Orr - he’s just not good enough for this level quite frankly.  He doesn’t hold the ball up, he makes strange runs to make it look like he’s trying, he cannot compete and he could quite easily have been sent off for hauling Swinglehurst to the ground in the first half.  It is always a tough one, though, as if we had Thompson at out disposal today I’d have felt more comfortable, however this would this have possibly changed our ultimately successful game plan.

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I think you’re absolutely spot on with this assessment.
 
Jamieson and Crighton both had a good game but then both were in their element when the rather tall striker came on for Annan (forgive the ignorance), he barely got a sniff.
 
O’Reilly is one of only a few players who I’ve been excited at watching turn out for Stenhousemuir whilst in the fourth tier.  His confidence to attack in 1v1 situations coupled with his tremendous work rate to defend and win the ball back have made Saturdays fun again.
 
I think your comment about the lack of presence in attack is being nice on Thomas Orr - he’s just not good enough for this level quite frankly.  He doesn’t hold the ball up, he makes strange runs to make it look like he’s trying, he cannot compete and he could quite easily have been sent off for hauling Swinglehurst to the ground in the first half.  It is always a tough one, though, as if we had Thompson at out disposal today I’d have felt more comfortable, however this would this have possibly changed our ultimately successful game plan.
I wouldn't worry about that last comment. Thomson will only add to the team, not cause disruption to the "game plan"

Orr is frustrating no doubt. He proved at Stranraer last year he was more than capable though. He has at least chipped in a few goals. Maybe, dare I say it give Ryan Tierney a shot from the start
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First half Annan did not have a shot on goal for first 30 minutes. Crighton and Jamieson were outstanding and have formed a great partnership. O'Reilly will not be with us for long on current form - a genuinely exciting player when he is running at defenders.  Great save by Wilson - one I would have liked to have seen close up but was certainly vital.

As stated by others Orr is currently not up to the task. Do not know what his issue was with Swinglehurst but it looked like only a matter of time before he would lose it completely and be sent off.  We need a replacement for him as Thomson hobbled past the stand yesterday and looks a long way off.

In the past I have been very critical of Swift but fair do's to the man as he has turned it round and we now look a reasonable outfit.

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