Despite the negativity on forum, imo think this will be a 'sleeves rolled up' game. The chance for some players to stake a claim for places. I'm going for a hard fought victory, although it may be slim. Cup always half full... players play for the team. Lets get behind them. Soap box back to the cupboard!
On a positive we did have our chances denied a stone wall penalty also , but we really need new faces and quick, because we are a team badly lacking in confidence and it was very apparent tonight, how this has come about is a mystery as we don't suddenly become a bad team overnight,we have lost only one regular player in Josh Mullin,as to be honest John Gemmell was a bit player, so why this sudden form loss and confidence loss is a mystery,but I think our goalie and back four are having issues which is affecting the team,and with Gary Fisher one booking away from suspension he has been more careful on the pitch,also our inability to score is very apparent,we seem to have a mental block in front of goal, I think we need to get back to basics and keep things simple and I'm sure things will improve.
So, probably the right time to update our 'mini slump' to full blown 'slump' status. A few more results like this and we will be officially in free fall, but that's for another day. A fairly ordinary game then tonight but over the piece we were fairly comfortably beaten by a Stranraer team who were well up for this match.
We worked hard, strung a few decent passes together and created a few chances in the first half. A good ball into the box found Ally in space but the ball was just too high for him to reach. A half chance at best. Then following a fairly slick passing move Stranraer hit a decent drive from outside the box which Ross did well to tip over. Clearly Stranraer had been watching videos of the Ayr game.........
We then broke forward and a few one two's found Willis through with just the keeper to beat. To be fair he had half the Stranraer defence pursuing him and he delayed a bit before getting his shot away which the Stranraer keeper did well to push round the post. That would have been a cracking goal and probably settled our nerves but it wasn't to be.
We had a few lucky escapes where we didn't deal well with crosses into the box and a couple of goalmouth scrambles ensued, but we rode our luck a bit. An in-swinging corner from Stranraer was headed off the line by Kyle and then Ally had another half chance which came to nothing. So 0-0 at half time with Stranraer probably just edging it at that stage. Ross in goal had been decent with Ross Davidson and Fish doing enough to keep us protected at the back and getting us forward with some decent passes. The rain had fairly battered down in the first half and the pitch looked heavy and rutted. And worse than that in places; large places!
Into the second half and Willis didn't re-appear, presumably injured. He was replaced by Archibald who showed some nice touches and didn't look out of place at this level. He's young, all left foot and a bit lightweight but hopefully we'll bring him on.
Ten minutes in and we lost a bad goal. We had been giving away stupid free kicks in dangerous areas around our box for much of the game. Actually we do it in most games. They are the sort of fouls you moan at the referee for giving but you know he is going to penalise you for the challenge all day, every day! And it's only a matter of time before you get punished.
One such stupid foul resulted in a dangerous ball into the box - to be fair, any ball into our box is dangerous the way we defend them - and ........... we've seen this film before. No challenge for the ball and it goes right through to keeper Ross. It seems to take him by surprise and he kind of half catches, half drops, half misses it, the ball breaks to the Stranraer forward and its 1-0. Fairly shambolic and preventable in equal measure.
Straight from the kick off, Stranraer go right up the park and following a decent cutback their guy rattles in number 2!! At that point you know it's game over. We did come back into the game at that point but partially because Stranraer sat back and protected their lead.
We had a couple of chances after that. Big Talu who had come on for Fish in a strange substitution in my opinion, hit a shot from outside the box. It was heading for the corner flag but didn't go out. A quick pass to Talu and he fired a great cross in which McBride got his head to, forcing the keeper into a great save. We then had a decent shout for a penalty when with Ally right through he was caught from behind. I didn't really think it was a penalty if I'm honest but I shouted for it along with the rest of us! Ally also had a goal chalked off for offside when the ball seemed to come off a defender to him and although he finished well it didn't count.
So it just wasn't our night. Stranraer took their chances and deserved to win. Rovers were okay in patches and created a fair few chances. So not a disaster by any means. Yes we need a few new faces and yes we need a goal scorer. I'm fed up writing about our inability to defend balls into the box but that should be an easy fix.
Our next "must win" game then is Brechin and if I was Brechin I would be giving it a right go. Here's hoping we stop the rot with a morale boosting win.
241 souls braved the cold tonight. A decent turnout from the Stranraer fans (30-40 maybe) on a Tuesday night who will have had a happier drive home than I did. Ross Dunlop was man of the match. No stand out performances tonight but no argument with Ross getting the nod.
It's worrying that it's 4 games now we haven't won, the bottom teams have proved better than us and that's not good for rovers, who are 7th in the table, and I would like to know we're the crap is all the money going to, and what about the players fund,
As regards the Squad Fund, Brian, I spoke to a director about that very subject a couple of days ago.The club is aware of exactly how much money we have made available to spend on strengthening the squad (I'll email you and other Squad Fund donors with a full update). The Squad Fund money should (I have been assured) significantly strengthen Darren's hand in his efforts to sign out of contract players for the run-in.
As a contributor to the squad fund, I am more than willing to continue it and increase it if necessary. On another point, it is impossible not to notice the dismal attendances at Cliftonhill. Last night's '241' was utterly depressing; and we only crawled over the 200 mark due to a large contingent from Stranraer. The crowds are lower than we were getting as strugglers in the league below, and shows the utter lack of interest from the town. £14 entry doesn't help either, but it cannot help the morale of the team to have to play in front of twa men and a dug.
I have been trying to bring as many as possible, a norwegian friend of mine came and didn't mind the 14 quid, but a glaswegian friend who showed a lot of enthusiasm for coming when he asked the ticket price and I said "14" he never got back to me. Lol
I think the problem with having a club in such close proximity to Glasgow is that folk expect cheap tickets and when they perceive that they can chip in a few extra quid and see one of the old firm they are put off.
I don't agree with that mentality and am happy to pay 14 quid but that's how I think a lot see it. But it's the club's call and I'm 100% behind our club.
Last night's '241' was utterly depressing; and we only crawled over the 200 mark due to a large contingent from Stranraer. The crowds are lower than we were getting as strugglers in the league below, and shows the utter lack of interest from the town. £14 entry doesn't help either, but it cannot help the morale of the team to have to play in front of twa men and a dug.
There are a lot people on here moaning about the lack of numbers through the gates but it has always been the same. How many people from Coatbridge and surrounding areas do you think actually knew the team were playing last night? In Coatbridge alone, I will say very little would have known until they seen the big floodlights on about 7pm.
In my opinion the club needs take the majority of the blame for this. In the centre of town itself, if you didnt pass by the stadium would anyone know that we had a football club near by? From what I have seen, there is NO advertisment of the club anywhere around town. We have 2 very large supermarkets in the town, surely this should be used to our advantage and get some sort of poster made up to advertise our home games. You dont see any sort of Rovers related things unless you go to the stadium. Also, I am not sure who is in charge of the ARFC social media pages but I dont think they are being utilized to their full potential either.
The club need to generate interest, until that is done then numbers will continue to be low.