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    Allan Maitland Previews East Fife game 

    Friday, March 04, 2011 1:32:05 PM

    I would like to extend a warm welcome to John Robertson who comes to Recreation Park for the first time as manager of East Fife FC, bringing with him his players, coaches, directors and supporters for what is a vitally important match for both clubs. Last weeks game against Livingston was such a strange game for us in the sense that I felt the team played well in the game and for 55 minutes of the match we were comfortable against the league leaders away from home, they hadn’t posed us any real threat at that stage of the game and the best two opportunities in the game had fallen our way to Bryan Prunty in the first half, but all that changed when we gave a away a needless penalty and then immediately lost a second goal with some slack passing and within a minute a game that we had a good control of suddenly slipped away, thereafter the more we pushed forward to get back into the game the more open we became and were further punished, which resulted in a score line which did not give a true reflection of the game and our efforts. On a positive note the introduction of young Ross Philp into the first team has been excellent, he has done really well in the last three games and could have been named our man of the match in two of these games, so I hope that is the start of a long and fruitful Alloa Athletic career, he certainly has been very patient, last year we brought him into the side a bit early but this season he has stayed with the Under 19s and trained with them and has been gradually nurtured into the first team and that appears to have worked well for him.
    Today’s game against East Fife will again be a very difficult fixture, against a side who are the top scorers in the division with 50 goals after their excellent 3-1 victory over Peterhead in midweek, Alloa Athletic fans and players will not want reminded of the 4-1 defeat at Methil at the start of November, a game which is as bad as we have played all season. They have great attacking options in their side which has resulted in them not being short of goals this season. For our own point of view we know our home form needs to improve again as it was at the beginning of the season and today is a game we really must target to gain a victory if we are to keep ourselves away from the bottom end of the league table, our recent victory against Airdrie United, epitomised everything that we need to be if we are going to win these games – we were defensively secure, concentration levels were excellent, we created chances, scored two out of four or five great chances and our goalkeeper when called upon was there with safe hands, so all these things make us better and harder to beat – unfortunately that has not been the case often enough this season. If we can get these things right I believe we are as good as any team in our division. On the injury front we will be missing David McClune, Mark Brown and Nathan Taggart today, while Scott Walker will today start the first of a two match suspension, on a brighter note Brown Ferguson on Tuesday night played for over an hour in a bounce game against Clydebank which we won 3-1, that was his first game of the season and hopefully we can now get him involved for the remainder of the season, we have missed his drive in the middle of the park and his experience and determination has been sadly missed, his return will be very welcome at this stage in the season.

    Allan Maitland

    Managers Corner