Stenhousemuir 1 v 1 East Stirlingshire
Played at Ochilview Park on Saturday, 22nd November 2008 at 15:00
Stenhousemuir v East Stirlingshire at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 22.11.08
Irn Bru League Three Att 737
Stenhousemuir 1 [Dalziel 51] East Stirlingshire 1 [Graham 26]
The highest crowd for this local derby for some time saw an intriguing match that the Shire support will feel should have seen all three points go their way but in the end a share of the spoils was probably the right result.
The Warriors going into this game were sitting top of the table but were under no illusions about the task ahead as the Shire are currently the form team of the league and had actually taken more points at Ochilview in home games than their landlords. This is a testament to how much the Shire have improved and that any loss of points by the Warriors would not have been the shock that it became in recent years despite the Shire managing to comprehensively turn over Stenhousemuir at least once a season in the last couple.
The Warriors once again were struggling to put a fit starting eleven on the park with Stevie Ferguson playing once again with a heavy cold and Craig McEwan starting his first league game of the season after the suspension of Willie Lyle for his dismissal against Cowdenbeath. The bench saw a welcome return of several players who have suffered with injury recently but they like McEwan were lacking match fitness.
The league leaders started promisingly and almost scored after only two minutes when Robert Love picked out Scott Dalziel and his half volley was superbly parried clear by Jamie Barclay the on loan keeper from Falkirk. After this initial promise the game became a stop start affair with the game interrupted by the constant whistle of referee Thomas Robertson and although it was a combative game there were a number of occasions when the game seemed to stop unnecessarily. The Warriors had a penalty claim turned down when Craig Tully climbed all over Scott Dalziel in the 19th minute as the forward tried to get a header and although these penalties are not always awarded given what was perceived as a foul outside the box the Warriors did have a grievance. Three minutes later it was the Shire’s turn to be frustrated when they also had a claim turned down when Eddie Forrest appeared to be hampered by McEwan. The ‘Shire did not let that upset them too much though as they took the lead in the 26th minute when Brian Graham finished a sweeping move that had culminated in a killer pass from Andy Rodgers to Graham and the on loan striker from Morton made no mistake with his finish.
Jamie Barclay kept the Shire ahead in the 32nd minute when he denied Andy Brand stopping the Warrior’s header from close range. Before half time the Shire could have went further ahead when Gary Kelly had only Scott Bennett to beat but the keeper did well to stop the attempted lob with his chest on the edge of the box.
The Shire had another penalty claim turned down just after the resumption when Dean Richardson appeared to be tripped by McEwan but the referee once again turned them down though this looked a more clear cut decision that should have went the Shire’s way.
Three minutes later their frustration was compounded when out of the blue te Warriors equalised when Scott Dalziel was allowed to run across goal without a valid tackle being made before dispatching the ball under the diving Barclay’s body.
In the closing stages of the game it was the visitors who had the best chances to wrap up the three points with Marc McKenzie seeing a diving header go wide when if it had been on target would have been a goal but it has to be said the diminutive striker does not have many headed goalscoring opportunities.
This was followed by a good save from Bennett who thwarted David Dunn after the Shire midfielder picked up a loose ball and charged forwards leaving himself with only Bennett to beat.
As the game drew to a close the Shire were reduced to ten men when Paul Hay received his second booking for a foul after picking up an earlier card for dissent and thus compounded the Shires disappointment in the performance of the referee.
In the end this was one of the most keenly fought matches between the teams in recent years and although the Warriors maintain their league position and unbeaten home record the Shire have also shown what they are capable of and both managers will not be too unhappy with the outcome
Stenhousemuir – Bennett, McEwan, McGroarty, Thom, Ovenstone, Thomson, Shirra, Ferguson [Desmond 79], Dalziel, Brand and Love [Hampshire 79]. Subs not used – McManus, Brazil and Renton
East Stirlingshire – Barclay, Hay[b54][so89], Richardson [Dunn 74], Forrest [b53], Bolochowckyj [b21], Tully [b33], Kelly, Anderson [Cramb 59], Graham [b26][McKenzie 79], Ure and Rodgers. Subs not used – Krivocapic and Newman
Referee – Thomas Robertson Assistants – Lawrence Kerrigan and Stuart Hodge
© The Scottish Football League
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