Our Club correspondent speaks to Scott Booth ahead of the last league match of the current season.
If the Warriors are going to reach the play-offs they will need a fair bit of luck, with other results going the right way and an improved performance at Brechin on Saturday. Against Airdrieonians at Ochilview, Stenhousemuir started positively but were unable to break down a resolute defence and then lost their way after losing a goal, something gaffer Scott Booth admitted.
“No, Saturday was not the best, I think we had a decent position up until about 25 minutes, although we had not threatened them as much as I would have liked,” said Booth, who added: “We were playing against a team that were just basically sitting in and they were making it really difficult because they were compact, they were playing just the one up front so it meant it was quite congested in the central part of the field.
“I think a little bit of patience was needed and the point at 25 minutes when they scored really put us on the back foot and we did not handle it particularly well.” However, the Warriors came back in the second half but could not get the breakthroughs they needed. Booth said: “We regrouped at half-time and obviously tried everything as usual to try to get us back on level pegging and then to try to win the game but we could not get that second goal, we hit the post twice and had numerous opportunities in the second half to hurt them but we didn't take them.”
The turning point was the Airdrie goal but Booth still felt Stenny should have coped with that better, saying: “It did [change things] but you are hoping it does not effect the team to the point where in the next 20 minutes you do not create anything and you do not go out and handle it. So the first half from 25 minutes on was disappointing in the way we handled it but we regrouped for the second half and came out a bit more ready to hurt the opposition but it did not materialise.”
Stenny must win at Brechin and hope Ayr slip up in their final game at home to East Fife, who need a win to be sure of avoiding the drop. It is out of Stenny's hands but a good finish is still very important, as Booth admitted: “That is it, we need to get back to winning ways, we cannot determine anything other than winning the game we have in front of us and we will see how we handle it.”
It will not be easy, the Warriors do not have a good record at Glebe Park, although the last few games against Brechin have been better. Booth said: “It is a difficult place to go and get a win but we have obviously beaten them this season, we won here the last time round and we know about them and we know we can beat them, so it is a case of going there with a similar performance to the one we put in here and getting the three points, then we will see what happens after that.”
On the injury front, Eddie Malone is still out and Sean Higgins had a slight knock on Saturday but Booth is hopeful he will be OK, although the situation with skipper Ross McMillan is more serious, the gaffer said: “Ross pulled up with his groin and that is going to be a problem but we will wait and see right up to the last minute.”