Berwick v East Stirlingshire preview: Skipper Kevin Turner set to return

Kevin Turner celebrates his equaliser against Annan last weekend. Picture: John Devlin
Kevin Turner celebrates his equaliser against Annan last weekend. Picture: John Devlin

East Stirlingshire skipper Kevin Turner looks set to make an instant return to John Coughlin’s starting line-up for this weekend’s visit to Berwick Rangers.

The club captain was dropped from the team for the first time this season last weekend against Annan Athletic after a run of disappointing performances which had seen Shire’s main striker fail to score in the league this season.

But relegation to the substitutes bench seems to have been just the tonic Turner needed. His cameo appearance at the end of the game brought an end to his scoring drought and the skipper was unlucky not to score another while he also created for others.

And that seems to have convinced the coach not only to restore him to the starting eleven, but to break with his lone striker policy and play both Turner and Paul Quinn together.

“I rate Kevin as a player and as a person,” said Coughlin. “I gave him the captain’s armband and that’s not a decision to be taken lightly when there are players here who are vastly more experienced at this level.

“He plays in the hardest position in football; as a striker with the responsibility for scoring goals. And because of that there are times when you need a rest both physically and mentally.

“Paul Quinn came in for him on Saturday and he merited that on the back of a couple of goals he scored against Albion Rovers,” he said.

And now that both strikers are at last scoring goals it seems that Coughlin is prepared to re-visit the issue of teaming them both up as a twin-pronged strike force.

The coach has shown a reluctance to do so until now, preferring an ‘either-or’ policy when it has come to selecting Turner and Quinn. But with Shire now struggling to find a winning formula after a successful start Coughlin is prepared for a re-think.

“We have played with one striker but that’s not to say that will continue,” he said. “There are various ways we can play and we have tried Quinn and Turner together. That is something we need to work on.”

Coughlin plays his cards close to his chest when it comes to team selection and the first anyone will know whether he has changed tack will be an hour before kick-off at Shielfield on Saturday.

“They have won once in ten but they have to win again sometime, we have to be wary.”