Calm heads and big hearts are needed for Stenny showdown

Stenhousemuir boss Brown Ferguson
Stenhousemuir boss Brown Ferguson

Stenhousemuir go into what will hopefully be their final game of the season with their fate in their own hands.

Last week’s win at Cowdenbeath means Brown Ferguson’s side will secure League 1 status for another season and avoid the relegation play-offs if they beat Albion Rovers at Ochilview on Saturday.

But with the visitors also needing a win to maintain their chance of making the promotion play-offs it’s likely to be a tense afternoon.

Ironically last Saturday brought Stenny to their 40-point target set at the start of the season - 10 points per quarter - with a game to spare.

But the tightness of the league table means one more big effort will be required before the Stenny players can relax and enjoy the summer break.

Ferguson said: “We know what’s at stake and what type of occasion to expect with both teams needing a win.

“It will be a time for calm heads and big hearts and for the players to be strong and focused on what they have to do.

“But we know we have our fate in our own hands and that if we get the victory it doesn’t matter what happens elsewhere.

“And we can take positives from Saturday’s performance which was in complete contrast to the week before against Ayr.

“We played with a real confidence and I felt we were the better team for the majority of the game.

“After what had happened the previous week, when we lost the first goal people might have expected the players to crumble, but they didn’t.

“They responded really well and showed ruthlessness to go on after getting the equaliser and score two more goals.

“It was very encouraging and there are lots of positives we can take into Saturday.”

Ferguson also believes the fans can play a pivotal role in helping to steer Stenny to safety.

He said: “We know we don’t have the largest support but they turned out in numbers at Cowdenbeath and were very loud.

“It was very noticeable and when you get that kind of backing it definitely gets through to the players.

“Even when we went behind they remained positive and got behind the team and we need them to do the same on Saturday.”

Angus Beith has returned to Hearts after the end of his loan spell, but other than long-term injury victims Allan Smith and Jim Paterson the Stenny boss has a full squad to choose form.