PJ feels brunt of parent rant after red card

Paul John Sludden
Paul John Sludden

Paul Sludden did not escape the wrath of his dad for a weekend red card which again limits East Stirlingshire’s selection options for Saturday’s Lowland League trip to bottom side Selkirk.

Shire head coach John Sludden would certainly have preferred his son not to have been banned for the game at Yarrow Park; especially in the light of injuries and departures from the club in recent weeks which has shrunk the size of his squad.

Scot Buist, Craig Comrie and Ross Fisher have all had their contracts torn up for various reasons and haven’t been replaced. Andy Grant’s been missing on holiday and goalie Darren Dolan’s is out for six weeks with a shoulder injury.

Shire could do without suspensions, especially ones the coach considers needless. The striker was given his marching orders for pushing an opponent to the ground after Shire players were outraged by a bad foul on Adam Murray.

“I don’t know why he had to get involved,” said Sluuden senior. “The rules are nowadays that if you raise your hands or you push someone then it’s a straight red card. It’s silly and he knows that himself.

“It’s something we need to learn from,” the Shire coach continued. “We have had other players booked for talking back to referees and that kind of thing could cost us as the season goes on and we have to watch our discipline.

“The rules are changing and you just can’t talk back to referees and we need to watch for that.”

Sludden is certainly keen to fill the gaps that have appeared in his squad. He looks likely to offer a deal to Jamie Barclay, who took over in goal for last weekend’s win over Cumbernauld Colts, and also to left-back Drew Ramsay who played as a trialist in the last two games.

“Jamie brings a lot of experience as well as being a very good goalkeeper,” said Sludden. “He brings a lot of experience, is a good organiser and being here he can only benefit the squad. Big Drew has given us a bit of balance to the left-hand side and he’s very good going forward as well so we will speak to him and hopefully get things tied up.”

In addition to former Clyde full-back Ramsay in his squad for this week’s game, Sludden will also be able to call on the services of Andy Grant after a two week absence.