Shire look to Glasgow ahead of Gretna visit

East Stirlingshire welcome Gretna to Ochilview.
East Stirlingshire welcome Gretna to Ochilview.

John Sludden is facing an anxious wait to find out if winger Jamie Glasgow will be fit to play in East Stirlingshire’s weekend Lowland League fixture against Gretna 2008 at Ochilview.

The 23 year-old was forced to limp out of Saturday’s narrow 1-0 defeat at Spartans after just 20 minutes with a hamstring problem, and missed the team’s training session on Tuesday.

Sludden wants to give the player every opportunity to be ready for Shire’s next game which has taken on extra significance following the Spartans defeat.

Glasgow was shaping up to be the team’s most influential player in Edinburgh when injury forced him to come off and there’s no doubt his absence did affect their chances.

Now Sludden admits it’s just a waiting game to see if the player will be ready to line up on Saturday.

“Jamie’s an important outlet for us in terms of what he does in the final third of the pitch,” said the Shire boss. “It certainly upset us on Saturday in terms of us going forward. He’s been so important in terms of scoring goals and creating goals.

“We will just need to wait and see. Hopefully he will respond to treatment over the next 48 hours. We don’t think it’s a pull and it might be just a bit of tightness in the hamstring. But in time we will know a bit better.”

There is some hope that Glasgow will be able to play and his participation has not by any means been ruled out.

He has been one of the main attacking threats for Shire this season, scoring six league goals already and setting up others to score.

Sludden accepts Shire need to get back to winning ways against Gretna. The stated aim of winning the Lowland League is starting already to look a bit of a tall order; they have slipped eight points behind leaders East Kilbride having played a game more.

Saturday’s defeat has even cast them four points adrift of second-place Spartans. But Sludden remains in defiant mood. “It’s still only September and there is a lot of football to be played yet,” he said. “A lot of things can happen between now and even Christmas time.

“Teams can pick up injuries and suspensions. There’s still a lot of football to be played yet and a lot to be decided.”

This weekend’s opponents come into their visit to Ochilview encouraged by a Scottish Cup win over Highland League Deveronvale that broke a run of four straight defeats.

Gretna also tend to do far better away from home than they do on their own patch, another warning sign.