Stenhousemuir must beat Arbroath to maintain play-off hopes, says Booth

Sean Higgins was the two-goal hero for Stenhousemuir last weekend when they secured a vital 3-2 victory at Ayr United
Sean Higgins was the two-goal hero for Stenhousemuir last weekend when they secured a vital 3-2 victory at Ayr United

Scott Booth has admitted that Stenhousemuir must win their next two games if they are to maintain any hope of reaching the League One play-offs.

The Warriors will take on Arbroath, who currently lie in 10th place, at Ochilview on Saturday in confident mood after their remarkable 3-2 victory against promotion rivals Ayr United the previous weekend.

Two late goals from Sean Higgins ensured they turned what looked like certain defeat into a valuable three points, narrowing the gap between Stenny and fourth placed Ayr in the process.

“I thought we were in the ascendency going into the last stage of the game, so I wasn’t surprised when we got the equaliser,” said Booth. “But I was delighted that we still had enough time to find the winner. I told the players that it was a must-win game for us.

“They have a great fighting spirit and proved they’ll keep going until the final whistle to get a result.”

Stenhousemuir still trail Ayr by four points with five matches remaining, but Booth remains upbeat about his side’s chances of joining Dunfermline Athletic and most likely Stranraer, who lie in third place, six points clear, in the play-offs.

“It’s still in the hands of Ayr United and Stranraer,” he said.

“It’s down to us to keep the pressure up. I’m honest enough to say that our next two matches against Arbroath and East Fife are both must-wins if we are to have any aspiration of reaching the play-offs.”

Bryan Hodge and Darren Smith, who both missed the trip to Ayr due to injury, should return to the squad on Saturday.

One player almost certain to keep his place in the Warriors starting XI is new signing Ben Greenhalgh, who has signed up at Ochilview on loan from Inverness Caledonian Thistle until the end of the season.

The English striker marked his debut in a maroon jersey with a goal at Somerset Park.

“Ben gives us something different,” said Booth. “He’ll provide a spark, which we need as we near the end of the season.”