Shire to face Red Lichties scoring machine

EAST Stirlingshire will have to face the Third Division's most potent strike force at the weekend without one of their key defenders.

Alex Walker will have

to sit out the match

against Arbroath

at Gay?eld through

suspension after his red

card against Clyde last

Saturday.

It's a blow for Shire who

will not get it easy at the

league's form team since

Arbroath have won six,

and drawn one, of their

last seven matches and

scored thirteen goals

in their last four league

games.

The likeliest replacement

for the suspended Walker

is teenage defender

Stewart Beveridge, who

has started the last

couple of games on the

bench but who already

has clocked up a fair bit

of ?rst team experience.

Shire coach Jim McInally

is still angry at the way

Walker got his marching

orders against Clyde at

the weekend.

"They were two very

soft bookings," he said.

"Craig Tully committed

about 20 fouls in the

game but didn't get

booked, while Alex made

two challenges and got

sent-off.

"What really gets at me

is the fact that Alex was

the victim of the game's

worst tackle yet the

referee did nothing about

it."

Thankfully, Walker

was available for last

night's Scottish Cup-tie

against Buckie Thistle at

Ochilview, but McInally

realises he will be a big

loss for the team at

Gay?eld.

"Alex is a key player for

us and he has already

missed a number of

matches through injury

problems," he said. "For

me he has been one of

our better players since

he came back into the

team.

"I thought he was

outstanding in the cup

win at Spartans and

against Clyde not only

was he part of a solid

back three but he also

scored a fantastic goal.

So there is no doubt he

will be a loss."

However, the coach

still has plenty of

con?dence in 19 year-

old Beveridge who got a

run in the team earlier

in the season because of

Walker's injury problems.

The former Hibernian

youth team player has

sat out the two matches

Shire have played since

the end of their enforced

winter break, and

McInally says there is a

reason for that.