Shire’s Townsley hope for must-win Clyde encounter

Chris Townsley
Chris Townsley

East Stirlingshire are hoping that key defender Chris Townsley will be fit to face Clyde at Ochilview this weekend as the club seeks the points it needs urgently to avoid the end-of-season pyramid play-off.

Townsley’s absence has been a blow for Shire, who have fallen behind the pack by eight points with just seven games left of the season. The club’s player of the year in the last two seasons limped off during the 4-2 defeat at the hands of Montrose and has missed the last two games.

It hasn’t helped coach Craig Tully that he has also had to do without midfield lynchpin Neil McCabe, whose knee problem could take weeks to heal, or the experienced John Fraser.

“They are three guys you need to be in the team each week when you are in our position,” said Tully. “But we had to go to Arbroath last week with all three unavailable for what was our most important game of the season.

“It was far from ideal when the stakes were as high as they were. You need your most experienced and your most important players in the team when you are in the position we are in.”

Fraser, at least, will be back in the fold for this weekend’s game after serving a one match suspension. Townsley’s participation will depend on how well he is recovering from the knock he took two weeks ago.