Sludden warns EK won’t be OK after previous Shire reversal

East Stirlingshire boss John Sludden. Pic Alan Murray
East Stirlingshire boss John Sludden. Pic Alan Murray

It goes without saying that East Stirlingshire coach John Sludden is not expecting a repeat of the result the last time his men faced Lowland League champions East Kilbride when the teams meet again at Ochilview this Saturday.

In fact, Sludden is pointing to Shire’s 1-0 victory over current leaders BSC Glasgow last Saturday as the kind of reaction that he expects from Billy Stark’s players.

The ten men battled back and won through a late Derek Ure strike and while Shire’s 5-0 win at K Park in September was the undoubted highlight of their campaign so far until last weekend, he says there’s a moral in the story that connects the two results.

“We expect East Kilbride to be hurting after what happened between us the last time,” he said. “But we also expect that it may give them an incentive to get it right this time round.

“We know that ourselves from last week when we played BSC. When we lost to them earlier in the season at Ochilview it was a sore one for us to take and that only made us more determined to beat them when the next opportunity came along.

“If East Kilbride see this Saturday’s game in the same terms then that wouldn’t come as any surprise to us. In any case, there is too much experience in our squad to get carried away. This weekend is a completely different game.”

Not only will their visitors be smarting from the memory of the 5-0 defeat in the reverse fixture they will also want to bounce back from a 1-0 defeat against Edinburgh University last Saturday.

Connor Greene will be suspended but Sludden is hoping the stomach bug which has ravaged his squad recently has now run its course. Shire will miss Greene at the back. But Sludden thinks they will overcome his absence. “We now have competition for places,” he said. “Connor’s out but someone else has the chance to come in and show what they can do.

“Adam Murray has come in and taken his chance in similar circumstances and he’s been fantastic and although it’s unfortunate for Connor someone else now has an opportunity.”

Kick off at Ochilview is 3pm.