Shire striker Rodgers: Don't write us off yet

It may not be the start that East Stirlingshire fans had been hoping for but striker Andy Rodgers says no-one should write them off yet.

Shire striker Andy Rodgers
Shire striker Andy Rodgers

Shire already have fallen five points off the Lowland League early pacesetters after failing to win, or even score a goal, in the first two home fixtures of the new campaign.

They return to Ochilview on Sunday hoping to break both ducks when Shire host Civil Service Strollers who, last season, were one of only a handful of teams to take any points from a trip to face John Sludden’s men in a 3-3 draw.

Rodgers insists the start to the season is “not the end of the world” and is convinced that a more competitive division means their slow start might not count for a lot in the long run.

“The league as a whole is looking a lot tighter,” said Rodgers. “The results over the first three or four games show that. Even East Kilbride and Spartans, who were up there with us last season have been grinding out results rather than brushing teams aside.

“Maybe it will make for a better season and if we work really hard then the results will turn for us pretty soon.”

Many had anticipated that Sludden’s men would be among the early form teams but that hasn’t transpired.

Shire got off to the worst possible start losing to BSC Glasgow 3-0 on the opening day. And despite a convincing 4-0 away win at Whitehill Welfare, Sludden’s team’s last two results have been disappointing draws away at Dalbeattie Star and, last Saturday, 0-0 at home to Gala Fairydean Rovers.

Rodgers was one who was prepared for a harder season this time round but admits to some frustration so far.

“It’s maybe a different style of play and maybe other teams are closing the gap. But it’s early days and we will keep going,” he added.

They will have to go into Sunday’s encounter without new signing Kevin Kelbie.

The former Camelon Juniors and Linlithgow Rose striker was shown a straight red card in last Saturday’s game for directing some comments at the match referee and has been given a one match ban.