Oliver’s absence is still being felt

Scott Booth, Stenhousemuir manager
Scott Booth, Stenhousemuir manager

Stenhousemuir will look to get on track after a disappointing visit to Airdrie when they host pre-season title favourites Dunfermline Athletic at Ochilview on Saturday.

The Pars may not have quite swept all before them as some pundits predicted, but Jim Jeffries’ side remain formidable opponents and remain only a point off surprise league leaders Forfar Athletic.

Stenny fans, meanwhile, are beginning to make nervous glances at the opposite end of the table. Defeat at New Broomfield leaves The Warriors in ninth place, four ahead of Stirling Albion, who received a morale-boosting Scottish Cup win against Hurlford United last weekend.

With tough games against Morton, Ayr United and Forfar on the horizon, manager Scott Booth knows his side must begin to pick up points and turn narrow losses into wins.

The Airdrie defeat was due in part, he admitted, by too many errors. “It was our own mistake for the second goal and we got punished - that’s the way its been,” he said after game.

“The boys showed determination to get back into the game and did okay but just couldn’t get the goal back that would have given them a problem.

“We’ve known for a few weeks that it’s going to be tough. After we beat Stirling we thought we’d turned the corner with respects to results for us, but since then, we’ve been punished for mistakes.

“We’ve not at any time been overrun by a team. We’ve played really, really well, with most teams we’ve played bar the time we went down to ten men against Forfar, and whenever that happens we are punished.

“Against Airdrie it was the first attack they scored from and got a lift.”

Booth added that the continuing absence of Gary Oliver had hampered the team, and that the return of Martin Grehan to full fitness would also be a boost.

“He’s been fantastic since he joined and is always a threat. Martin Grehan is our top scorer and he’s not quite there after three weeks out,” he added.

“It’s been difficult to get back into the swing of things but the game at Airdrie will do him the world of good.

“I don’t think there’s a lack of confidence, but when you’re not getting results and are being punished it’s not easy to play fluid attractive football.

We are currently a place where we need to dig in and give everything in the game and we lost that on Saturday and let Airdrie get into their game plan

It’s up to us to have that extra goal more than them.”