Warriors fans were able to get the first glimpse of the squad that will represent the Ochilview outfit in the coming campaign when Livingston visited in Saturday’s lunchtime friendly.
Goals from Trialist, Liam Buchanan and Ross Millen had the match won by the interval, but home manager Brown Ferguson was not unduly concerned.
“The results are not important at this stage,” he told Heraldsport, “The game gave me a chance to step back and look at some of the trialists we had in and assess some youngsters who might be able to step up from the academy so it served its purpose.”
‘Muir started impressively, zipping the ball about well and passing crisply, but they looked vulnerable at the back when the visitors went ahead with 20 minutes played.
Jordan Sheerin took advantage of a huge hole in the middle to set up the Trialist centre and he did his claims for a contract no harm when he coolly rounded Dean Shaw before planting into the empty net.
That’s when the wheels came off the Stenny trolley. Passes went astray almost monotonously and it was hardly a surprise when Buchanan rattled home the second from close range after a superb Millen crossfield pass easily took out the home defence in the 33rd minute.
Millen himself fired in a third with five minutes of the half remaining when he was allowed to advance to the right edge of the box and things looked ominous for the newly formed Warriors.
Mark Burchell replaced a whole team at the interval, however, and Ferguson made five changes to his team and the cumulative result was that the second period was more evenly matched.
Indeed, the lively Allan Smith just failed to reduce the arrears just before the hour mark with a stinging drive that forced the visiting keeper to desperately punch clear.
While a comeback was never really on the cards, it was not all gloom and doom. Only Ciaran Summers, Kieran Millar and Colin McMenamin played most of last term with the club and the unfamiliarity amongst the squad, understandably, showed.
Nevertheless, Ross Meechan played in a few tempting crosses when he came on at the break and newboys Smith, Alan Cook and keeper Jamie Barclay all looked good additions.
Recruitment is not over, however, “The budget is not exhausted,” manager Ferguson continued, “I hope to bring in a minimum of three new [players before the Shire game in the Petrofac Training Cup on July 25, and a centre half and centre forward are the priorities.
“I was pleased with some things tonight and not with others, but some of the lads out there only met each other before the game.
“We haven’t started to work on a shape and so on, but we will do that at Stirling Uni with a bounce game between ourselves and progress things further.
“After that we are looking forward to coming back for the Family Day at the Park which I hope is well attended by the public.”