Weary Warriors overcome by title hopefuls torrent of goals

Davie Irons and Brown Ferguson have plenty to think about
Davie Irons and Brown Ferguson have plenty to think about

Stenhousemuir boss Brown Ferguson admits that his players must show more leadership on the pitch if the Warriors are to defy their critics and avoid relegation this season.

Ferguson was speaking after Stenny’s third league defeat from three – a 4-1 loss to title hopefuls Livingston at a torrential Almondvale on Saturday. Asked what he thought of his side’s display in West Lothian, Brown responded with a clear message that his players need to show more heart on the pitch.

“It’s a hugely frustrating afternoon”, said Ferguson. “From the first five minutes of the game onwards. We conceded such a cheap goal from a set play after unforgivable defending.

“Clearly we were beaten by the better team today but our general play and game management was poor. We lost goals from situations where we had comfortable possession. That can’t happen.

“We’ve shown in games that we’re capable of playing and competing but until we take a greater leadership individually on the pitch we’re going to find it difficult to take points from games.”

The Warriors boss also admitted that there were elements of tiredness that set into the team as the game went on, understandable after Stenny’s midweek exploits in the newly-branded Irn-Bru Cup against Rangers 20s.

“I felt there was an element of fatigue in the players after that tough match against Rangers in midweek. That obviously didn’t help in the closing stages of the match.”

In truth, Stenny wouldn’t have got anything from this game even if they’d have been fully rested in midweek, such was the gap in quality between the sides.

It took the hosts just four minutes to put their stamp on the game with the impressive Danny Mullen tucking home at the near post after a surging run from centre-back Sean Crighton. Scott Pittman made it two on the 20 minute mark with a low driven shot past McCabe.

The visitors then fought their way back into the game but were hit by a Livi sucker-punch just after half-time with Mullen grabbing his second of the afternoon in “all-too-easy” circumstances.

A fourth from left-back Jackson Longridge followed and although Stenny did find a late consolation, courtesy of a Colin McMenamin penalty, the result had a real damning feeling about. The Warriors will need to start picking up points they’re to move up the League 1 table.