Stenhousemuir suffer back-to-back home defeats in Premier Sports Cup
After kicking off with a win at Dumbarton last week, it was Partick who were the first visitors of the season to Ochilview on Saturday.
Thomas Orr gave the hosts the lead from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark and they held on to that advantage to half-time.
Ex-Falkirk striker Zak Rudden got the Jags level seven minutes after the break and Brian Graham gave them the lead on 73 minutes to secure the three points.
After facing the current League 1 champions, things only got tougher for Stephen Swift’s side as they hosted St Mirren in their next match on Tuesday night.
Stenny managed to get to half-time with the scores level at 0-0 but the Paisley side, who finished seventh in the Scottish Premiership last season, made the breakthrough five minutes into the second half through Curtis Main.
Kristian Dennis gave the visitors a two-goal advantage on 66 minutes, but Orr pulled one back for the Warriors not long after.
An equaliser might have come but it was the Buddies who wrapped up the win when Lee Erwin’s injury-time goal sealed victory.
Speaking after the St Mirren defeat, Stenny manager Stephen Swift said: “Similarly to Saturday, the set-up, effort and commitment was all there to see, but we can’t give away soft goals.
“We’re testing them at half-time, ‘can we come out and be as rigid as we were on Saturday and as concentrated?’ and the answer was no because we gave away two cheap goals.
“I thought we took the sting out of St Mirren’s play in the first half. As much as they scored three goals, they weren’t carving us open.
“After our goal we rallied really well and had a couple of scrambles in the box, but you always give yourself a tough task when you’re two goals down.”
Things don’t get any easier for Stenny as they finish up their group-stage fixtures this Saturday at East End Park against Dunfermline.
The Pars, along with St Mirren and Partick, are very much in contention for a spot in the knockout stages either as group winners or best placed runners-up while Stenny are now officially unable to qualify.
That was always going to be a monumental task, though, and Swift has always viewed these games as being more about extra preparation for the League 2 season kicking off on July 31.
“This section really is tough and we just have to move on to it,” said Swift.
“Our focus is the league and this will be the last chance for players to stake a claim for the first team against Stirling Albion and we’ll use it for that.
“I’m sure Dunfermline will give us a tough game, especially at their place.”
The other match in the group sees St Mirren face Partick. Dumbarton have already played, and lost, all four of their games.