Stenhousemuir top League 2 table after impressive win at Stranraer
After defeating title rivals The Spartans (3-2) and Peterhead (2-0) in their previous two fixtures at Ochilview – Gary Naysmith’s men swept the Stair Park side aside with goals from Matthew Aitken, Matty Yates and Euan O’Reilly sealing the three points.
That win, which sees the Warriors stretch their unbeaten league run to nine outings, puts the team top by a single goal, having collected 28 points from their opening 13 fixtures.
And boss Naysmith hailed his team for giving him a ‘perfect birthday week’ after the former Scotland international turned 45 last Thursday.
"These sort of weeks don’t happen that often in football,” he told Warriors TV. “So I told the players to enjoy it. It has been a tough week but we have came through it with maximum points, eight goals scored, two clean sheets and we now sit top of the table. I actually forgot it was my birthday.
"Stranraer made it difficult for us and they didn’t allow us to play our game – but sometimes in football you have to win a different way. The players did that. I don’t to want to go over the top but the players deserve praise.
"The distances we covered against Peterhead was our highest of the season so far. Against The Spartans we came from behind twice. We then showed our fitness against Stranraer.”
“That’s eight out of 13 games now (that we’ve kept a clean sheet in the league) and that is outstanding at any level. Long may it continue.”
The boss also singled out striker Matthew Aitken for his performance against Scott Agnew’s team, labelling it ‘one of the best hold up displays he has seen’ at League 2 level.
Since joining after leaving Forfar Athletic, Aitken, 26, has netted seven times in 13 league outings, having also grabbed three assists, but it is his selfless nature that has really shone through.
"He has been outstanding,” Naysmith said. “That was one of the best hold up displays I have seen of a football at this level. I think he maybe gave the ball away once. He is a willing runner and did some distance over the past three games.
"He got another goal today too and he is scoring often. It has been a fantastic month for him.”
The Warriors now have a free weekend due to Scottish Cup action, and they now host fifth-placed Bonnyrigg Rose at Ochilview on Saturday, December 2, with kick-off at 3pm.