Stephen Swift delighted with six match unbeaten run

Stenhousemuir made it six wins without defeat after a 2-0 victory over fourth-placed Annan Athletic in League 2 on Saturday.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 7:34 pm
Updated Friday, 19th November 2021, 10:20 pm
Euan O'Reilly celebrates the second goal (Pics Scott Louden)

The Warriors have now moved into fifth place, just one point behind the Galabank side, after that win.

Manager Stephen Swift was delighted with the doggedness his side displayed to pick up a hard-fought three points.

“It was a proper digging-in-type performance and the game wasn’t littered with loads of chances,” he said. “We managed to go a goal ahead before the break and my challenge to the guys at half-time was to go and see the game out by any means necessary.

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Stephen Swift applauds the fans at full time

“We’ve been involved in a fair few scrappy games already this season and we have lost out in them, so I wanted the guys to make sure they came out on the right side of the result.

“In terms of character and how to dig out a result, I asked the boys had they really turned a corner? They did that magnificently and we were the better team in the second half and deserved to win the match. Getting another goal late on to seal the three points was helpful.”

Euan O’Reilly continued his excellent form by adding to Adam Brown’s penalty with a well-taken goal to ensure the three points stayed at Ochilview. The ex-Airdrieonians winger has been a standout in recent weeks and Swift was full of praise for the 21-year-old.

“His tail is up and he is flying at the minute,” he said. “He’s a real confidence player and you can see he believes in himself at the moment. The crowd is really getting behind him, which he thrives off.

Nat Wedderburn drives with the ball past Iain Anderson

“He is vital to us with the way he carries the ball and takes on defenders, getting us up the pitch. Even when you look at his stats like sprint distances and things like that, they are off the charts at the moment.

“He’s working hard and getting the rewards for it.”

After an indifferent start to the campaign, the Warriors didn’t pick up a league win until September against Annan away from home.

Their two recent home wins against Albion Rovers and now Annan were also the first two of the campaign at Ochilview and Swift believes his side are starting to play the way he wants them to.

“We are in a good place and after some issues outwith our control at the start of the season with things like Covid, it feels like it is all coming together now,” he said.

“The guys have really taken on board what we have put across to them at training and it is paying off big time.

"The fans have got right behind us too.”

Stenhousemuir now face a trip to league leaders Kelty Hearts on Saturday, with the Central Park side still unbeaten in League 2 and 10 points to the good ahead of their nearest challengers, Forfar Athletic.

Swift said: “Kelty is a massive test for us and it will probably show us where we are at. If we want to really challenge at the top, then we need to go into games like this with no fear and look to take three points from it, which we will.

“With Airdrie coming up in the Scottish Cup as well, it will be a difficult couple of weeks, but these are the games you really look forward to because I know if we play to our best, we can win both games, which would be a real achievement.”