Stephen Swift: Stenhousemuir boss admits side are in a 'difficult moment' after another draw

Stenhousemuir manager Stephen Swift admits his team are in a ‘difficult moment’ after they slumped to a 1-1 draw at home with Bonnyrigg Rose in League Two – a result that saw them move to six league outings without a win.
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Adam Brown’s first-half penalty just before the break put the Warriors ahead on Saturday at Ochilview, but they conceded straight from kick off when Bradley Barrett found the top corner from 30-yards out.

"We’ve picked up far too many draws recently,” Swift said of his side’s recent form. “In the first half against Bonnyrigg, we were the better team and we should have went in at the break a couple of goals up at least – but we didn’t and that has been our downfall too many times this campaign.”

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"The boy has a 30-odd yard screamer for them and it was a bit of a body blow for us because we were on top at that point and the goal came out of nothing. It is one I couldn’t really blame any player for, it was just a well-taken goal from the opposition.

Stenhousemuir v Bonnyrigg Rose 19/11/22 Yates for StennyStenhousemuir v Bonnyrigg Rose 19/11/22 Yates for Stenny
Stenhousemuir v Bonnyrigg Rose 19/11/22 Yates for Stenny

"In the second half they Bonnyrigg were on it and to be fair to them they probably shaded it. It felt like one of those matches that we could have had it sorted out and buried in the first half but we took our foot off the gas. We aren’t getting games over the line.

"I am not worried though because we have a great group here and I believe in them. I know the fans are angry, and some are very angry, but I’d ask for them to stick with us. Things change quickly in football.”

With three draws in their last four outings, boss Swift made two changes to the team at the weekend with first-choice goalkeeper Conor Brennan and midfielder Michael Anderson coming into the starting eleven.

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He explained: “Conor didn’t have the greatest game against Stranraer and he made a couple of mistakes that led to goals. A good team must have that competition for places and if someone is knocking on the poor then they should get their chance.

Stenhousemuir v Bonnyrigg Rose 19/11/22Stenhousemuir v Bonnyrigg Rose 19/11/22
Stenhousemuir v Bonnyrigg Rose 19/11/22

“What I really like about Jay is that he isn’t just happy to be a number two, he wants to progress in the game and he is working hard all the time to show that. Michael added a bit more dig and energy in that midfield area and I think we have been lacking that recently. He also really suits our home pitch with the size of the surface and he did well.”

Stenhousemuir now turn their attention to the Scottish Cup third round on Saturday afternoon as they make the long trip north to Pitmedden to face Highland League outfit Formartine United.

The Aberdeenshire side sit fifth spot in the table, eight points behind current leaders Brechin City. They’ve beaten Falkirk side East Stirlingshire and Carnoustie Panmure so far in the competition this year.

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“The teams in the top-half of the Highland League are all tough opposition,” Swift said. “We need to make sure that we are on it from the start of the match. Stranraer recently beat us and they lost in the last round up at Fraserburgh, so that just shows you that it isn’t a given.

“We have done as much homework as we can on Formartine and we’ll go up there with the right attitude. We are in a difficult moment and a win would really be a boost for the whole club.”