Time off not a lucky break, says Stenhousemuir Stephen Swift

Stenhousemuir manager Stephen Swift says the enforced two-week break his side face couldn’t have come at a worse time after their recent upturn in form.

By Ben Kearney
Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 9:00 am
Updated Friday, 29th October 2021, 5:14 pm
Stenhousemuir manager Stephen Swift was happy with the performance
Stenhousemuir manager Stephen Swift was happy with the performance

The Warriors were meant to be in League Two action against Albion Rovers at home at Ochilview today, but that match was postponed due to Brian Reid’s side requiring a Scottish Cup second-round replay against Highland League side Brora Rangers.

It had all the makings of a pivotal afternoon in the League Two season, with Rovers sitting just one point above Swift’s side on 10 points in seventh place.

Both teams would have being going into the match on the back of a win.

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Adam Brown celebrates sealing the victory

Goals from Adam Brown, Thomas Orr and Ross Lyon gave Swift’s side progression into the third round of the Scottish Cup on Saturday courtesy of a 4-1 victory over Highland League side Huntly.

“With games like this, the pressure is always on the SPFL side and they came down with a free hit,” he said after going through.

“They won the toss and had the wind with them for the first half, so it was difficult for us.

“We got our goal and I was content with how things were going, but to then concede so late in the half was really disappointing.

“After the break, we dominated and I was happy with the application from the guys.”

With forward Robert Thomson out injured, the manager was pleased to see the Warriors’ goals being shared around the pitch.

"I had challenged the group to replace what Robert had been giving in the last couple of matches, so it was great for Tam to get two goals,” he said.

“One thing I really want to see is us scoring more goals.

“We create a fair amount of chances and in a few league games this season we’ve ended up paying the price for poor finishing and not taking our chances while on top.”

The third-round draw was made on Sunday night, with the Warriors given a home tie against League One side Airdrieonians.

Adam Brown, Sean Crighton, Euan O’Reilly, Ryan Tierney and Nat Wedderburn were all on the Diamonds’ books before joining Stenny so they’ll know what to expect.

Swift said: “We actually played Airdrie in a friendly a couple of weeks ago and it was a really close game.

“I genuinely believe we can go through if we play to our best on the day.

“It’s got a wee edge to it as well with guys like Sean going up against their old team.

“The fourth round is a massive carrot for us and it opens up the chance of getting one of the biggest teams in the country.”

The ex-Broomhill boss led the Lowland League club to the fifth round of the Scottish Cup in 2020, ending up being beaten by Hibernian 4-1 after an astonishing run and he believes such non-SPFL sides can pose a real danger.

"Some will say it was only Huntly but I have managed at that same level with BSC (Broomhill) and there are quality players throughout each team, guys that could play in the SPFL with ease,” he said.

"We’ve seen with teams like Darvel going through that a cup shock can happen.”