After over a week without a game, the Caledonian Braves will be back on the road to face East Stirlingshire this weekend, in a Lowland League clash. Following an impressive 1-1 draw away to Hearts on Friday night last week, we'll be looking to collect more points this weekend, at the Falkirk Stadium.
East Stirlingshire currently sit one place above the Braves on goal difference, after picking up four points in the early stages of the campaign. The Shire's sole vicotry this season was a commanding result, being a 1-4 vicotry away to Gretna 2008 in mid-August. Despite struggling for victories this season, Stirlingshire - similarly to the Braves - have been competitive in most games, losing by a one goal margin on four occasions this campaign. Led by manager Pat Scullion, the Shire possess a talented squad, which was this week bolstered by the signing of young striker Luke Rankin, who could be in line to make his debut, after signing on loan from Alloa this week.
Nothing was to split these two sides last season, with a pair of 1-1 draws occurring when we met in the Lowland League. On the 8th of August, the two sides endured a hard-fought draw, where a Zac Butterworth equaliser was enough to earn the Braves a point, after falling behind the second half. In the reverse game at Alliance Park, the fortunes would once again be the same, with Marc Kelly bagging the equaliser at the two sides shared the points.
Enzo Wright - Back in training after a hamstring issue, looking to play next week.
Cammy Breadner - Back in training after overcoming a minor hip injury
Kristian Gkegkas - Out this week after taking a hip knock during the Hearts B game last week
Our last outing
We come into this weekend's game on the back of a strong performance in the capital, away to Heart of Midlothian B. Our youthful hosts moved the ball well throughout the first half, showing their technical strength. However, the Braves were comfortable and took a well-earned lead on the half hour mark, after Jack McDowall smashed home a fantastic strike from the edge of the box, to mark his first league game in ten months, in style. Unfortunately, our hosts levelled in the 40th minute, when Sandilands found himself free at the back post, to header in the equaliser for Hearts. Our hosts piled on the pressure in the first half, as they looked to continue their fine start to the season, but couldn't find a way through a resilient Braves back-line. Substitute Louis Thompson came close to winning it for the Braves with ten minutes to go, however we left Ainslie Park with a richly deserved point to end our losing streak in the Lowland League. A great performance from the boys on the night!
£10/£7/Free (under 14 with adult).
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Best of luck to Ricky and the lads!