First Team

Old cliche of goals change games for Waddell after Shire loss

5th December 2020

For Caledonian Braves manager Ricky Waddell, the biggest disappointment in the 3-0 loss to East Stirlingshire was the timing of the goals and the manner in which they were conceded.

Shire ascended to the top of the league thanks to an early goal from Sean Brown who headed in from a corner. Goals from Reis Peggie and Nicky Low in the second half resigned the Braves to defeat after a positive week in the wake of the win over Cumbernauld Colts last weekend.

Waddell said that Shire were the better side over the course of the game, but were more efficient in both final thirds than the Braves.

He said: "I think between the two boxes there's nothing in the game. I think in possession there wasn't too much in it, we had some nice bits and pieces of play and maybe edged it in some areas in certain periods of the game, but the goals and the timing of the goals are the difference.

"I felt they were very clinical and they deserved their win because of that. They defended better than us. We lose the goal from a corner early on and I think Ross McNeil has a great chance to level and if there's anyone on the park I want it to fall to it's Ross. It's that old saying that goals, and the timing of goals, can have an impact on the mentality a wee bit, and I think it did.

"It's hard to say it but there are positives that I see from that game. You can play like that and win games if you defend better. And I'm not talking about goalkeepers, I'm not talking about the back four themselves, I'm talking about everybody."

The result leaves the Braves in 14th place in the league, five points ahead of third-bottom Dalbeattie Star. The three goals conceded against Shire took the goals against tally in the league to 23 and Waddell said his team need to improve in that area and can start by altering their reaction to losing goals.

He said: "You're going to lose goals in football but it's about accepting that situation and understanding why we're losing goals, be it mentality, depth, tactics or luck or can we do better in 1v1 situations, can we pick up better. When you lose a goal from a corner it's essentially because we're not picking up well enough. So okay, you need to put the hand up there.

"But we need to do those jobs. The second goal down the side John [Guthrie] stumbles, but we lose the ball high up so before that and could we have ratted that down? Could we have made a tactical fill? Could we have countered that counter?"

Next up for the Braves is a trip north to face Clachnacuddin in the Scottish Cup. The long journey is an added factor to what will be a tough trip to face a Highland League side who haven't been playing regularly due to the league's decision to postpone their start date.

Waddell insists that a good result is more than achievable despite the disappointment of the Shire defeat.

"For periods of that game we were at it and we were on top. We were relatively aggressive. I can't say e created a lot of chances but when you're the opposite team and you're sitting with a goal or two to defend you've got something to hold on to and it makes your shape that little bit more rigid and it makes them harder to break down, and we gave them that chance."

The Braves play Clachnacuddin on Saturday 12th December at 3pm, at Grant Street Park in Inverness.

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