17 April 2014

CRO Advance: Stenhousemuir


By Peter Ewart | Contributor

Of all the places Bears have ended up on our journey back, Stenhousemuir this weekend will be the most familiar. Two visits to the artificial surface at Ochilview to play tenants East Stirlingshire last year has been followed by three visits this season.

A Ramsdens Cup semi-final was our first visit, and after many Bears had reached the town before the first league meeting only to see it postponed due to safety fears with extreme weather in December the first league matchup saw a rearranged game played in early January.

So for some it will be the sixth visit in two seasons! It's no hardship though as Gers fans have had a warm welcome in the town including at the Social Club adjacent to the ground and Gilmour's on the Main Street.

Since we dispatched them 8-0 at Ibrox at the end of September Stenny have proved a more tricky opponent after restoring some pride in claiming a 3-3 draw in February. A tight 1-0 Ramsdens win along with a 2-0 league win with a Nicky Law double at Ochilview suggests Saturday may not be a goal fest.

Stenhousemuir started the season looking as though they might be playoff contenders but a mid-season dip looked to have put paid to that as they parted company with their manager.

Since then, and now with Scott Booth in the dugout, a 12 match unbeaten league run from mid January has reignited those hopes and Stenny find themselves just outside a playoff spot on goal difference.

Rangers of course have the league secured and still hold a 100 percent record away from home. We are just four shy of 100 league goals too, a mark that will inevitably be passed with four games to go, although still a long way from the 150 to 165 goal range that bookies were interested in back in August.

Fans are keen for more of the likes of Gasparotto, Telfer, Murdoch & Co. – and with the U20s still challenging in both league and cup the team selection will be watched with interest. Changes to the first team squad however been modest so far as we've become used to.

We play a form team in Stenhousemuir on Saturday and attitude will be key in our penultimate away game of the season.

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