Mackay hails young debu­tants

Stirling Observer - - THE BACK PAGE - David Ogilvie

Stir­ling Al­bion man­ager Dave Mackay praised his young side for earn­ing a 1-1 draw away to a much-im­proved Clyde on Satur­day to stay two points clear at the top of Lad­brokes League 2.

The Bi­nos were with­out seven play­ers due to in­jury and the av­er­age age of the start­ing XI was just 21½. There was a de­but for 17 year-old Ge­orge Stanger and Kyle Ban­ner (18) made his first start.

Mackay was pleased with a de­ter­mined dis­play from his team but less im­pressed with ref­eree Greg Aitken who awarded the Bully Wee a late penalty from which David Good­willie can­celled out Dar­ren Smith’s opener be­fore turn­ing down an Al­bion ap­peal when Ross McGeachie ap­peared to be fouled.

He said: “I thought both Ge­orge and Kyle were ex­cel­lent.

“Kyle is a cen­tre-half but I feel he has the abil­ity to play right-back. He is good on the ball and in the air. Ge­orge did re­ally well in his first game and we just made the change dur­ing the sec­ond half to al­low us to go with two up top.”

He added: “I told the play­ers not to be too down­hearted.

“They are a bit down be­cause of the man­ner the game ended but at the end of the sea­son these are the sort of points that could be vi­tal al­though it took Cammy Bin­nie to make a cou­ple of good saves.

“He has been dif­fer­ent class since he came back into the team. At the be­gin­ning of the sea­son he was mak­ing a cou­ple of er­rors and he is his own worst critic. He is hard on him­self and I felt his con­fi­dence was slip­ping a bit and some­times it’s best to give these young guys a breather and he has been out­stand­ing since he came back.”

Mackay ad­mit­ted Clyde, who had U20 coach Tony McNally in charge prior to Mon­day’s ap­point­ment of ex- St Mir­ren and Al­loa boss Danny Len­non, ad­mit­ted the home side were worth a draw but was an­gry at the way his side lost their 100 per cent away record.

He said: “It was never a penalty – the ref­eree said he pulled him to the ground but Ewan McNeil’s arm is across to hold him off so I don’t know how he could pull him down when he is ac­tu­ally in front of him.

“The one with Ross McGeachie is a dis­grace­ful de­ci­sion. He is five yards away, look­ing right at it.Prob­a­bly only one per­son in the sta­dium didn’t think it was a penalty.”

Al­bion have no game this week­end fol­low­ing their early Scot­tish Cup exit then re­turn to ac­tion in a big game at home to Peter­head on Novem­ber 25.

The Bi­nos boss, who is hop­ing to add a loan sign­ing to bol­ster his squad be­fore then after left-back Steven No­ble was side­lined,said: “You’d much rather be play­ing in the Scot­tish Cup but that aside the break has come at a good time.

“We’ve got a small squad of 19 play­ers and it’s dif­fi­cult when you have seven out in­jured but the young boys have shown they have the qual­ity to come in.

“Liam Cad­dis should be fine for the Peter­head game and Peter MacDon­ald could be avail­able for that one.

“I’d ex­pect Ross Smith and Scott David­son to be back as well so you are look­ing at those four.

“Un­for­tu­nately it looks like Steven No­ble will be out for a num­ber of weeks after pick­ing up a mus­cle in­jury in train­ing.

“We will send him for a scan and take it from there. He was ex­cel­lent against Ed­in­burgh City and it’s dis­ap­point­ing to lose him – it was one of those where there was no-one near him but some­times they can be the worst.”


Tricky Cal­l­umn Mor­ri­son takes on the Clyde de­fence on Satur­day

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