Mackay hails young debutants
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