We've kept play-off pressure on surprise opponents Alloa
A 2-0 defeat in our last league match up at East Stirlingshire on Saturday meant we finished the season in fourth place. There was disappointment at the way we finished and certainly some disappointed faces among our support, but the realisation that we had achieved our ambition quickly made those feelings disappear; among the players and management at least.
For whatever reason, there is no great love lost between ourselves and East Stirlingshire and that, coupled with trying to finish second in the league, meant that we really wanted to win the match. To be fair to them, they thoroughly deserved their victory and their celebrations at the end of the match showed exactly how much the win meant to them - as it meant they avoided finishing bottom of Division Three.
The manager made several changes to the side, some enforced and others through choice with the play-off semi-final first leg taking place only four days later. As things turned out, we found ourselves facing Alloa Athletic.
Alloa had a bit of a nightmare finish to their league campaign and their defeat by Livingston, with Stenhousemuir winning, meant they were overtaken on the final day of the season. This was probably the team we knew the least information about and meant the manager had to call on his contacts in order to get the lowdown on our opposition.
We had a brief discussion about them after training on Monday night, but when we go into any match, we always feel that the outcome is more down to what we do ourselves.
Our assistant manager, Andy Aitken, knew a bit more about individual players and touched on this before the match itself.
The final whistle went at the end of an entertaining match and it means we take a 2-1 "half-time" lead up to Recreation Park on Saturday. We were very pleased with the win and the performance, although disappointed to lose a goal and not have that cushion of two to take with us in to that second leg.
If anyone deserved to keep a clean sheet, it was our goalkeeper, Craig Summersgill. I thought he was outstanding and was very unlucky to concede the goal that he did after making a remarkable save initially before the ball rebounded off their player and over the line. If big Summers plays like that again on Saturday, we should feel confident that we can extend our season by another eight days.
You could tell the Alloa boys were obviously delighted to half the deficit to take home with them and, on the balance of play, they certainly deserved it. From the outset, though, we have felt that the pressure was all on the Second Division side and that won't change in Saturday's match.
People may think that 2-1 isn't a big enough lead to defend but that's not what we're all about. Almost the first words that came from the manager was that we would score at their place and that's what we're thinking about.
Of the four teams vying for that Second Division place, we're in the best position - we're the only ones with a lead after all.
I completely forgot to have a wee laugh at the expense of Ian Harty (pictured) a couple of weeks ago, so I'll do it while it's in my head just now. Harty was interviewed after scoring an overhead kick in our 1-1 draw at Stranraer recently and said to the reporter: "I am always trying them in training." Well, the wee man must have some size of a back garden and a goal set-up because he's only ever been at about three training sessions this season!