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Monday, 21 November 2011

Poor League Form and Cup Spirit – November 2011


It has been a tough time at the club in recent weeks. Last Saturday’s defeat to Arbroath confined the club to their fifth successive defeat. The Binos put in a much improved performance but in a similar vein to the Dumbarton game two weeks earlier they were undone late on after having much of the game.

It was a blow for the team who went from playoff contenders in early October to bottom of the second division in a matter of weeks, the squad with many young players will have to bounce back and show some real spirit to get Albion moving in the right direction in the next few weeks.

After the heartbreaking loss against Arbroath in injury time, Albion focused on their cup duel against Dundee at Forthbank. During the week confidence would have been low after the poor run of form but as experienced management team Jocky Scott and John Blackley would know a result in the cup could ignite their season.

This Dundee game was big for the supporters as well. Their patience has been tested after a disaterous season in the first division in 2010/2011. When results are not going well, it is easy for the finger to be pointed but for the most part, the Albion fans have stuck with the team and understood there is lot of young players being blooded in at the same time.

The game itself against Dundee had a real atmosphere in the truest sense. The division one side brought an excellent crowd from the city of discovery and that really added to the occasion. The away side started excellently in the first ten minutes and the front four of Leighton McIntosh, Steven Milne, Ryan Conroy and Nicky Riley looked to be causing Albion a lot of problems.

The home side rebounded and to the delight of the manger, they started to get the ball done and really express themselves. Great link up play involving Scott Davidson and Alan Cook was a joy to behold in the early stages. Albion took a surprise but not undeserved lead when Darren Smith nodded home expertly from a Cook cross. The Forthbank crowd were jubilant; as well they should be as they witnessed the team’s first goal in over eight hours of play.

The joy was short lived as ex-Celtic man Ryan Conroy delivered an unstoppable free kick past the helpless Callum Reidford in the Albion goal. This was an obvious blow for the home side but remarkably they seemed unfazed by such a dent in confidence and produced some of their best play of the season before half –time.

Scott Davidson and Darren Smith linked up brilliantly for most of the encounter and they were involved in creating several chances before the break.

The second-half was a much more tense affair and unfortunately for Albion it was Dundee who got their noses in front, slack play gave Steven Milne a chance to have a strike from the edge of the box and the wily veteran was more than up to the task.

Albion continued to press but in all honesty they didn’t look like drawing level. Alan Cook had several opportunities to deliver from set-piece but all too often they found a player in blue.

The game finished 2-1 but Albion shouldn’t find themselves too downbeat as they produced their best performance for a while against the best side they have played, what is needed now is consistency.

Next up for Albion is Airdrie United at home in the league and despite recording their sixth defeat on the bounce they have something that they haven’t had in a while, hope. Albion really do hope they can get a much needed victory to get their season going. 

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