Whitehill Welfare boss David Bingham has revealed he will have to delve into the club’s under-20 side to bolster his threadbare squad over the next few weeks.
The Rosewell outfit went down 3-0 at East Stirlingshire on Saturday and were only able to list two substitutes – one of those a goalkeeper. First-team regulars John Williams, Scott Gormley, Kerr Dodds and John-Ross Kerr were all notable absentees.
The visitors were also forced to play 44 minutes of the second half with ten men after midfielder Connor McGregor was shown a straight red card by referee Euan Anderson for a reckless two-footed lunge on Shire’s Michael Oliver.
But, despite Bingham being able to draw on some positives from a loss that leaves the club nine points adrift of four-placed Dalbeattie Star, the side they travel to this weekend, he says having a lack of bodies to call upon is his biggest concern.
“We’ve got a number of players missing and that’s always going to be a problem,” Bingham explained. “We’ll need to delve into the 20s again and give some of them a chance the next few weeks so all you can ask is for them to give you 100 per cent. We’ve got some tough games coming up starting with Dalbeattie but anybody can beat anyone in this league.”
On the match at Ochilview, Bingham said: “East Stirlingshire are not sitting second in the league for no reason, they’ve got a very strong and experienced side. But for as much as they had the lion’s share of possession, up until the first goal I thought we defended well.
“The sending off has a big bearing. Trying to get back into the game is difficult enough with 11, so having to play almost the full half with ten is hard. We can’t be too critical because the boys gave us everything.
“It was a shocking tackle so we can have no complaints with it really. If that was somebody doing that to one of my players I’d expect the same. We expect better so we’ll have a chat with him this week at training.”
Whitehill goalkeeper Bryan Young was instrumental in limiting the hosts to just three goals and brilliantly thwarted Liam Allison from making the breakthrough in the 13th minute as the player bore down on goal.
The Midlothian side found themselves camped inside their own half as title outsiders Shire cranked up the pressure.
Jamie Barclay’s long clearance from his own goal caught out a static Whitehill defence but David Grant’s effort deflected beyond the far post.
But the striker wasn’t to be denied six minutes before the interval as he swept home a Kris Fauld pass from six yards.
Steven Brisbane’s thunderbolt just a minute later was straight down the neck of Young before Whitehill forced their first corner of the match in the 44th minute after a Dale O’Hara free-kick ricocheted off a defender.
However, Bingham’s half-time team talk went right out the window a minute after the restart when both McGregor’s feet needlessly left the ground when challenging for the ball with Oliver.
The home side sensed a second was within their grasp and Grant was again denied by Young who was turning in a man-of-the-match performance.
Jamie Glasgow tried to get his name on the scoresheet but his curling effort went wide before the hosts finally doubled their advantage courtesy of Charlie Denton who inadvertently directed Graeme MacGregor’s cross into his own net with 24 minutes left to play.
A Brisbane cut-back and astute finish from Faulds sealed the points soon after.
East Stirlingshire: Barclay, MacGregor, Ramsay, A Grant, Oliver (Murray 76), Brisbane, Faulds, Ure (White 85), D Grant, Allison, Glasgow.
Whitehill Welfare: Young, O’Hara, Kidd, McGregor, Manson, Healy (Brydon 74), Chalmers, Chapman, Osborne, Denton, Russell. Subs: Jardine.