After the frustration of seeing a two-game winning run ended at home against Montrose in controversial circumstances last weekend, Shaun Harrison and his team-mates aim to shrug off the sense of injustice a week on.
ity travel to Forthbank to take on Stirling Albion tomorrow, keen to put further distance between themselves and the teams below them whilst looking up the way to see if they can start reining in Berwick Rangers in seventh. Harrison, who went down after a foul that subsequently wasn’t given immediately prior to Montrose’s second goal last weekend, is hoping for a fairer crack of the whip this week, and admittedly better concentration on City’s part.
“We just have to lick our wounds and get on with it,” he said. “I think we maybe lost a wee bit of concentration after the first goal with the decision not to give a foul. A few guys were chasing the ref afterwards, but I wouldn’t say we lost the head. We did lose our concentration on what we are actually supposed to be doing. To be honest, I don’t think there was much in the game and, if anything, we had the better chances, especially in the first half. The unfortunate decisions meant things spiralled out of our control a wee bit.
“We could have been two up before they scored, and the keeper’s made a cracking save for the second chance to tip it on to the bar but we should have put them away – it’s chances [like those] we should be taking. Then they’re 2-0 up and it changes the complexion.”
City’s determination to get back in the game, even down to ten men after Farid El Alagui’s second yellow card, prompted praise from manager James McDonaugh, and was indicative of the fight he has seen his players display over recent weeks.
“We never gave up,” said Harrison. “We went in at half-time knowing that if we weren’t necessarily the better team, we’d had the better chances. The two goals shouldn’t have been, but the penalty they got probably is a penalty and [Calum] Antell’s given us a lifeline.
“The gaffer’s told us we could get back in it but it wasn’t to be. The results went our way again at the weekend, though, with the teams below us not picking up points again.
“Confidence was high going in to last Saturday and we’re going into games believing we can get something. The way we’re playing, we’re scoring more goals and conceding less which is the way to pick up points.”
Harrison’s return to the side following injury was facilitated by an injury in turn to Craig Beattie. With Pat Scullion having made a good start, Jesus Garcia Tena fit again and Stuart Morrison extending his loan from Dunfermline until the end of the season, City are looking strong defensively once more.
“I tore my ligaments at the start of the year,” Harrison explained. “I came back into the fold for a couple of weeks then got injured again, but that’s me back in now. The ankle’s feeling a lot stronger and I’m just trying to get back up to proper match fitness.
“The recovery period from first injury was a lot longer than I thought so it was 11, 12 weeks and the new manager came in around that time as well so it was pretty hard trying to get back into the team.
“Pat’s been a great addition to the team and it was fortunate for me in a way that Beats got injured in the first ten minutes at Cowdenbeath. It allowed me to get myself back in and was probably the only way I was getting back in after the 3-0 win against Berwick. I thought as a back three myself, Pat and Jesus played superb and were hard to break down.
“There’s a good balance back there. Pat likes to keep it simple and allows me and ’Sus to try and make passes into midfield or the one in behind. He’s played at a high level and brings a lot of experience which is good for me, playing with those types of boys.”
A first win of the season over The Binos would help everyone. “Although we lost on Saturday, the confidence is still high,” Harrison insisted. “We’ve still got a lot to say in terms of points. It’ll be a tough game, but there’s not been much between in the games so far.”