Whitehill Welfare boss won’t push the panic button

Whitehill Welfare manager Gary Small
Whitehill Welfare manager Gary Small
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Whitehill Welfare manager Gary Small is refusing to hit the panic button despite seeing his players pick up just four points from a possible 18 in the Lowland League this term.

The Rosewell outfit are currently third from bottom and crashed to their heaviest defeat of the season last weekend as Gretna 2008 tore the Midlothian club apart to record a resounding 6-1 victory.

But the former Tranent Juniors boss, who steered the East Lothian men to the 2015/16 South Division title, is confident things will soon turn in his favour following a spate of injuries to his threadbare squad.

Ahead of the visit of Civil Service Strollers to Ferguson Park tomorrow, Small, who took up the reins in June, said: “I always knew it was going to be tough. We’ve had so many out through injury and that’s not an excuse but what can you do? The last three games eight of my starting 11 have between the ages of 16 and 20.

“It’s a real challenge going and playing against experienced teams with that level of youth throughout your side.

“What people need to realise is this is what you get with young players. A few days before last weekend’s defeat to Gretna we went to Stirling Uni and we were unfortunate not to win the game (it finished 1-1).

“We were excellent. But then we were so bad all over the park just a couple of days later. We got what we deserved. There’s going to be ups and downs but you just need to make the best of what you can.

“We’re only six games in so I’ll take stock of things after 15 and see where we are. It’s a tight league so we can’t really look at anyone in the division and be saying ‘oh we should be beating them’. We’re very much a new team and work in progress.”

Civil, meanwhile, are without a win in the league since their opening day victory at Gretna five weeks ago. Alex Cunningham’s side were edged out 3-2 at home to Selkirk last weekend – David Banjo netting a last-minute winner for the Borders club.

Elsewhere, Dorian Ogunro takes the students of Edinburgh University to Raydale Park for their clash with hosts Gretna.