We decided to twist, and I played my final cards. With the transfer window closed until the summer, we’re left with an improved and capable squad, retaining it’s youthful look but with some much-needed quality experience added to the pack at the last minute.
Once again, all eyes were focused on the Indodrill as we lead the way going into our final 10 league games…
I scrambled around in the waning hours, looking at every possible addition and deliberating what to do with my backroom staff. We finally added two quality veterans in positions of potential weakness: in goals, ex-Montrose veteran Allan Fleming has taken the number one jersey, while versatile winger Mark Burbridge arrived on loan from Peterhead despite being a regular rotation option in League 2.
Other opportunities presented themselves, but I trusted my gut and ultimately our existing squad will see us to the finish line.
The preparations for our away day at East Stirlingshire had been affected by this all of this transfer hullabaloo, and it wasn’t a major surprise to see the hoops come away with a narrow 3-2 victory – what really stung, however, was twice coming back from going behind only to concede a very soft winner in injury time! In the dressing room afterwards, we emphasised the positives and tried to move on quickly, feeling an air of tension and fear for the first time this campaign.
Over the next two weeks, we’d largely shape our destiny in the shape of three massive fixtures; in-form Dalbeattie Star at home, followed by a midweek trip to second-placed Edusport and finishing by welcoming third-top Cumbernauld Colts to Alloa. My future was hanging in the balance…
Murmurs of discontent spread around the gathered spectators as Star took a deserved lead early on, once again applying pressure to the boys in yellow. When we needed a spark, new man Burbridge stepped up on the right wing, driving at the opposing defence and being rewarded for his ambition with a slightly fortunate equaliser. I’ve learned to trust this group, and with a weight lifted from them Jordan Moore took over by netting a superb hat-trick.
A win is never a bad thing, and while we knew that things needed to be tightened up, smiles and banter returned to the dressing room.
As things unfolded against Star, my trusty coach Andy Smith was watching Edusport stumbling to a draw against Kelty Hearts. He returned beaming, feeling that he “had an answer” to our defensive worries; it turned out to be exactly that, as a counter-attacking approach with more advanced wingers kept our title rivals off-balance. All that was missing was a goal… until young Livi loanee Gray smacked an unbelievable free kick into the roof of the net! Even with that man Burbridge adding some gloss to the scoreline, we rarely looked threatened and comfortably managed the game to clinch a massive result.
Entering the Indodrill after a couple of big wins, we all had a renewed focus – while taking three points on a match day is always enjoyable, something else became apparent: our squad now believed that they were going to win the Lowland League. Belief can be a friend or foe, but combined with steely determination it swept a potent Colts side away in a little over 20 minutes. Once again it was big Jordan Moore impressing above all, Mark Burbridge contributed a couple more assists and Fleming kept our youthful defence calm and concentrated as things wore on.
The final whistle did not herald wild celebrations (at least not on the pitch). Another benefit of adding experienced older heads is keeping feet on the ground, safe in the knowledge that while another hurdle has been cleared there are more to come. There are just six games left to play in the Lowland, and we proudly sit 8 points clear of the chasing pack.
Ideally, we want to get things wrapped up as quickly as possible. Things very rarely work out like that however, and regardless of what happens we need to maintain momentum: not only to win our first league title, but also to carry into a potential SPFL playoff battle.
I’ll freshen the starting eleven up for any South Challenge Cup matches in the meantime, keeping competition for places alive and driving us forward. #NotHereToPlay? We’re here to win, and maybe more besides!
Mozza has been streaming his BSC Glasgow journey and many other games over on Twitch so make sure you check out his Twitter for details of when he’ll be live: @MozzaPlays