Whilst life is still a long way from being “normal”, with Covid Protocols being eased, I’m delighted to be in a position to welcome everyone representing today’s visitors, Cowdenbeath to Forthbank Stadium and to advise that their players and backroom staff will be located in the Away Changing Room instead of in the Concourses in the East Stand.  The requisite social distancing measures remain in place but showers – and warmth – are available!

It’s four weeks since our last home match and a lot has happened in the interim… a draw against Stranraer after conceding a 96th minute penalty, a most acceptable performance in defeat against Rangers at Ibrox and a goalless draw at Galabank against Annan which even to the staunchest Annan supporter would be viewed as a point stolen by the home team!

Lots of positives to be taken from all 3 matches but ultimately it is a winning run of matches that will give weight to our push for the Play Offs.  That run needs to start now!

Some goodbyes to cover… Danny Scally heads for the States this month, Dylan Bikey has returned to France, Leo Watson returned to his parent club and Sean Heaver has moved on to Linlithgow Rose to secure regular game time. All four go with the best wishes of everyone at the Club and a big thank you for their contributions during their time with Stirling Albion.

And a trio of welcomes…  Akeel Francis has signed a contract until the end of the season, Mason Hancock and Dylan Paterson arrive on loan from Aberdeen and Arbroath respectively, again until the end of the season.  All three showed at Galabank last weekend that they have a lot to contribute and I am confident that will very much be the case for the remainder of our SPFL2 campaign.

My piece wouldn’t be the same without mentioning the 1945 Crew! The Club Board is fully supportive of their efforts to add to the atmosphere, home and away, but the Pyro incident at Ibrox was totally unacceptable and must not be repeated.  Police Scotland is aware of the incident and with the full support of Rangers (and Stirling Albion), CCTV footage is being examined. Whilst perhaps unlikely that an individual or individuals will be identified from the footage, I have been advised that if a positive identification is made, a criminal prosecution will follow. It is undoubtedly a very small minority that threaten to spoil things for the large majority and I would implore that minority to conduct themselves in a manner that would do themselves, their fellow Crew members and their Club proud.

I am also aware that some supporters were unhappy that the Crew were refused permission to do a bucket collection outside Forthbank this afternoon. Please be assured this was not Club inspired; such collections require formal permission from Stirling Council. In any event, judging by the fantastic outcome of their Go Fund Me, set up as an alternative means to raise funds, all’s well that ends well! I was personally happy to make a contribution and in return all that I ask is that they spend it wisely, complying with Ground Regulations both home and away and being considerate to others in attendance who aren’t part of the Crew.

C’mon The Binos