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Travellers Notebook - East Stirlingshire

By Scott Johnstone
December 22 2003

Saturday January 3rd 2004, Bell's League Division Three, East Stirlingshire v Stirling Albion, at Firs Park, Kick Off 3pm. "There's only one team in Falkirk..." - our first visit of the season to Falkirk's only SFL club. The locale...Let’s sort out some basic Geography. Are Shire a Falkirk club or Bainsford Club? They started out life as Bainsford Britannia and played at Merchiston Park, which was in Bainsford. It was located where the Martnell Night Club now stands, just north of the Forth and Clyde Canal. The Canal marks the boundary between Falkirk and Bainsford. Firs Park is clearly within Falkirk – not Bainsford. You can but a flat in the tenements around the entrance to Firs Park for around Ł20,000 – unlike gentrified Stirling.

The ground... Firs Park is a magnificent arena for football. Few seats (but enough for the small minority who prefer to sit), close to the action, ample cover, good food, close to the town, street parking around the ground. Some day all football ground will be like this.

The team...Better than their results suggest and capable off a shock. Goalkeeper Jon Connolly was a good signing earlier in the season. They have a couple of ex-Binos youth players in their side – Dougie Polwart and Scott Livingstone. Stuart Kelly is probably the main goal threat. Kevin McCann, sent off against us twice already this season, has now left the club. Paul Rodden has acquired cult status with the Albion support.

The travel...It’s easy to let the train take the strain if you fancy a refreshment prior to the game. Firs Park is a mere 10 minutes walk from Grahamston Station which is served by regular trains from Stirling. There are also plenty buses from Stirling to Falkirk and the Newmarket Bus Stance is close to Grahamston Station.

The fans...Supporting the Shire requires a considerable degree of commitment (possibly to an institution). Shire have a hard core of approximately 100 home fans and about 20-30 who travel to away games. On our last visit the Shire faithful were doing their best to get rid of manager Danny Diver – and they succeeded. All respect to the Shire supporters – a football club is the sum of its fans – not Chairman, Directors, Players or anyone else. Shire are likely to get their best crowd of the season for the New year visit of Stirling Albion

Refreshment…Shire fans frequently use the Gordon Lounge, the nearest pub to the ground. There are numerous good pubs in Falkirk Town Centre. However, if you are an Albion supporter, there is only one place to be – The Goose.

Stirling Albion Supporters Club Information...Their will be no bus for this match. For more information contact Jim Watson on 01786475573 or Stef Torrance on 01259 219570

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