Hearts loan star goalie battle can help Albion Rovers push up League Two, says boss

Albion Rovers boss Brian Reid says a goalkeeper battle can only prove useful for the Cliftonhill side as a busy period looms.

Cammy Binnie has been the club’s number one for most of this season and has been an impressive performer. But Harry Stone returned to the club for a second loan spell from Hearts in January.

The Jambos youngster has started the last couple of League Two matches and kept a clean sheet as Rovers drew 0-0 with Stranraer on Saturday.

It was a game of few chances but Stone had to react quickly to deny Sam Ellis a Stranraer goal, while Max Wright went close for Reid’s men at the other end.

A fight for the number one spot will be of benefit to Albion Rovers ahead of a March schedule with seven matches to be played.

Reid said: “Cammy didn’t do anything wrong but we just thought we would mix things up. Hopefully we will get to do that between now and the end of the season.

Reid says Binnie hasn’t done anything wrong and is more than capable of coming into the side

“We have a lot of games to go between now and then, and we have a small squad. There are two excellent goalkeepers at the club. We gave Harry his chance against Edinburgh City and stuck with him at Stranraer.

“That’s not to say things won’t change again. Cammy is a more than able goalkeeper and he has done really well for us this season.

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“It’s a good problem to have because we now have a couple of really good players fighting for the one position in our squad. That’s the same all over the park – you want that competition.

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“That is what you are looking for. We are coming to a point where we will be playing two or three games a week, and we will need to freshen things up.

“It’s hard to ask the same players to go week in, week out, and perform to their maximum levels with two or three games each week”

It was a game of fine margins in Stranraer and Reid believes the blustery conditions played a factor in the stalemate. Rovers are ninth with as many as three games in hand over those above them in League Two.

Reid added: “The wind was horrendous. It was swirling and the pitch was then starting to cut up, so it didn’t make for great viewing. But we grinded things out and we take a clean sheet.

Rovers boss Brian Reid says having two top-class goalkeepers in his squad is a dream
Rovers boss Brian Reid says having two top-class goalkeepers in his squad is a dream

“Overall, we take a point away from home but we could have taken our chances. Max Wright has a chance with 15 minutes to go that he should score and Harry hasn’t had many saves to make.

“It was a scrappy game for both teams. On another day we might have scored and it might have been unfair on Stranraer. But a clean sheet away from home at a tough venue, I am reasonably happy.

“The conditions certainly didn’t help any of the two teams causes.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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