Dalbeattie Star flying high after winning start to Lowland League campaign

Dalbeattie Star boss Ritchie Maxwell says a change in mentality has helped Dalbeattie Star get their Lowland League campaign off to a flying start.

By Ian MacLean
Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 11:49 am
It's been a terrific start to the season for Ritchie Maxwell and Dalbeattie Star (pic: Dalbeattie Star FC)
It's been a terrific start to the season for Ritchie Maxwell and Dalbeattie Star (pic: Dalbeattie Star FC)

For the past two seasons it's taken Star until the sixth match of the season to notch their first win.

But it's been a different story this time round. A 1-0 home win over Civil Service Strollers and a 2-0 victory at Caledonian Braves make Dalbeattie one of just three sides - East Stirlingshire and Rangers B are the others - to take maximum points from their first two games.

Maxwell is starting his third season in charge at Islecroft - and says it couldn't be going any better so far.

He said: "Two wins and two clean sheets, we can't ask for much better for the first week.

"We thought with having a home game - even against a good Civil side and an experienced manager in Gary Jardine - we had a good opportunity to get points on the board early and I was absolutely delighted with the boys and the performance.

"But after the game we said it would be pointless winning the first game and not following that up. At this time of the season the games come thick and fast so there's a great opportunity to put points on the board early.

"Against Caledonian Braves we started a wee bit slower, maybe partly due to the effort we put in on the Saturday.

"We had a water break and I thought after that we stepped up a level.

"The first goal we scored was real quality. That helped settle us and again in the second half Caley Braves didn't get a lot of chances and we scored again late on to seal the win."

Maxwell insists he's not getting carried away, but is hopeful Star can find themselves higher up the Lowland league table than in recent seasons.

"In the last two or three years we've been really disappointed with where we've been," he admitted.

"But we've been building each season and progressing as a team and this year we've got the best balance we've ever had in terms of workrate and creativity.

"So we've got to set our sights in finishing as high up the table as we can. If we can finish in the top 10 I think it's a great year for us.

"We're only two games in and there's a lot of time to go. But the players are coming bouncing into the changing room after games with smiles on their faces raring to go again and we've got great competition for places as well.

"Now we're focussing on us and what we can do and how we can hurt teams instead of stopping teams beating us.

"We've got a real change of mentality in the changing room, this year with the boys we've brought in and I think that's a real positive that we now focus on ourselves and how we play and force other teams into maybe making changes and having to alter their style of play when they come up against us "

Next up for Dalbeattie on Saturday is a trip to Bo'ness United.