Stenhousemuir v Albion Rovers at Ochilview Park , Stenhousemuir on 13.12.08
Irn-Bru Scottish League Three Att 508
Stenhousemuir 1 [Thomson 54] Albion Rovers 0
The Warriors went into the game with Stevie Ferguson and Kevin Motion returning after suspension but were still missing several key squad members from the starting eleven including Scott Dalziel who dropped to the bench through injury.
Rovers on trhe other hand were able to inject fresh blood into their team after signing Marco Andreoni on loan from Dundee United and Marc McCusker on loan from Clyde
This was an entertaining and fast paced game in the first half all that was missing was goals with Rovers setting the standard when they almost opened the scoring in the 40seconds when Bobby Barr burst into the box and passed to on-loan striker Marc McCusker who shot narrowly wide
Stenhousemuir responded through a Stevie Ferguson diving header straight at the keeper after he was set up by a Gary Thom flick on following a John Ovenstone long throw in.
The Warriors skipper came even closer when he saw another header, this time from a Kevin Motion corner cleared off the line by Ciaran Donnelly in the 17th minute. Three minutes later they came close to scoring again when Robert Love beat the offside trap before laying the ball into the path of Steven Hampshire and the forward was unlucky to see his effort pushed wide by Chris McCluskey.
It was not a one sided game though as the play moved from end to end and Rovers especially in the early stages were causing problems though the pace of Bobby Barr who looked to be building up a good understanding with McCusker in the latter’s first game for the club.
It was a defender though that tested Scott Bennett when Robert Walker showed good technique to thunder an effort goalwards from the edge of the box after a Barr corner had not been properly cleared but the keeper did well to beat the shot down.
The second half did not live up to the first but the Warriors made the breakthrough in the 54th minute through an Iain Thomson strike after he took advantage of a poor defensive header
For a while it looked as if the home side were going to end up fairly comfortable winners as Rovers struggled to get back into the game. They were handed a lifeline in the 72nd minute though when Ferguson was dismissed for a petulant kick at McCusker after the pair had tussled in midfield.
This gave the Coatbridge side heart and they pushed forward as they tried to get back on level terms and they were unlucky not to get the breakthrough when McCusker saw a header from close range spin off the post and go across goal without crossing the line and thus Stenhousemuir held on for an all important three points
Stenhousemuir – Bennett, McEwan, McGroarty, Thom, Ovenstone, Thomson, Tyrrell, Ferguson [so 72], Hampshire [Dalziel 76], Love [Shirra 76] and Motion. Subs not used – Renton , Desmond and McManus
Albion Rovers – McCluskey, Reid, McGowan [McGoldrick 84], Donnelly, Benton [b88], R.Walker, Ferry, Andreoni [Crozier 67] , McCusker [b73], Eaglesham [Pollok 63] and Barr
Referee – Neil Watters
Assistants – Mark Doyle and Andy McWilliam
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