Albion Rovers v Stenhousemuir at Cliftonhill Stadium, Coatbridge on 8.2.14
William Hill Scottish Cup Fifth Round Att 748
Albion Rovers 2 Stenhousemuir 0
Stenhousemuir went into this game with their best chance of getting to the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup for the first time since the 1994-95 season. Their opponents were Albion Rovers who though they had home advantage were still a division below Stenhousemuir in the league and they had last made it to the latter stages of the competition in 1934.
It is safe to say that Albion Rovers were not weighed down by the prospects of making history as they ran out winners by two goals to nil. There was little quality in the game and for a Scottish Cp tie there was little rip roaring action either with both keepers being spectators for most of the game as the sides lacking the cutting edge to create many clear cut chances.
Stenhousemuir started with a 4-4-1-1 formation that was easily dealt with by the Rovers defence and with the home side happy to pack the midfield as well they rarely threatened themselves in the opening stages. The game plan was working for the Cliftonhill side as they extinguished any potential danger from the away side. In fact the closest that Stenhousemuir got to testing Neil Parry was a Darren Smith header that drifted wide of the target in the 10th minute of the game. There was little real action and it took until the 20th minute before Alan Reid created an opening for Chris Dallas but he failed to trouble Chris Smith in the Warriors goal.
The keeper was beaten 2 minutes later though but in character for this game it was through an error rather than a decent passage of play that created the goal. Albion Rovers cleared their lines with a punt up the park and Ross McMillan decided rather than let the ball bounce he would head it back to Chris Smith. The keeper was off his line though and a misjudgement with the header saw the ball loop into the net.
Rovers were given a marked lift in confidence after this and had their best spell of the game as they took over the midfield. They still struggled to create much though and the closest that they came was via a Ciaran Donnelly shot from outside the box that Smith saved easily. It says much about the game that this was the first save from either keeper and was in the 38th minute.
Stenhousemuir had little response though and it looked as if they were quite happy to get into the half time interval without further damage.
At the start of the second half there was a chance with Ross McNeil coming on for Sean Lynch as they tried to get a more potent attack onto the pitch. This didn’t have the success that Brown Ferguson wished for as once again Rovers coped without too much difficulty. The only chance falling to McMillan whose effort was saved by Parry.
Rovers took the lead in the 67th minute and once again it was the failure to clear a high ball that created the chance with a kick out by Parry being allowed to bounce before Scott Chaplain passed wide to Mark McGuigan and his cross was knocked back by Dallas to Gary Phillips to fire home from close range.
Errol Douglas entered the fray shortly afterwards and added a much needed aerial threat to the Stenhousemuir attack and indeed he had the best chance of the game in the 79th minute when he got behind the home defence and keeper but he screwed his effort wide of the target.
Rovers slowly started to exploit gaps in the Stenhousemuir defence who as time progressed had went to a back three and sub Ryan Tiffney tried his luck with a curling effort but Chris Smith was alert to the danger ad made a comfortable save in the 83rd minute.
Daniel Nimmo came on in the latter stages and was thrown up front rather than his centre back role but he was unable to make an impact on the game. Sean Higgins did come close with a volley that just went the wrong side of the post with five minutes to go and he came closer in stoppage time with a header that struck the bar.
In the end though Rovers held out with little discomfort and as a reward have a tie against Rangers at Ibrox in the next round. For Stenhousemuir though it is a more clouded future and without a manager and without a win in 2014 it doesn’t look a promising one.
They know that there will need to be positive reaction soon or else they will be in the relegation play-off and if the slide continues may even sink lower than that.
Albion Rovers – Parry, Reid, R.Dunlop, Russell, Donnelly, M.Dunlop, Chaplain, Cusack, McGuigan [Crawford 90], Dallas [Tiffney 77] and Phillips. Subs not used – Flood, Maguire, McGinley, Innes and Walker.
Stenhousemuir – C.Smith, Devlin, Malone, McKinlay [Nimmo 84], McMillan, Faulds, Lynch [McNeil h/t,], Rowson [b31], Higgins, D.Smith [Douglas 71] and Dickson. Subs not used – Shaw and Ferguson.
Referee – Brian Colvin Assistants – Alasdair Ross and Stephen Mitchell Fourth Official – Alan Muir
|February 8, 2014||3:00 pm||William Hill Scottish Cup||2013/2014||90'|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|