Stenhousemuir v Stirling Albion at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 20.7.13
Stenhousemuir 1 [Higgins 40] Stirling Albion 4 [Cunningham7, McKinlay og 13, Ferry 47, Johnston 61]
The last pre-season game should have been a case of fine tuning the way that the Warriors are going to play this season. With there being no morning training it meant that the players should have been fresh for their match against local rivals Stirling Albion and therefore the play should not have been as laboured as they had been on previous Saturday’s when the morning exertions had taken their toil.
The Warriors were fielding their strong squad available as the reserves had played Camelon in the morning so any perceived weaknesses were a fair indication of how the squad is developing. Only Bryan Hodge was missing through injury so it was an inquisitive home support prior to this game.
To say that the supporters were full of doom and gloom at the end of the game is maybe for some of them on the mild side as they witnessed an abject performance with only the odd glimmer of light in the 90 minutes. At least there was nothing at stake in a game played in a boiling hot day where at times it looked a competitive game for Stirling Albion who were sharper and more vocal in their comments to each other throughout the game, and a training session for a Stenhousemuir team that were rarely at the pace of the game.
The game started all right though and Sean Higgins making his open door debut whipped in a cross from the right to John Gemmell who hit a first time effort just wide. That happened in the 6th minute and within a minute the ball had transferred to the other end and youngster Sandy Cunningham exploited a huge gap in the middle of the home defence and tucked the ball past Chris Smith to put Albion one up. In the 12th minute there was another blow when Sean Lynch pulled up and was replaced by Ross Brash. In the 13th minute a punt up the park by David Crawford was met by Kevin McKinlay who could only head the ball back towards his own goal and with Smith caught in no mans land it sailed into the net.
The Warriors reduced the margin in the 40th minute when a free kick was headed on by Gemmell to Higgins who headed home from close range. Higgins was injured in the process and although he came back on the field he was replaced at half time as a precaution.
Stirling stamped their authority of the second half and in the 47th minute Mark Ferry flicked a Kieran McAnespie free into the net. It was all too easy for the visitors and Phil Johnston made it 4-1 just after the hour. There was no further scoring though Errol Douglas came closest for the home side with a strike that Crawford did well to gather. Stirling worked hard for their victory but paradoxically didn’t have to put much effort into their goals as they were gifted to them.
If there were to be any positives from the game they would be Sean Higgins first goal for the club, Ross Brash’s continued progress into a genuine first team player and the fact that it was not a game where the final result of any consequence and that if the team are going to have as poor a performance it is far better to do it in a game like this. It certainly gives Martyn Corrigan and the backroom staff plenty of food for thought in the run up to the competitive action.
Stenhousemuir – C.Smith, Devlin, Malone, McKinlay, McMillan, Dickson [Anderson 66], Lynch [Brash 12], Rowson, Gemmell, Higgins [D.Smith h/t] and Douglas. Subs not used – Ferguson, Shaw and Lawson.
Stirling Albion – Crawford, McGeachie, Forsyth, McCunnie, Bishop, Smith, Johnston [Day 80], Ferry [Cooper 83], White, Cunningham [McAnespie h/t] and Weir [Ashe 85]. Subs not used – Clark, Forbes and Hamilton.
Referee – Colin Steven Assistants – Frank Connor and Ronnie Strain
|July 20, 2013||3:00 pm||Friendly||2013/2014||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|