After a poor League Cup campaign it was hoped that fortunes would change at the start of the league matches. The crowd 606 which was the highest in the division were anticipating a hard fought derby match and with five goals there was certainly things to talk about. Ultimately though it was the large band of travelling Stirling Albion supporters who had most to cheer.
Stirling Albion were the first into action when ex-Warrior Darren Smith was saved at the base of the post by Chris Smith in the sixth minute. Two minutes later there were appeals for a penalty at the other end when Ross McGeachie appeared to handle a cross but referee Lloyd Wilson waived appeals away. Another ex-Warrior Sean Dickson then came close with a long range effort that just wide. In the 20th minute though it was the home side that took the lead. Cammy Binnie blocked an effort but the rebound fell to Harry Paton who hit the rebound into the net. Veteran Peter McDonald muscled Ross Dunlop off the ball but Chris Smith came to the rescue once again.
The Warriors came close to extending their lead when Nathan Blockley crashed an effort from 22 yards off the bar in the 28th minute. Four minutes later though the scores were level. A Darren Smith run wasn’t picked up and when the ball was played through to him he slid the ball under Chris Smith and into the net. The Warriors reacted positively from this setback and they came close when a string of one touch passes ended with a Mark McGuigan cross to Nathan Blockley being intercepted by Ewan McNeil just as the trigger was about to be pulled. In the 38th minute the Warriors did go ahead when McGuigan headed home a Ross Meechan cross from distance after Stirling had gave the ball away cheaply, McGuigan had another chance shortly after this when picked out by a Jamie Longworth header but the striker failed to steer the ball past Binnie.
Stenhousemuir ended the half the stronger team and deservedly went into the interval ahead but it was to be a different story in the second period when Stirling were in the ascendancy. Liam Caddis almost equalised with an overhead kick that struck the woodwork two minutes after the resumption. Calumn Morrison equalised in the 55th minute when he was allowed to run at the defence who backed off him and he took the invitation to take a shot that went in off the post. McGuigan had a shot into the side netting for the Warriors but most of the chances were at the other end and Ross Kavanagh rounded Chris Smith only to see his shot cleared off the line. Morrison then smashed a shot off the crossbar in the 73rd minute before a McDonald header was scrambled off the line by Chris Smith. The third goal though was not too long in coming though as Kavanagh made up for his earlier miss by tucking the ball home from a Morrison corner in the 83rd minute.
Stenhousemuir tried to get back into the game but they were restricted to long range efforts. Nevertheless Stirling have Cammy Binnie to thank for all three points as made a superb one handed save from a Ross Dunlop rocket in time added on.
Ultimately this was a disappointing first game but in the first period there were signs that the team were gradually getting an understanding but to no avail with Stirling the better team in the second half.
|August 5, 2017||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 2||2017/18||90'|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
|9. McGuigan, Mark||38'|