Football Club
Stirling Albion 5 Annan Athletic 1

Stirling Albion 5 Annan Athletic 1

Albion stormed to the top of the opening-day Third Division table with a five-star show against 10-man Annan in the first ever encounter between the clubs.

Greig McDonald’s men were already ahead thanks to a Scott Davidson goal by the time Annan forward Graeme Ramage was perhaps harshly sent off for what was deemed to be an elbow on Mark Ferry and we took full advantage to race to a 4-0 interval lead.

Graham Weir, Danny Ashe and Jamie Clark all scored their first Albion goals as Annan conceded three times from corners in the space of 11 minutes.

Davidson broke the deadlock in 16 minutes when he took a pass from Weir and turned in the box to shoot low inside the post, Weir’s goal was near-post header from a Davidson corner and Ashe lashed a shot high into the net at the back post after another Davidson corner.

Clark calmly picked his spot as Annan again failed to clear their lines and the only negative to an incredible first half was a knee injury sustained by Bradley Coyne which saw him carried off on a stretcher, although it is too early to know the extent of the damage.

The second half was understandably something of a non-event but midfielder Gavin Macpherson smashed in a deflected free-kick before an error by Sam Filler allowed substitute Graeme Bell to pull one back when his free-kick floated under the crossbar.

Stirling finished strongly and David McClune, making his debut, crossed for Davidson, who saw his spectacular effort tipped over by Alex Mitchell and sub Daly McSorley rattled the post.

Kieran McAnespie missed out due to a one-match ban but will be available for Saturday’s trip to face an Elgin side who began their campaign with a 0-0 draw at Berwick.

Stirling Albion: Filler, McGeachie (McClune 68), Ashe, McCunnie, Clark, Allison, Davidson, Macpherson (McSorley 68), Weir, Coyne (Brass 46), Ferry. Subs (not used): Flood, Cleland (GK).

Scorers: Davidson 16, Weir 31, Ashe 37, Clark 42, Macpherson 67

Annan: Mitchell, Blake, Thorburn, Swinglehurst, McGowan, Chaplain, Sloan, McKechnie (Steele 46), Daly (McGachie 70), Ramage, Love (Bell 46). Subs (not used): Jardine, Summersgill (GK).

Scorer: Bell 72

Referee: Greg Aitken