Jordan White grabbed a hat-trick as we notched up a 3-1 win over hosts Gretna 2008 in scorching conditions on Saturday afternoon to set up a Raydale Cup final clash with Wrexham on Sunday at 3.30pm.
The Conference club thrashed a young St Mirren team 6-1 in the second semi-final this afternoon and will square up to Greig McDonald’s men in the decider tomorrow.
The Binos were given a stiff test by a Gretna side who finished fourth in the East of Scotland League last season and will compete in the new Lowland League in 2013/14.
Gretna took the lead after six minutes when Sam Atkinson found the bottom corner with a free-kick from just outside the box despite the best efforts of David Crawford.
We were soon level when Stephen Day was tripped in the box by Ross Johnston and White fired home the penalty via the left-hand post.
Albion were the stronger side as the interval approached and White thumped a header against the bar from a Danny Ashe cross before Steven Forbes drove a shot wide.
The second half was largely devoid of chances and the match appeared to be heading for penalties until White’s free-kick took a big deflection and beat keeper James Greenhall with three minutes left.
Deep into stoppage time, White was impeded in the box and last season’s top scorer converted his second spot-kick of the afternoon to seal a hard-fought win.
Our trialist today was former Hearts, Leicester, Raith and Livingston midfielder Joe Hamill, who showed up well, while there was a place in the squad for the first time for youth team player Chris Ogilvie.
Gretna 2008: Greenhall, Johnston, Inglis, Rudd, Wallace, Blake, Todd, Earl, McCartney, McMath, Atkinson.
Subs: Shiel, Underwood, Cowper, Bannon, Bulman.
Scorer: Atkinson 6
Stirling Albion: Crawford, Hamilton (McGeachie 80), Ashe, Trialist, Bishop, Smith, Johnston, Ferry, White, Forbes (Cunningham 68), Day.
Subs (not used): Clark, Ogilvie, Cooper.
Scorers: White pen 9, 87, pen 90
Referee: Craig Napier