Albion booked a place in Tuesday lunchtime’s draw for the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup with an impressive win over our Highland League opponents on a cold and wet day at The Haughs.
Greig McDonald’s men made a terrific start to the game and went in front in eight minutes when Ross Forsyth headed home a Dale Fulton corner for his first goal of the campaign.
We doubled our lead just four minutes later when Turra defender Stuart Cumming’s attempted passback beat keeper Steven Coutts and the ball ended up in his own net.
Mark Simpson and James Duthie’s side never gave up but we defended well and secured victory just after the hour mark when Mark Ferry scored with a cool finish after being teed up by Sandy Cunningham.
McDonald made three changes to the team that beat Albion Rovers 2-1 in midweek. Forsyth returned after work commitments and top scorer Jordan White was partnered in attack by Cunningham, making his first start of 2013/14. Graham Weir was absent due to illness while Ross McGeachie and Bradley Coyne dropped to the bench.
Turriff were without new signing Darren Mackie as the former Aberdeen striker was still awaiting international clearance following his spell in the United States.
Turra held Morton to a draw here a year ago and knocked out Wick Academy in the previous round. They are mid-table in the Highland League but this looked an awkward assignment for the Binos, who were beaten by Deveronvale 12 months ago.
However, Stirling were excellent from the start and within 30 seconds White had a great chance to break the deadlock but his shot was saved by Steven Coutts.
The former Falkirk striker linked up well with the energetic Cunningham but was out of luck in front of goal, again being denied by Coutts when clean through and seeing a header hit the bar.
Albion restricted Turriff to very few clear-cut chances. Gary Harris passed up a decent opportunity just before half-time and dragged an effort wide when he should have scored with 10 minutes left but this was a thoroughly professional performance from Stirling, who were solid throughout.
We can now look forward to round four for the first time since 2009/10, when we were paired with Albion Rovers and progressed after a replay before crashing 9-0 at Ross County in the last 16.
Turriff United: Coutts, L Davidson, McKibben (R Allan 46), Cumming, Bowden, Young, McKenna, Brownie (Gauld 65), Harris, Beagrie (B Allan 78), MacGowan.
Subs (not used): McKenzie, Shand, Herd, McAffrey.
Stirling Albion: Crawford, McClune, Ashe, Forsyth, Bishop, Smith, Johnston (Day 85), Fulton (McAnespie 75), White, Cunningham (Coyne 68), Ferry.
Subs (not used): McGeachie, Clark, McCulloch, Reidford.
Scorers: Forsyth 8, Cumming o.g 12, Ferry 61
Referee: Alan Newlands