The teams will meet again at Forthbank on Tuesday November 3 after it ended goalless in Saturday’s William Hill Scottish Cup second-round tie at Bayview.
In a tight game, that could have gone either way, we had substitute Willie Robertson sent off in the last minute after he was deemed to have stamped on an East Fife player on the ground.
The result was perhaps not the biggest surprise given that it ended 1-1 when the sides met in Methil in Ladbrokes League 2 earlier this month but, on the back of the 1-0 win at Clyde, we claimed successive shut-outs for the first time since March 2013 – when we drew 0-0 at Ibrox then beat Berwick Rangers 1-0 at Forthbank.
Binos boss Stuart McLaren named an unchanged starting XI in the wake of the victory at Broadwood while the home side were without the suspended Allan Walker.
There wasn’t much between the teams on the balance of play but we were grateful to keeper Chris Smith for twice denying East Fife top scorer Nathan Austin with fine saves when the striker was clean through on goal.
Sandy Cunningham had a good early chance and Aurelien Mazel had a shot blocked while two terrific runs from Mark Lamont almost brought us reward in the second half.
Sean Dickson’s shot deflected wide off fellow sub Darren Smith with 10 minutes left but we survived a couple of late scares when Austin fired wide before he nodded a Kyle Wilkie cross into the path of Kieran MacDonald, whose shot didn’t miss by much.
Robertson then saw red, just as he did on this ground three weeks ago, while referee Barry Cook also booked two East Fife players for their part in the melee that followed.
East Fife: Goodfellow, Mullen (Naysmith 73), Page, Brown, Austin, Smith (Slattery 47), Wilkie, O’Kane, Mercer, Kerr, MacDonald.
Subs (not used): Murray, MacGregor, Connon (GK).
Stirling Albion: C Smith, Mazel (Robertson 58), McKinlay, McGeachie, R Smith, Verlaque, Lamont (D Smith), Comrie, Doris, Cunningham (Dickson 75), Forsyth.
Subs (not used): McMillan, Lander, McNab, Binnie (GK).
Referee: Barry Cook