Football Club
Arbroath 1 Stirling 1

Arbroath 1 Stirling 1

Darren Smith’s sixth goal of the season earned us a welcome point at Gayfield and the performance merited a share of the spoils.

Smith gave us the lead in 58 minutes when his shot (cross?!) went in off the far post, with Connor McLaren having created the opportunity following a good run down the left.

Steven Doris equalised six minutes later when he latched on to a pass from Omar Kader and knocked the ball past the advancing Chris Smith.

Calvin Colquhoun returned to the team after suspension but skipper Ross McMillan was ruled out through injury. New signing Andy Little was on the bench, as was former Ayr winger Andrew Johnstone, who was listed as a trialist.

Both made their debuts to take the number of players used this season to 40 while Ross Kavanagh returned from injury as a late substitute.

Arbroath beat us 5-3 at Gayfield in August but had lost their last two home games despite an excellent run on their travels, while we headed north on the back of a 2-2 draw with Berwick.

Bobby Linn had an early effort saved by Chris Smith but we generally did well in the opening period before the hosts seized a grip on the game towards half-time.

Our goal led a charmed life as a Bryan Prunty effort was deflected on to the bar and another shot was cleared off the line before Linn hit the top of the bar from 20 yards.

Smith gave us the lead approaching the hour mark when he flighted the ball beyond Ricky Gomes from the right flank but Doris quickly equalised and it could have gone either way after that, with the increasingly strong wind making life difficult at times.

Arbroath sub Eddie Ferns was denied by Smith and big penalty appeals were waved away when Conor Quigley dived in for the rebound and might have played man rather than ball.

In a frantic finish, Darren Smith headed wide at the back post and Little fired narrowly off target before Doris should have won it for Dick Campbell’s men but he could only shoot weakly at Smith from close range.

The result leaves us eighth in the table – one point ahead of next week’s opponents Edinburgh City and five clear of bottom club Cowdenbeath, who have two games in hand.

Arbroath: Gomes, Gold (Smyth 46), Hodge, Little, Hamilton, Whatley, Kader, McCord, Doris, Prunty (Ferns 66), Linn (Skelly 68).
Subs (not used): Sukar, Malin, McCallum, Gill (GK).

Goal: Doris 64

Stirling Albion: C Smith, McGeachie, Quigley, Wright, R Smith, McCue (Little 31), Colquhoun, Dickson, McLaren (Johnstone 68), D Smith, Henderson (Kavanagh 79).
Subs (not used): Black, Petrie, Caddis, Binnie (GK).

Goal: D Smith 58

Referee: Ryan Milne

Crowd: 625