Our U20 side went down 2-1 to local rivals Alloa Athletic on the Forthbank Astro on Monday night. Ross Cameron scored our goal from the penalty spot.
Report by Andrew MacDonald
The young Binos lined up in a 4-4-2 formation and in high spirits after an unbeaten start to the season, fresh from playing full-time teams Raith Rovers and Livingston. Alloa looked to bounce back with a heavy defeat to Livingston still fresh in their minds.
After a fairly innocuous start, both teams failed to capitalise on dangerous set-piece scenarios just before the 20th-minute mark. Alloa started causing problems midway through the first half, their direct running and link-up play almost being rewarded as their next two shots went marginally wide of Ronan Fallens’ goal.
Stirling winger Alberto Vezza was enjoying some success on the right-hand side of midfield, using his considerable dribbling skills to create opportunities for his team-mates. He nearly produced the first goal of the game, as his driven shot was caught on the line by the Alloa keeper just before the interval.
The two sides entered the break goalless, after a fairly even and uneventful first period. The second half was a much livelier affair but the Binos didn’t take advantage of a string of free kicks they were awarded in the 50th minute.
Alloa punished this indecision five minutes later, making the most of a quick throw to break up the pitch and score the first goal of the game through former Albion winger Alan Cook, who was fielded as an over-age player.
Stirling responded well and captain Ryan Lockie’s cross was headed narrowly over the bar by striker Reg McLaren after 58 minutes. Strike partner Ross Cameron was also left disappointed after his effort from distance was scooped up by the Alloa keeper soon after.
The boys were rewarded for their persistence in the 72nd minute after being awarded a penalty courtesy of the quick feet of Vezza. The ball was rifled into the left side of the net by Cameron, levelling the score.
Both teams went in search of a winner but, to the dismay of the young Binos, it was the visitors who grabbed a late goal. Some smart link-up play on the edge of the box resulted in Alloa forward John Cunningham finding the back of the net after a neat turn.
1 Ronan Fallens
2 Callum MacDonald
3 Ryan Lockie
4 Kyle Banner
5 Scott Davidson
6 Connor McMullan
7 Luke Martin
8 Taylor Evans (Marc Innes 85)
9 Reg McLaren (George Stanger 77)
10 Ross Cameron
11 Alberto Vezza
Subs (not used): Dillon Young, Justin Watson