Our U20 side went down 1-0 to Forfar Athletic in the SPFL Development League East on the Forthbank Astro on Monday night.
Report by Andrew MacDonald
The boys lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation full of confidence after two consecutive four-goal wins while Forfar had picked up their first win of the season against Alloa during the last round of fixtures.
First team players Ross Kavanagh and Connor McMullan- who is still eligible to play for this age group – assisted the team.
After successive quick starts in their previous two games, the young Binos were on the receiving end of an early goal. Forfar worked the ball into the centre for their striker to hit an ambitious shot from the edge of the box, which Ronan Fallens will be disappointed he didn’t save.
Stirling initially reacted well for the next half hour. Justin Watson missed a golden chance to equalise, as Kavanagh dribbled past his marker on the left and set up the winger who couldn’t hit the target. Watson was unlucky not to score with his next couple of half chances, pouncing on defensive errors only to see the Forfar keeper hold his efforts on goal. Reg McLaren and Kavanagh also had no joy with their next few efforts at goal as they went wide, over or were saved.
Forfar nearly doubled their lead a few minutes before half-time, as they intercepted a pass on halfway, and worked a cross into the box, which defender Luke Martin did well to scramble clear under pressure.
The young Binos went into the break frustrated they were a goal down. A big performance was needed in the second half if they wanted anything from the game.
Unfortunately, the second half was a poor affair for our U20 team, the boys showing only a few glimpses of what they’re truly capable of. After a quiet opening 15 minutes, Ryan Lockie and Callum MacDonald won free kicks in areas of danger. Regrettably, they never amounted to anything, which was the theme of the game for the young Binos.
Coach Andy Todd looked to inject some fresh impetus on proceedings with the introduction of experienced U20 players Ross Cameron and Taylor Evans with 20 minutes to play. The former made an instant impact, playing an excellent cross-field ball to Lockie, who hooked his cross into the box, only for McMullan to have his header held by the keeper.
The young Binos created little more, most of their efforts coming from crosses. McLaren and substitute Marc Innes delivered dangerous balls into the box, which the Loons defended well. Stirling’s best opportunity of the half fell to Cameron, who headed a McMullan corner just wide five minutes from time.
The visitors created a few chances in the second half and should have settled the game in the 87th minute but a break down the right ended in their striker blazing the ball over the bar.
A poor performance from our U20 side, who look to bounce back away to Berwick Rangers next week.
1 Ronan Fallens
2 Callum MacDonald
3 Luke Martin
4 Kyle Banner
5 George Stanger
6 Ryan Lockie
7 Alberto Vezza
8 Connor McMullan
9 Reg McLaren (Marc Innes 84)
10 Justin Watson (Taylor Evans 72)
11 Ross Kavanagh (Ross Cameron 72)
Subs (not used): Declyn Cumming, Dillon Young