Our U20 side defeated Forfar Athletic 1-0 on the Forthbank Astro on Monday evening.
Callum MacDonald’s first-half goal was the difference as Andy Todd’s team claimed all three points.
The side showed one change from their recent 5-3 victory over Cowdenbeath as Callum MacDonald replaced first teamer Liam Caddis in the attacking midfielder role. The visitors’ last result was a 1-1 draw with Alloa in mid-February.
The match started brightly as Ross Cameron had a string of early chances. Top scorer Reg McLaren held off his marker in the second minute, to feed Cameron at the edge of the box. He took a touch, but saw his effort go over the bar. He then had two half volley chances on his left foot, which were saved.
Forfar showed their first sign of attacking impetus in the 13th minutes as their winger and full-back made some tidy exchanges down the right, only for the latter’s dangerous cross to evade his team-mates.
Stirling continued to press forward. Holding midfielder Marc Innes had an impressive game, as he continuously won the ball and looked to set up his team-mates.
One such occasion came on 25 minutes, where he picked out the on-running Alberto Vezza, who had got in behind the Loons’ defence. Vezza clipped the ball over the keeper and appeared to have been taken down by a defender but the referee pointed for a goal kick.
Our U20 side took the lead on the half-hour mark. MacDonald ran on to a long ball and was flattened by the keeper, who he beat to the ball. The midfielder stood over the ball to take the free-kick which was right centre of the goal and 20 yards out. MacDonald expertly curled the ball into the top-right corner to make the score 1-0.
The second half should have started with a second goal for the young Binos. Kyle Banner won the ball near the halfway line and perfectly played McLaren through on goal. The striker hit the ball wide of the mark from the left side of the box. Taylor Evans tried his luck from 25 yards soon after, but the low effort was saved.
The visitors played much better in the second half. They were using the ball more efficiently and creating more openings. One such opening came on 76 minutes, as a Forfar midfielder won back the ball in the Stirling final third and played through his striker. He rounded Law, but the Binos’ custodian did enough to put him off, as his heavy touch allowed Luke Martin to cover across and prevent a goal. The move was well defended after initial sloppy play from our U20 side.
The Loons then had a golden chance to equalise with eight minutes remaining, as they nearly replicated MacDonald’s goal from the first half. A free-kick was awarded virtually in the same position, where their excellent left-footed effort cannoned off the inside of Law’s post and spun away from danger.
Andy Todd tightened the defence up in the closing moments as he executed the recent new ruling of using additional substitutes in an U20 game.
The boys next play Berwick away from home on Monday March 19.
1. C. Law
2. D. Cumming
3. L. Martin
4. R. Lockie
5. K. Banner
6. M. Innes (Trialist 86’)
7. C. MacDonald (Mair 86’)
8. T. Evans
9. R. McLaren
10. R. Cameron (Watson 74’)
11. A. Vezza (Young 76’)