Report to follow…
Alloa booked their place in round two of the IRN-BRU Cup with a comfortable win at the Indodrill Stadium.
Only 332 fans were there to see it – around 80 of them in the away end – as the £17 adult admission price kept supporters away.
Kevin Cawley’s double late in the first half had the Wasps in control and Iain Flannigan added the third goal less than a minute after the break. Lee Hamilton got one back but it wasn’t much consolation as we suffered our eighth derby defeat in a row.
Stirling haven’t won a game in this competition since beating Elgin City at Borough Briggs in July 2014 and never looked like ending that run.
Binos boss Dave Mackay was again without injured trio Darren Smith, Darren Barr and Kevin Moon while Neil McLaughlin was involved with parent club Motherwell, as was Alloa’s Jake Hastie. The hosts had to do without suspended striker Greig Spence and only named three subs – one of them manager Jim Goodwin.
The Championship side had two goals disallowed for offside before Cawley converted an Adam Brown cross then volleyed Alan Trouten’s delivery past Calum Ferrie.
Mark Stewart missed a great chance when he headed wide at 0-0 but Alloa were much the better team and Flannigan smashed a shot into the net from 18 yards for No 3.
Hamilton reduced the deficit when his header from a corner hit the post and was judged to have crossed the line before being cleared.
Alloa Athletic: Parry, Taggart, Dick, Graham, Hetherington (Karadachki 83) Cawley, Robertson, Trouten, Flannigan, Brown, Peggie. Subs (not used): Goodwin, Henry (GK).
Goal: Cawley 40, 45, Flannigan 46
Stirling Albion: Ferrie, McGeachie, Allan, Hamilton, Banner (Watson 27) Marr, Stewart (Fell 77), Jardine, P MacDonald, Thomson, Robertson. Subs (not used): Young, Docherty, McLaren, M MacDonald, Binnie (GK).
Goal: Hamilton 55
Referee: David Lowe
Clyde cruised to a comfortable win at Forthbank to take the early lead in Ladbrokes League 2 and leave Stirling without a point or a goal.
A double from Ally Love and a David Goodwillie goal did the damage at Forthbank and Danny Lennon’s side look very capable of challenging for the title.
It was a deeply disappointing afternoon for Dave Mackay’s men – they had plenty of possession in the first half but rarely troubled keeper Blair Currie.
Darren Barr, Darren Smith, Kevin Moon and Calum Ferrie all missed out through injury but Kyle Banner returned from suspension and Willie Robertson was back. There were two trialists on the bench in former Falkirk midfielder Mark Stowe and ex-Hamilton Accies forward Marc Kelly and both made their debuts as substitutes.
Clyde lost 2-1 here on their last visit in February but were ahead after just four minutes. The ball broke to Love in the box following a free kick and he steered a shot inside the left-hand post.
Bully Wee skipper Kevin Nicoll struck the bar with a dipping effort from distance but the visitors did score again on the brink of half-time when Jordan Stewart’s cross from the left was headed home by Goodwillie.
Stirling had a penalty appeal waved away when Dominic Docherty appeared to be tripped in the box and it was game over on the hour mark when Clyde scored again – a nice move ended with Love slamming a low drive in off the post.
Binnie denied the visitors a fourth goal with a good save from summer signing John Rankin while Mark Stewart tested Currie late on as we struggled to break down a well-organised Clyde side.
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Allan, Hamilton, Banner, Docherty (Stowe 66), Stewart, Jardine, P MacDonald, McLaughlin (Fell 74), Robertson (Kelly 83). Subs (not used): Law (GK), Marr, Thomson, M MacDonald.
Clyde: Currie, Cuddihy, Stewart, Rumsby, McNiff, Grant (Boyle 84) Nicoll, Rankin, McStay (Ferns 73) Goodwillie, Love (Lamont 73). Subs (not used): Hughes (GK), Gorman, Cogill, Duffie.
Goals: Love 4, 60, Goodwillie 44
Referee: Lloyd Wilson
Our Ladbrokes League 2 campaign got off to a disappointing start as Berwick claimed the points on a sunny afternoon at Shielfield.
Stirling had much the better of the first half but struck the woodwork on three separate occasions and also had a goal disallowed.
Robbie Horn’s men came out strongly in the second half and midfielder Ross Brown, a recent signing from Airdrie, got the winner in 65 minutes.
Binos boss Dave Mackay was without injured pair Darren Barr and Darren Smith while Kevin Moon and Kyle Banner were suspended. Lee Hamilton returned to the side and on-loan Dundee keeper Calum Ferrie got the nod ahead of Cammy Binnie.
Dominic Docherty (twice) and Neil McLaughlin both rattled the frame of the goal as half-time approached and Fell was unlucky to be denied by the offside flag when he latched on to a superb pass from Jason Marr and looped a header over keeper Sean Brennan.
Berwick, who hadn’t scored in the Betfred Cup, looked a different team in the second half and Ferrie made a couple of good saves from Paul Willis before Brown sliced through the defence to score with a confident finish low into the net.
The biggest disappointment was our lack of reaction to going behind and we barely troubled Brennan in the Berwick goal, although Mark Stewart should have done better with an opportunity late in the game.
Berwick Rangers: Brennan, Orru, O’Kane, Wilson, Todd (Fleming 89), Lavery (Murphy 79), Willis, Phillips, Cook, Healy (Murrell 72), Brown. Subs (not used): Adams (GK), Davie, Rose.
Scorer: Ross Brown 65
Stirling Albion: Ferrie, McGeachie, Allan, Hamilton, Marr, Docherty, Stewart, Jardine, P MacDonald, Fell (Watson 69), McLaughlin (McLaren 82). Subs (not used): Binnie (GK), Young, Thomson, M MacDonald, C MacDonald.
Referee: Chris Graham
Dunfermline came from behind to top Betfred Group D with a 100% record as we finished in fourth place.
Peter MacDonald gave Stirling a half-time lead but a Myles Hippolyte double and a James Vincent goal turned the tide in the Pars’ favour.
Dave Mackay named an unchanged team to the one that beat Peterhead 2-0 last weekend, with Darren Barr, Darren Smith, Kevin Moon and Lee Hamilton again ruled out.
Allan Johnston’s side had thumped Brechin 7-1 in midweek and made a strong start, forcing several corners, but we recovered well from a difficult opening spell and grew into the game.
The deadlock was broken in 36 minutes when a good move ended with Kevin Fell setting up Peter MacDonald to beat Cammy Gill with a tidy finish.
Dunfermline looked a different team after the break and were level in 47 minutes when Hippolyte latched on to a long ball and ran clear to knock it past Cammy Binnie.
It was 2-1 nine minutes later when on-loan Dundee midfielder Vincent nodded in from close range after Faissal El Bakhtaoui’s effort from a tight angle bounced off the bar.
We should have had a penalty when Jason Marr was barged in the box but there was nothing doing and Binos boss Dave Mackay was sent to the stand in the aftermath.
The Pars wasted a number of good chances to put the game to bed but they grabbed a third goal in stoppage time. Substitute Andy Ryan hit the bar with a free-kick and Hippolyte headed the rebound into the net from close range.
Dunfermline deserved the win but there was plenty encouragement for Albion as we prepare to face Berwick Rangers at Shielfield in our Ladbrokes League 2 opener next weekend.
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Allan, Marr, Banner, Docherty, Stewart, Jardine, P MacDonald (McLaren 77), Fell (Watson 72), McLaughlin. Subs (not used): Law (GK), Young, Thomson, M MacDonald, C MacDonald.
Goal: P MacDonald 36
Dunfermline Athletic: Gill, Craigen, J Longridge, Devine, Durnan, Ashcroft, Thomson, Vincent (Connolly 71), El Bakhtaoui (Ryan 71), L Longridge, Hippolyte. Subs (not used): Robinson (GK), Williamson, Higginbotham, McCann, Smith.
Goals: Hippolyte 47, 90, Vincent 56
Referee: Mike Roncone
Stirling earned an impressive victory on a grey afternoon at Balmoor to get their first points on the board in Betfred Cup Group D.
It was our first win since we beat Elgin City 2-0 at Borough Briggs back on March 20 and ended an 11-match barren run.
Peter MacDonald and Mark Stewart got the goals but this was a strong all-round performance from Dave Mackay’s men, particularly as we were without Darren Barr, Lee Hamilton, Kevin Moon and Darren Smith through injury.
The Blue Toon included Ross Kavanagh and the former Bino almost scored inside 60 seconds when he seized on a defensive error but his shot hit the outside of the post.
In a frantic opening to the game we took the lead in nine minutes when Stewart picked out MacDonald and the experienced frontman steered a cool finish into the bottom corner.
Rory McAllister then missed two good chances to equalise for Jim McInally’s side and he wasted another opportunity as half-time approached.
Binnie tipped a Kavanagh header over the bar early in the second half but we nearly doubled our lead when Neil McLaughlin played in Stewart and the striker’s shot was blocked by Greg Fleming.
We did make it 2-0 with 19 minutes left – Jordan Allan’s corner from the right was cleverly dummied by MacDonald at the near post and Stewart swept the ball into the net from close range.
Fleming somehow denied defender Kyle Banner from close range while sub Derek Lyle should have done better at the other end as Peterhead failed to score for the third game in a row.
We sit out Betfred Cup matchday four on Tuesday and complete our Group D fixtures against Dunfermline at East End Park next Saturday.
Peterhead: Fleming, Brown, Home, Eadie, Kavanagh, Ferry, Stevenson (Lyle 59) Brown (Norris 38), McAllister (McLean 59), Leitch, Gibson. Subs (not used): McDonald, Buxton.
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Allan, Marr, Banner, Docherty, Stewart, Jardine, P MacDonald (McLaren 88), Fell (Watson 79), McLaughlin. Subs (not used): Law, Young, Thomson, M MacDonald, C MacDonald
Goals: MacDonald 9, Stewart 71
Referee: Peter Stuart
Brechin won for the first time since beating Buckie Thistle in November as we suffered our second defeat in Betfred Cup Group D.
Mark Stewart’s first goal for the Binos cancelled out Boris Melingui’s opener but Callum Tapping curled in a superb shot from 20 yards with just a few minutes left.
We went into the game on the back of a 4-0 loss to Dundee while Darren Dods’ side had lost on penalties to Peterhead after a 0-0 draw at Glebe Park. Darren Barr and Darren Smith were again ruled out but Jordan Allan returned after a one-match ban.
Brechin started brightly and deservedly went ahead in 17 minutes when Melingui – a recent signing from Leek Town – got on the end of a long ball to loop a header over Cammy Binnie.
Jamie Henry missed a good chance for the visitors but we had recovered from a shaky opening spell and equalised just before the break when sub Peter MacDonald set up Stewart to score from close range.
For half an hour of the second half Stirling looked more likely to win but Conor Brennan made a key save after Stewart was sent clear by Kevin Fell’s brilliant pass and we dropped out of things towards the end.
Binnie made a great save to turn Jordan Sinclair’s low drive round the post but, with penalties looming, former Hearts midfielder Tapping scored a beauty to end City’s long winless streak.
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Allan, Hamilton (P MacDonald 34), Banner, Marr, Stewart, Jardine, McLaughlin, Moon, (Fell 46) Docherty (M MacDonald 83). Subs (not used): Law (GK), Thomson, Watson, Young.
Goal: Stewart 44
Brechin City: Brennan, McLean, Burns, Hill, C Tapping, Shields, Lynas, Smith, Morena, Melingui (Orsi 55), Henry (Sinclair 69). Subs (not used): Spark, J Tapping.
Goals: Melingui 17, C Tapping 84
Referee: David Lowe
Our opening game of the season ended in defeat as Betfred Cup Group D favourites Dundee came out on top in their first visit to Forthbank since 2011.
A double from Sofien Moussa and goals from new signing Jean Mendy and Craig Wighton saw Neil McCann’s men secure a comfortable victory but we were well in the game for almost an hour and created some good openings in the first half.
Dave Mackay gave debuts to Jason Marr and Mark Stewart but Jordan Allan was suspended and Darren Smith and Darren Barr both injured. Ross McGeachie captained the side while Dom Docherty, Justin Watson and Kevin Fell made their first appearances from the bench.
Both sides had penalty appeals waved away either side of Moussa missing a sitter for the visitors but he made amends in 39 minutes when he controlled a pass from Genseric Kusunga and smacked the ball past Cammy Binnie from close range.
Binnie saved well from Wighton before the break but the best stop of the game came from Jack Hamilton early in the second half when he somehow kept out Marr’s header following a Danny Jardine corner.
Dundee got the second goal in 57 minutes when Wighton set up the unmarked Moussa to score with a simple header then Mendy found the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Wighton rounded things off with a superb effort via the outside of his foot after being teed up by Glen Kamara and we remain without a win over the Dens Park side since 1978.
Our next is against Brechin City at Forthbank on Tuesday night then we travel to Peterhead on Saturday.
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie (Watson 71), Thomson, Banner, Marr, Hamilton, Stewart, Moon (Fell 81), Jardine, P MacDonald (Docherty 68), McLaughlin.
Subs (not used): Young, McLaren, M MacDonald, Law (GK).
Dundee: Hamilton, Kerr (Curran 81), Ralph, Kusunga, Meekings, Kamara, Ngwatala (Madianga 70),
Mendy, McGowan, Moussa (Henvey 78),Wighton.
Subs (not used): Caulker, Jefferies, Scott, Parish (GK).
Goals: Moussa 39, 57, Mendy 64, Wighton 69
Referee: Gavin Ross
Stirling Albion and Raith Rovers drew 2-2 in a closed-door friendly at Forthbank on Tuesday night.
Goals from Kyle Banner and Mark Stewart had us in command but a late double from Liam Buchanan, one from the penalty spot, saw Barry Smith’s side hit back.
We had a late penalty saved but that’s five friendly matches without defeat going into Saturday’s Betfred Cup game against Dundee.
Binos boss Dave Mackay said: “We played some great stuff in the first half and we were down to 10 men when Raith got back in it – we took Ross McGeachie off as a precaution but he should be fine for Saturday.”
Goals from left-back Jordan Allan and striker Peter MacDonald (penalty) earned us a 2-0 win over Stranraer on a day of glorious sunshine at Stair Park.
It was our third away friendly success by the same score in the space of a week, following victories at Lowland League pair Dalbeattie Star and East Kilbride.
Allan turned Danny Jardine’s shot into the net to give Dave Mackay’s men the lead after 24 minutes and MacDonald confidently converted from the spot early in the second half after he had been impeded.
Former Albion defender Adam Cummins almost pulled one back for Stevie Farrell’s side late on but his header came back off the bar.
The action gets under way for real next weekend when we welcome Dundee to Forthbank in the Betfred Cup.
Team v Stranraer
1 Cammy Binnie
2 Ross McGeachie
3 Jordan Allan
4 Lee Hamilton
5 Kyle Banner
6 Cameron Taylor
7 Kevin Moon
8 Danny Jardine
9 Peter MacDonald
10 Kevin Fell
14 Willie Robertson
Subs (all used)
GK Callum Law
11 Reg McLaren
12 Dillon Young
15 Conor Langton
16 Justin Watson
18 Taylor Evans
20 Mitchell McDonald