Our U20 team were beaten 3-2 by Alloa Athletic in the SPFL Development League on Monday night. Reg McLaren got both our goals at the Indodrill Stadium.
Report by Andrew MacDonald
Andy Todd’s side lined up in a 3-4-2-1 formation for the second time this season. Forward Ross Cameron returned to the line-up and U17 goalkeeper Callum Law started. Alloa lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, a narrow loss to Raith Rovers being their latest result.
It was a sensational start to the match by Stirling, who scored after less than two minutes. It was all the work of striker Reg McLaren, who dispossessed the Alloa keeper after a poor touch and passed the ball into the net from just inside the box. A fantastic start for our U20 team! The boys didn’t do much in the way of extending their lead, as the hosts responded well by putting crosses into the box and trying to work openings.
The Wasps’ persistence was rewarded in the 17th minute, as the ball found its way to the Alloa left midfielder, who skipped past three challenges before driving into the box and finishing into the bottom left corner.
Alloa were continuing to cause problems on the flanks, as their wingers were regularly outpacing their makers and dribbling into positions of danger, or delivering whipped crosses into the box. Stirling did construct one nice passing move in the first half, but this resulted in McLaren striking the ball over the crossbar.
It was a bad start to the second half for the boys, as the hosts mirrored the timing of our first-half goal by scoring with two minutes gone. The Wasps’ right midfielder beat three players before cutting in and rifling the ball into the far top corner of Law’s goal.
It was a good response from the boys however, who drew level in the 51st minute. Alberto Vezza won a free kick 30 yards from goal, which captain Ryan Lockie duly curled into the box. McLaren rose highest and guided a perfect header into the corner. Unstoppable for the keeper! George Stanger nearly put Stirling ahead but his low shot was saved.
The game was fairly open, with both sides creating half chances, but it was Alloa who went 3-2 up as some poor defensive positioning from Stirling resulted in a simple ball over the top putting the Alloa striker through on goal. Law did well to initially save the striker’s shot, but an on-running midfielder slotted home the rebound.
The Alloa wingers were yet again causing problems, as they continued to whip crosses into the box and shoot from distance. If it wasn’t for the impressive debutant Law – who made a couple of point-blank saves and beat dangerous crosses away – the young Binos would have been trailing by more than one goal.
Callum MacDonald came closest to finding an equaliser, his driving run from the right-hand side ending with his left-footed shot going just over the bar. The wing-back also had a top-corner bound free kick palmed over by the keeper.
The young Binos thought they had equalised in the 84th minute when Kyle Banner headed a cross into the net but the referee gave the Wasps a free kick for infringement.
Despite an impressive double from top scorer McLaren it was another development derby defeat for the young Binos, who have no game next week.
Stirling Albion line-up
1 Callum Law
2 Callum MacDonald
3 Ryan Lockie
4 Kyle Banner
5 Dillon Young (Luke Martin 86)
6 George Stanger
7 Marc Innes
8 Taylor Evans (Declyn Cumming 79)
9 Reg McLaren
10 Ross Cameron
11 Alberto Vezza (Justin Watson 79)
Sub (not used): Brooklyn Mair