Stirling ended a run of five successive home league defeats with a draw against Forfar on Tuesday evening.

Craig Slater gave the Loons an early lead with a fine free-kick but Dale Carrick equalised midway through the second period in a hard-fought encounter on a heavy pitch.

This game was originally scheduled for January 22 but was postponed because of our Scottish Cup tie at Ibrox. There were doubts about the rearranged fixture following heavy overnight rain – the pitch was in poor condition in the morning but recovered sufficiently to pass a 2.00pm inspection.

Forfar lost 1-0 here in September but beat Stirling 2-0 at Station Park in December and went into the game sitting second in the table, with Albion in seventh spot following Friday’s 1-0 defeat at Edinburgh City. The Loons’ weekend match at Cowdenbeath was postponed due to Covid issues but they were able to name a 17-man squad for this one.

We showed two changes – Carrick and Dylan Paterson and replaced Akeel Francis and Nathan Flanagan. Ross McGeachie and Adam Cummins were again sidelined due to injury.

Jack Leitch had a shot blocked before Forfar almost took the lead in 10 minutes – on-loan Kilmarnock full-back Tomas Brindley picked out Matty Aitken but the striker’s header hit the base of the post.

The opener was only delayed by a couple of minutes. Stirling were unhappy about the award of the free-kick some 25 yards out but Slater sent a beauty of a strike high past Blair Currie.

We enjoyed good spells in the first half and full-back Mason Hancock fired over before Marc McCallum made a terrific reaction save to stop a Dylan Mackin header just before half-time.

Aitken came close to doubling the visitors’ lead in 57 minutes when he fired wide and Stirling equalised eight minutes later. Kieran Moore did well on the right and picked out Carrick, who took a touch then thumped the ball home for his fifth goal of the season.

Mackin sent a 25 yard free-kick just wide as Stirling chased a winner while defender Andy Munro headed over in the final minute at the other the end as it ended all square.

Stirling Albion: Currie, Moore, Hancock, Banner, McGregor, Grant (Laird 85), Mackin, Paterson (Flanagan 72), Roberts, Carrick, Leitch. Subs (not used): Law (GK), McNiff, Creaney, Francis.

Goal: Carrick 65

Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Whyte, Munro, Fisher, Brindley, Thomson (G Anderson 71), Slater, Hutton (Harkins 85), McCluskey, Aitken (Shepherd 74), Moore. Subs (not used): Sanderson (GK), Strachan, Hussain.

Goal: Slater 12

Referee: Scott Lambie

Crowd: 449