Following the frustration of another mini-lockdown, the Youth Academy returned to a short but intense fortnight of training in the lead-up to the Christmas break. During this period both sides managed to squeeze in friendly fixtures.

Clyde U19s 6-3 Stirling Albion U18s
The U18s visited Clyde on a wet, cold Friday evening but, unlike the elements, the Binos started brightly taking an early two-goal lead. Jonny Mair struck the opener following good inter-play down the right-hand side before Samuel Metcalfe added a second with a strike across the Clyde goalkeeper that nestled inside the far post.

However, despite the early advantage Stirling were unable to convert chances to extend their lead and Clyde came into the break on level terms. First, the home side scored from a corner kick before equalising when pouncing on the rebound from a free kick that had cracked against the bar.

Clyde would take a quick lead after the restart and went on to be deserved winners. Having extended their lead to 4-2 before the hour mark, Stirling would strike back through Matthew Meechan but the desire and determination shown by the home side was too much for the Binos and the Bully Wee ran out deserved 6-3 winners.

Stirling Albion 2005s 1-1 Kerse United 2005s
The elements were kinder on Sunday for the 2005s as they faced up against Kerse Utd at Forthbank. The home side created a lot of good early chances which saw Ross Pincombe smash an effort against the crossbar from outside the box but it was Kerse who took the lead when capitalising on a mix-up. The visitors could have doubled their lead before the break had the referee not adjudged their forward to have been offside.

Kerse had the better of the opening exchanges in the second half but it was Stirling who were to score next when Ryan Dale slotted home at the back post after Campbell McGregor’s acceleration had taken the Binos beyond the Kerse backline. McGregor – who was growing into the game – almost immediately put Stirling in front, only to see his shot crash against the bar.

As the game wore on, Albion found more and more gaps in the Kerse side but the visitors’ goalkeeper continued to have a very impressive match as it ended all square.