0 - 1
League (2nd Division)
Joe McCallan (37)
1 George Young
2 Bobby Gray
3 George Nicol
4 Jim Dempsey
5 John Kennedy
6 Stewart Carr
7 Matt McPhee
8 Jim Clark
9 Tom Downie
10 Robin Thomson
11 Nicky Lawson
Roddy McKenzie 1
Norrie Hall 2
Gregor Abel 3
Jim Fallon 4
Sam Goodwin 5
Dougie Hay 6
Davie Cooper 7
Sammy Henderson 8
Mike Larnach 9
Joe McCallan 10
Jimmy Lumsden 11
12 Kenny Muir
14 Rab Duffin
Bobby Provan 12
Billy McColl 14
|Rab Duffin -> Tom Downie||None.|
RM Hopkins (Referee)
Bankies, with Jim Fallon back to his No. 4 berth were at full strength for their visit to Stirling. This match was of vital importance for the locals as Albion should be strong challengers for the championship and never surrender points easily at Annfield.
What a whirlwind start Stirling made to this match. Attacking down the slope they dominated the early stages with neat build ups and wide wing play.
Bankies looked jaded, perhaps not surprisingly as this was their fourth game in seven days, and they struggled to keep the eager home forwards at bay.
Lawson had two chances within a minute but shot wide both times. Roddy McKenzie's run of six consecutive shut-outs looked to be in danger as Stirling moved forward.
Lawson had the miss of the match in the 25thminute when a mistake by Goodwin left him six yards from goal. To the disbelief of himself and the home fans he shot over the bar when it looked easier to score.
Around the half hour mark there were signs that Bankies were at last putting their game together. A short pass back by Carr left McCallan with a clear run in on goal, and as he rounded the keeper, Young seemed to trip him. However, the ref waved away claims for a penalty from the large travelling support.
This decision seemed to spark life into Bankies. Cooper burst into the match with a run past three defenders and his 20 yard shot was tipped over the bar by Young. Another shot, this time by Hay forced Young into conceding another corner.
Against the run of play, Bankies forged ahead in the 37th minute. Abel was fouled by McPhee out on the left and Dougie Hay's free kick was perfectly judged for the unmarked Joe McCallan to rise at the far post and bullet a header into the net, for his third goal of the week.
The opening events of the second half were more in keeping with the festivities of the fete behind the ground. There was a 10 minute stoppage while the referee limped off the field to be replaced by the linesman and a Stirling official took over to run the line,until such time as a qualified linesman came forward.
For the next 20 minutes it looked as though this was to be the highlight of the half as the game plodded drearily on.
It was now obvious that Bankies were playing well within themselves and Stirling, whose rhythm had now gone could do little to break down a very strong defence.
A snap shot by Lawson, which McKenzie did well to block, was the only time the home side looked threatening and indeed Bankies could have added to their lead in the 74th and 75h minutes when two golden chances were created and missed.
Firstly, McCallan broke through the home defence only to shoot over the bar. Then Larnach almost notched what would have been a deserved reward for persistence against a niggling defence. He drew Young, then intelligently lobbed the ball for the empty net only to watch agonisingly as it rebounded from the underside of the bar.
In the closing minutes things became rather less than friendly and the substitute referee made his mark by booking Clark and Kennedy of Stirling and Lumsden of Clydebank.
With almost the last kick of the ball Lawson fired the ball across the face of the goal but no home forward was on hand to snatch the equaliser.
Thus another fine win for Bankies who will be delighted to take two points from Stirling where many of their challengers will find difficulties. Although the game never rose above mediocrity it was a gritty performance by Bankies coming away victorious after such a hectic week.
They seemed to be playing well within themselves and notably Davie Cooper who has commanded such publicity recently was inconspicuous, playing very deep.
Jim Fallon did not look 100 per cent fit after his injury and these factors make the result more creditable, leaving Bankies at the top of the league, not having conceded a goal.
|Roddy McKenzie (GK)||-||8||-||8||-|
No games played.