By David McCabe
Albion Rovers starting 11: 1. Jack Leighfield 21. Liam Fagan 4. Ayrton Sonkur 22. Luke Graham 2. Adam Fernie 3. Blair Malcolm 6. Kyle Fleming 8. Jamie Leslie 7. Callum Wilson 9. Scott Roberts 11. Charlie Reilly
Subs: 14. Amaury Testa 24. Adam Mcarthur 16. Barry Duncan 17. Chris Smith 18. Kieran Dolan 19. Max Wright
Stirling University starting 11: 1. Ben Fry 2. Tomas Gilmour 4. Matthew Burrows 3. Marcus Lavery 8. James Stokes 6. Benjamin Heal 5. James Barry 7. James Jarvis 11. Ciaran McAninch 9. Ben Maciver-Redwood 10. Cameron McKinley
Subs: 12. Archie Munro 14. Finlay Bainbridge 15. James Russell 16. Buronbek Mirzalimov 17. Euan McGill 18. Jack Docherty 19. Patrick Grooms 20. Isa Aslanoglu 21. Yan Gromov Godik
Stirling started the game quickly for both teams, within the first three minutes Stirling already had a free kick which led to them getting two chances to score, one being saved and the other going and clipping the bar. This ultimately set the tone for the game as the visitors were constantly digging at the heels and pressuring the whole Rovers team no matter who was on the ball.
After they started the brighter side for a large spell of the first half it was a midfield battle between both teams as they tried to keep hold of the ball for longer than 5 seconds, both teams pressuring each other into mistakes. The game was end to end with both teams constantly making their ways into each other’s final thirds, but a lack of finishing from both sets of attacks led to nothing really of note taking place.
Tragedy would happen around the 38th minute as after jumping high in the air to win a header Liam Fagan fell down awkwardly on his leg, having to be stretchered off a couple of minutes later. Hopefully the injury isn’t too serious and he will be playing again this season. Lewis Kidd would come on to replace him.
Stirling were all over Rovers throughout the game, barely giving any of our players a chance to breathe with their constant press and high line. Despite this though they didn’t make any substitutes before the end of normal time, only starting to bring on fresh legs after the 90 minutes. This worked in their favour due to the lack of options on the bench defensively wise for Rovers, who couldn’t match the fresh feet.
James Jarvis was one of the best players on the pitch, his runs were great and his passes were immense, Rovers struggled to contain him the whole game.
We had a chance in the 90th minute to win the game. A tussle in the box during a corner kick led to Rovers being awarded a penalty. Up stepped Charlie Reilly who missed a penalty last week and he sadly added to that tally, shooting the ball way above the bar.
Rovers would go behind at the 111th minute, James Russell would make a run down the right-hand side of the pitch, putting a lovely ball into the middle for an unmarked Euan McGill – to which all he needed to do was tap the ball into the net. It was the least that they deserved throughout the match with how they played. Rovers were lucky it was just one goal.
Goalscorers: Euan McGill (SU)
Referee: Alex Shepherd
Assistants: Colin Drummond and Brian Christie