By Connor Ryan
Albion Rovers starting XI: 1. Ross Connelly 2. Adam Fernie 3. Scott Dunn 4. Arnie Kasa 5. Sean Fagan (c) 8. Dom McMahon 9. Niyah Joseph 10. Alex McCaw 15. Stephen O’Neil 20. Bright Prince 22. Corrie Fellows
Subs: 17. Fraser Walker 6. Callum Wilson (replaced Scott Dunn on 45′) 11. Tylar Denholm (replaced Corrie Fellows on 90′) 16. Barry Duncan (replaced Stephen O’Neill on 81′) 18. Reece Paterson 19. Josh Tran (replaced Adam Fernie on 47′) 21. Conor Duffy
Caledonian Braves starting XI: 1. Bernie White 2. Jack Brown 3. Robbie Stewart 4. Jack McDowall 5. Daniel Martins 6. John Guthrie (c) 7. Aidan Clocherty 8. Kristian Gkegka 9. Ross McNeil 10. Greig Stewart 11. Cammy Breadner
Subs: 12. Louis Thompson 14. Blair Hill 15. Kian Speirs (replaced Aidan Clocherty on 72′) 16. Matthew Collins 17. Josh Gemmell 18. Jamie Watson (replaced Cammy Breadner on 83′) 75. Adam Brown
Rovers picked up their first win in four games with a last minute strike from Barry Duncan, securing a vital three points at Cliftonhill in an exciting encounter against Caledonian Braves
Despite going into the break 1-0 down, Rovers rallied and put on a spirited performance to get back into the game through a Niyah Joseph penalty, with a brilliant defensive performance and Duncan’s wonder strike seeing Rovers over the line.
Following a two minutes silence for remembrance day, the game would get underway with Caledonian Braves looking to have given themselves an early lead, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Rovers would get a chance within the first five minutes also as Bright Prince would find Niyah Joseph who’s strike was deflected just wide of the post. Sadly the resulting corner was cleared away with ease.
Niyah Joseph looked to be in on goal once again as he bore down on goal on the 11th minute following an advantage but it turned out to be a wasted opportunity as his low driven strike was easily held by Bernie White in the Caledonian Braves goal.
Alex McCaw would be next to have a go for Rovers in the 20th minute but his volley was blazed over the bar.
Caledonian Braves would begin to mount up the pressure and just after the half an hour mark they would get their reward as Ross McNeil would curl the ball into the bottom right corner to give his side a 1-0 lead following a rebound off Ross Connelly.
The lead was almost doubled just five minutes later as a ball into the box missed a Braves attacker by inches as the Rovers defence were given yet another warning sign.
Approaching half time, Rovers would see a number of chances with the most dangerous seeing Alex McCaw pick out Niyah Joseph with a superb ball from the right hand side but the attempted header was once again well held by White in goals.
Dom McMahon would also be found in the box shortly after but his effort went just over the bar.
The last chance of the half would see the captain Sean Fagan find himself on the outside of the box allowing him to send a curling effort towards goal but it was once again an easy save for White as the referee blew for half time.
The second half would get underway with Scott Dunn being replaced by Callum Wilson as well as Adam Fernie being forced off through injury to be replaced by Josh Tran.
Most of the early chances in the second half would come Rovers way as Bright Prince went close to equalising but his downward header went just by the post.
Rovers would then be awarded a penalty for handball on the 57th minute which Niyah Joseph managed to convert to give Rovers an equaliser by sending White the wrong way.
Josh Tran would then go close just after the hour mark as he was played in behind by Prince but his shot was blasted just over the bar.
Arnie Kasa would go close as well shortly after with his effort following a set piece going just wide as Rovers looked to quickly build on their equaliser.
Kasa would then be forced to show his defensive capabilities with 15 minutes to play as he managed to clear a goal bound attempt off the line.
Caledonian Braves would start to get into the game with a number of chances entering the final ten minutes as Ross Connelly was called into action on numerous occasions, as Braves failed to convert from a number of corners.
Following this, Stephen O’Neill would be replaced by Barry Duncan on the 81st minute and Tylar Denholm replaced Corrie Fellows on the 90th minute
Despite Braves pressure and the game looking to be heading for a draw, Rovers went on the counter with an attempt appearing to be cleared off a hand however a fantastic strike from substitute Barry Duncan gave Rovers the lead in stoppage time.
Some more superb defending from Rovers ensured that Braves couldn’t grab an equaliser and Rovers grabbed all three points putting Rovers into 12th in the table, going above both Cowdenbeath and today’s opposition Caledonian Braves on goal difference.
Rovers now turn their attention to the South Challenge Cup with an away trip to Kilwinning Rangers next Saturday which has a 1:30pm kick off.
Goal scorers: Ross McNeil – 30′ (CB) Niyah Joseph – 57′ (ARFC) Barry Duncan – 90′ (ARFC)
Bookings: John Guthrie (CB)
Man of the match: Sean Fagan