By Connor Ryan
Rovers fell to their first defeat in 5 games as they lost 3-1 to Stenhousemuir at Ochilview Park.
Rovers managed to equalise through Charlie Reilly after Stenhousemuir took an early lead but goals from Euan O’Reilly, Cammy Graham, and Sean Crighton sealed the three points for the Warriors.
The first half would see Rovers be the better team but on the fourth-minute mark, a ball down the left-hand side found Euan O’Reilly who cut inside and smashed a low strike past Cammy Binnie to give Stenhousemuir a 1-0 lead.
The first chances for Rovers to get back into the game would appear just 12 minutes later as a corner from David Wilson would find Sean Fagan in the box whose shot was blocked leading to claims of a penalty, but the referee disagreed. Charlie Reilly would then see his follow-up shot go wide of the post.
Rovers early pressure would eventually pay off as Charlie Reilly grabbed the equaliser in the 19th minute as he managed to take the ball well in the box and dispatch the ball beyond David Wilson, the Stenhousemuir keeper, at his near post.
Stenhousemuir would be forced into an early change just after Rover’s equaliser with Ross Forbes coming off for James Lyon.
Both sides would exchange multiple chances throughout the rest of the first half with Jamie Leslie dragging a shot wide while Stenhousemuir would continue to threaten with crosses coming in from the left-hand side.
The next big chance of the game would come in the 39th minute as Max Wright would be forced to stretch for what looked like a certain goal but Wilson in goals pulled off a superb stop to deny Rovers the lead and keep the game at 1-1. Ross Lyon would then be booked for Stenhousemuir just before the end of the first half.
The second half began just as the first half had ended with multiple chances occurring, from Rovers gaining a couple of corners to Darren Christie blasting his shot into the side netting after a Stenhousemuir counterattack just 6 minutes after the restart.
Nicky Jamieson would then become the second Stenhousemuir player to go into the book on the 52nd minute as he was given a yellow card for a poor challenge in his own half, but the resulting free-kick was well held by Wilson.
Stenhousemuir would make a double change just before the hour mark as Darren Christie and Ross Lyon were replaced by Cameron Graham and BJ Coll.
It wouldn’t take long for both of Stenhousemuir’s new substitutes to make an impact as BJ Coll delivered a good ball into the box which found Cameron Graham in space who poked the ball beyond Binnie to give Stenhousemuir a 2-1 lead with 25 minutes to go.
Rovers would pick up their first yellow card in the aftermath of Stenhousemuir taking the lead as Adam Fernie would be booked, while Rovers made their first sub as Corey O’Donnell would be replaced by Kyle Doherty.
Stenhousemuir would then make another double change with 20 minutes to play as Thomas Orr and Adam Brown would be replaced by Ryan Tierney and Declan Hughes.
Entering the later stages of the game, O’Reilly was still proving to be a hassle for the Rovers defence down the left-hand side, while James McGowan would become the second Rovers player to be booked.
Max Wright would be replaced by Michael Mullen with ten minutes to go as Rovers chased an equaliser, but the Stenhousemuir lead was almost extended as Cammy Binnie was forced into a great save to put a BJ Coll strike over the bar.
Sadly, from that resulting corner, Stenhousemuir would make it 3-1 on the 82nd minute through their captain Sean Crighton whose downwards header was palmed into the net by Cammy Binnie. BJ Coll would pick up a booking in the aftermath.
The last couple of minutes saw Jordan Morton and Kieran Dolan replace Charlie Reilly and Callum Wilson, while Binnie was called into action once again with a brilliant stop to prevent Stenhousemuir from getting a fourth goal.
The game would end 3-1 to Stenhousemuir who are now up to 5th in the table while Rovers would drop down to 7th place and remain six points behind the play-off spots.