By Connor Ryan
Albion Rovers line-up: 1. Jack Leighfield, 2. Adam Fernie, 3. James McGowan, 4. Ayrton Sonker, 5. Sean Fagan ©, 6. Kyle Fleming, 7. Callum Wilson, 8. Jamie Leslie, 9. Scott Roberts, 10. Michael Paton, 11. Charlie Reilly
Subs: 14. Kieran Dolan, 15. Devan McColl, 16. Amaury Testa, 17. Chris Smith, 18. Barry Duncan, 19. Lewis Kidd (replaced Jamie Leslie on 63’), 20. Kieran McGrath (replaced Michael Paton on 52’), 21. Max Wright
Stenhousemuir line-up: 1. Conor Brennan, 25. Nicky Jamieson, 3. Calum Yates, 5. Sean Crighton ©, 15. Adam Corbett, 6. Nat Wedderburn, 13. Craig Bryson, 17. Michael Anderson, 16. Euan O’Reilly, 9. Thomas Orr, 10. Matt Yates
Subs: 20. Jay Cantley, 18. Niyah Joseph (replaced Euan O’Reilly on 76’), 7. Ross Forbes (replaced Craig Bryson on 70’), 4. Daniel Higgins, 2. Scott Walker, 8. Michael Miller (replaced Michael Miller on 60’)
Rovers first game of the Cinch League 2 season seen them face defeat at Ochilview Park as a Thomas Orr strike in the first half would be enough to give Stenhousemuir all 3 points.
With Rovers battling performance and with the chances they had, they will feel as though they should have gone back to Coatbridge with at least a point.
It would be Rovers who would look to be the most threatening in the first 5 minutes as a few decent balls into the box almost picked out a few Rovers players, as well as gaining a few corners in the process.
Charlie Reilly would see his first chance of the game come in the 10th minute as he won the ball high up the park and advanced towards Brennan’s goal, but his shot flew over the bar.
Stenhousemuir would then begin to threaten Rovers with some good counter attacking football however James McGowan would put in some great defending to keep Stenhousemuir at bay.
Another massive chance would come for Rovers in the 20th minute with Charlie Reilly bearing down on goal again, but his golden chance would go just past the post with a curling effort.
The deadline would then be broken just a minute later by Stenhousemuir with some more good counter-attacking football allowing Thomas Orr to be played through on goal who smashed the ball past Jack Leighfield to go into a 1-0 lead.
James McGowan would receive the first booking for Rovers by bringing down a Stenhousemuir player on the break in the 27th minute.
Little else would happen for the rest of the half with Sean Fagan having the next chance just 2 minutes before half time as his shot from outside the box going narrowly over the bar, meaning the score at half time would remain 1-0 to Stenhousemuir at the interval.
The first 5 minutes of the second half would see Jamie Leslie become the second Rovers player to be booked after a tough challenge.
The first substitution of the game for Rovers would follow just a minute later as Michael Paton was forced off through injury and replaced by Kieran McGrath.
Rover’s closest chance to an equaliser would come just after the hour mark as Charlie Reilly smashed the crossbar from a free kick just outside the box. The second sub of the game for Rovers would follow with Lewis Kidd replacing Jamie Leslie.
The last 15 minutes would see Rover’s pile on the pressure as they chased an equaliser with Lewis Kidd being found in the box, allowing him to turn and shoot but his attempt went just over the bar.
The next Rovers chance would come from Charlie Reilly once again as a lovely ball down the right-hand side allowed him to advance into space, but his effort was once again blazed over the bar.
Stenhousemuir would go straight up the park and almost double their advantage, but Jack Leighfield pulled off a superb save from close range to divert the ball out for a corner.
The last chance of the game would see Adam Fernie drive forward with 2 minutes to play and unleash a strike from distance, but Conor Brennan matched his effort and pulled off a superb stop to keep all 3 points with Stenhousemuir.
With the game ending 1-0, Rovers will now turn their attention to Dumbarton next Saturday as they play their first home game of the season with a few familiar faces potentially appearing in the Dumbarton side.
Goalscorers: Thomas Orr
Bookings: Jamie Leslie (yellow) Ayrton Sonkur (yellow) James McGowan (yellow) Matty Yates (yellow) Euan O’Reilly (yellow) Michael Anderson (yellow) Callum Yeats (yellow)
Referee: Dan McFarlane
Assistant referees: Michael Banks, Elliot Husband Powton
THE OPPOSING VIEW