Aug 3 2012 by David Ogilvie, Stirling Observer Friday
IT MAY be nine weeks away but Stirling Albion have begun preparations for the visit of Rangers on Saturday, October 6, the first league meeting between the clubs since 1968.
This week the Forthbank club announced ticket details for the match, although it is still possible the game could be moved for live coverage on Sky or ESPN.
A club spokesman said: “Following on from discussions with Central Scotland Police and our stewarding company with regards to our October 6 home fixture against Rangers, the SAFC executive board have agreed on the following pricing structure: adults £13, senior citizens £10, children £7. There will be no student tickets available for this match.
“Albion fans will be housed in the west stand, with Rangers supporters occupying the east stand and both the north and south terracing.
“Tickets for Stirling Albion fans will go on sale at the Third Division game against Clyde on August 25 and will be limited to two per person on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Season ticket holders will have until the end of September to claim their ticket and can also buy one ticket. Rangers FC will handle the sale of tickets for visiting supporters.”
Tomorrow (Saturday) Kieran McAnespie could make his debut against his former club when Stirling Albion face Arbroath in the first round of the Scottish Communities League Cup at Gayfield.
The one-time Fulham, St Johnstone and Hearts midfielder joined the Binos from the Red Lichties in the summer and is expected to fill the left-back slot this season.
McAnespie missed the 3-0 defeat to Falkirk in the Ramsdens Cup first round last weekend as he was short of match fitness but could return at Gayfield after training this week.
Right-back Ross McGeachie also comes into contention after sitting out the Falkirk match but the Arbroath tie could come too soon for fellow defender David McClune.
The ex-St Johnstone man was snapped up from Brechin during the close season but a calf knock picked up in a pre-season friendly means his debut will probably have to wait until the Division Three opener against Annan Athletic at Forthbank on August 11.
Albion boss Greig McDonald will also have to do without goalkeeper Sam Filler and defender Shaun Fagan at Arbroath. Both are suspended after being sent off in the 5-0 thrashing by Airdrie at this stage 12 months ago, although Fagan would probably have been ruled out because of injury in any case.
Albion are desperate to end a damaging sequence of four first-round exits on the trot in this competition since beating Brechin back in 2007 but they have a poor recent record against Arbroath and picked up just one point from 12 in the four Division Two encounters last term.
That said, most of Stirling’s performances against Paul Sheerin’s team were better than the results suggest. They should have a fighting chance against last season’s Second Division runners-up on their first visit to Gayfield since suffering a 2-0 reverse in February.
Arbroath kicked off their season with an incredible 7-5 victory away to Elgin City in the first round of the Ramsdens Cup and will start as favourites. They also won 3-2 in the last League Cup encounter against the Binos in the first round in August 2008.
The Stirling Albion office will be open tomorrow (Saturday) from 9am-noon for the sale of season tickets. Seasons are £150 (£100 seniors and students, £30 children).