Mar 9 2012 by Donald Morton, Stirling Observer Friday
STIRLING Albion travel to Stenhousemuir tomorrow (Saturday), seeking to extend the good run that has seen them take seven points from the last three games.
Greig McDonald’s men followed up the recent wins over Brechin and Albion Rovers by drawing 2-2 at home to Forfar in an entertaining game on Tuesday night.
Mark Ferry fired the Binos in front but it required a late leveller from Daly McSorley to claim a deserved point. Goals from Stephen Tulloch and Chris Templeman turned the tide before the visitors had Chris Hegarty dismissed for sliding in with his studs on Callum Reidford.
Stenhousemuir thumped Albion 4-0 at Ochilview on November 5 but a slump in form has put their promotion play-off hopes at risk. Davie Irons’ team are just ahead of East Fife and Brechin in the race for the top four, behind Cowdenbeath, Arbroath and Dumbarton.
The Warriors won 2-1 at Forfar last weekend but suffered a shock 1-0 reverse at bottom club Rovers in midweek, not helped by Eric Paton missing a last-gasp penalty. They will be desperate to bounce back from that and gain revenge for a 3-1 defeat in Stirling on January 2.
For all their recent difficulties, Stenhousemuir still have a good squad and a solid home record and have increased their attacking threat by bringing in Kenny Deuchar on loan from Livingston. The former Falkirk, East Fife and Gretna hitman has often scored against the Binos in the past.
Stirling make the short journey with joint top scorer Scott Davidson back in the squad after a three-match ban but they have a number of injury worries. Defensive duo Brian Allison and Shaun Fagan were both forced off in midweek while Shaun Dillon missed out with an ankle problem.
A number of other players are carrying knocks and McDonald will make a late decision on his selection as the final quarter of the Second Division campaign gets under way – with only one point between Albion Rovers, Stirling and Forfar.
The Binos boss felt his side should have claimed victory against the Loons but admitted they paid the price for switching off in the second half and allowing Forfar to take the initiative.
He said: “I think we should have won the game. Apart from a 15-minute spell we had the lion’s share of the possession and probably more chances and better chances.
"We’ve had a lot of games in the last few weeks and it speaks volumes for the players that they came back in the last few minutes. That maybe wouldn’t have happened earlier in the season but the guys are fighting and they know what we need to do.
“We said to them before the Brechin game last week that we needed to get points on the board and seven out of nine is a good return.
“Albion Rovers also won but this league is so tight and there is a long way to go. I think there will be plenty of twists and turns but we are certainly up for the fight. We’ve got a few injuries which are a concern, in that Brian Allison hurt his knee against Forfar and Shaun Fagan also had to go off, so we will need to see how they are before the weekend.”
Forfar manager Dick Campbell said: “I think a draw was a fair result so I’m not unhappy with 2-2 but I’m disappointed that we didn’t hold on after going 2-1 up. The first half wasn’t the best but a few things were said at half-time and I got a response.
“I felt it was actually their player that caught the goalkeeper but I can’t complain about the red card because Chris Hegarty shouldn’t have gone sliding in in the first place.”
Albion youngster Steven Forbes was part of the Scotland U18 Schoolboys team which beat Northern Ireland 4-0 at the Toryglen Centre in Glasgow.