Clyde 2 Stirling Albion 1
Stirling Albion’s miserable away form continued as they went down to a narrow defeat on the artificial pitch at Broadwood on Saturday.
Albion won 2-1 here on their previous visit in April 2010 but precious little seems to have gone right since that wonderful spring evening when Iain Russell’s late header edged Allan Moore’s team closer to an improbable Second Division title.
Two relegations followed and Stirling now find themselves four points adrift at the foot of the Third Division and eight behind Clyde.
This was the day the Binos had hoped to break their away duck – instead they stumbled to an eighth defeat in 10 matches on the road.
Greig McDonald’s men have picked up just two points on their travels, have conceded at least two goals in all but one away game, and haven’t managed a clean sheet outside Forthbank in a year.
These are grim statistics and, while there was encouragement in the performance in the 3-2 defeat to Queen’s Park the previous week, this was a match Albion badly needed to win.
In terms of clear-cut chances, there wasn’t much between the teams but, as against Montrose and Queen’s Park, it was Stirling who were on the wrong end of the result.
Stefan McCluskey opened the scoring for Jim Duffy’s side midway through the first half but top scorer Jordan White equalised with his eighth goal of the season just after the hour mark.
Former Pollok midfielder John Sweeney hit the winner three minutes later as the Bully Wee made it two wins out of two against Stirling this season, having triumphed 1-0 at Forthbank in August.
The visitors had opportunities to have taken something back up the M80 and Jamie Barclay made two terrific saves to keep out efforts from Scott Davidson.
But Clyde took advantage of long-standing defensive frailties as they bounced back from last week’s 3-2 home defeat to Annan.
Skipper Brian Allison returned in place of Danny Ashe and Daly McSorley replaced David McClune, who was ruled out through illness.
Clyde made a hefty six changes, which included debuts for on-loan Dumbarton duo Kevin Nicoll and Jamie Lyden while former Binos Paul Hay and John Kane were among those who dropped out.
Chances were few in the opening stages but the hosts went ahead when full-back Gavin Brown did well on the right and delivered a perfect cross for former Shotts hitman McCluskey to net at the far post.
White hauled Albion level when he got just enough on Kieran McAnespie’s corner to beat Barclay but poor defending allowed Kevin Watt to cross for Sweeney to smash home the winner.
Mark Peat pulled off a fine save to prevent a third goal and the Binos came close late on when sub Sandy Cunningham diverted a Ross McGeachie shot over the bar but it was a deeply disappointing afternoon for Stirling, who have taken one point from 12 since beating Peterhead before Christmas.
CLYDE: Barclay, Brown, Oliver, Gray, Lyden, Nicoll (Marsh 67), MacBeth, Sweeney, Watt (Graham 90), McCluskey, McColm (MacDonald 90). Subs not used: Fitzharris, Rajovic.
STIRLING ALBION: Peat, McGeachie, McAnespie, McSorley (Weir 67), Allison, Clark, Johnston, Ferry, White, Davidson (Cunningham 67), Day (Ashe 84). Subs not used: Thom, Filler.
REFEREE: Barry Cook
STATS: Scorers: Clyde - McCluskey 21, Sweeney 64
Stirling Albion - White 61