DCSIMG

Stirling Albion 3 - 1 St Johnstone: Stirling heap more penalty anguish on weary Saints

THE last thing Alan Main would have wanted to see following Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final shoot-out defeat was two penalty kicks flying past him into the net.

But after 32 minutes of this entertaining encounter, played in front of a season low of 431 fans, Albion's Chris Aitken had converted twice from the spot to cancel out Kevin James' headed opener for the visitors.

That was as good as the evening got for the big St Johnstone skipper. He was red-carded for deliberately handling David McKenna's shot in the incident that led to the second spot-kick.

In a match between two disappointed teams, one of which was playing its last home game at this level for at least 16 months, Stirling resisted the temptation to make wholesale alterations.

The visitors made seven changes from the starting line-up against Rangers but Daniel McBreen, fresh from his goalscoring heroics from the Hampden bench, was handed a start.

St Johnstone took the lead in the 13th minute, James heading Liam Craig's corner from the left into the bottom right corner of Christie's net.

But the home side levelled on the half-hour mark, Aitken doing the honours following Liam Craig's rash foul on Nathan Taggart.

And the Stirling supporters' player of the season got another one two minutes later when James saved David McKenna's goalbound shot with his hand.

It was mostly one-way traffic towards the Perth end after the break and Jay Rodriguez caught youngster Kevin Moon in possession in the 70th minute before calmly slotting in his team's third goal to give Albion a well-deserved victory.

Stirling Albion: Christie, Nugent, Devine, Ellis, Graham, Aitken, Bell, Harris (Muir 79), McKenna (Cramb 81), Rodriguez, Taggart. Subs not used: Murphy, Hay, Hogarth.

St Johnstone: Main, Irvine, Kerr, Moon, Anderson, James, Weatherston, Milne (Jackson 46 (Fairbairn 88)), McBreen (MacDonald 79), Craig, Sheerin. Subs not used: Monaghan, Cuthbert. Red card: James.

Ref: S McDonald. Att: 431.

FIXTURES

Uefa Cup

Semi-finals, first leg: Bayern Munich v Zenit St Petersburg (7.45); Rangers v Fiorentina (7.45).

RESULTS

Uefa Champions League

Semi-final, first leg: Barcelona 0, Manchester United 0.

Irn-Bru Scottish League

First Division: Stirling Albion 3, St Johnstone 1.

Fosters Highland League Cup

Semi-final: Cove Rangers L, Deveronvale L.

SFA Youth Cup

Final: Celtic L, Rangers L.

 
 
 

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