Third Division: Clinical Stirling crush hapless Annan to seize pole position
Stirling Albion’s arrival in the Third Division has gone largely unnoticed in comparison to another team that now plays in the fourth tier of Scottish football, however the Forthbank side’s first game at this level for over 8 years, has made people sit up and take notice.
Greig McDonald’s side, who have suffered consecutive relegations, dismantled visitors Annan 5-1 with Scott Davidson starting the ball rolling when he sent a low drive past Alex Mitchell on 16 minutes.
Annan’s Graeme Ramage was dismissed 12 minutes later when he clashed with Mark Ferry, and Graham Weir made the numerical advantage pay quickly when he headed home a corner to net his first goal since his strike won the Second Division title for Raith Rovers against Queen’s Park in May 2009.
As Annan struggled to deal with set-pieces, Danny Ashe and Jamie Clark scored before the break to have the game won, with Gavin McPherson powering in a second half free kick with the aid of a deflection to make it five.
Graeme Bell grabbed a late consolation for the ten men with a free kick that home goalkeeper Sam Filler will have nightmares about as he fumbled it into the net.
McDonald said: “I am pleased with the result and delighted that the boys showed their hunger for the win by keeping going even though Annan were down to ten men. Sometimes you can switch off in situations like that but we never did.”
Galabank manager Harry Cairney noted: “It was a poor display and it is not like us to lose three goals from set-pieces. The sending off was silly and did not help us at all.”
Queen’s Park sit second after their 2-0 win over hosts East Stirling, the turning point in the game coming in 27 minutes when the home side’s Steven Jackson missed a penalty, given after Peter Bradley fouled Kevin Turner, with the score-line blank. Spiders substitute Lawrence Shankland, who turned 17 on Friday, won the match with a two goal blast in the space of 20 minutes.
Clyde join Stirling and Queen’s on three points after a stirring come-back at Montrose where Stuart McColm hit the winner as the Bully Wee came from two goals down at half-time to win 3-2. Lloyd Young and Paul Watson had the Gable Endies leading thanks to fine goals, however trialist Bryan Gilfillan scored ten minutes into the second half and John Neil levelled before McColm sealed a fine win.
Berwick Rangers and Elgin drew 0-0, with the Borough Briggs surviving despite the early dismissal of Daniel Moore for a crude challenge on Chris Townsley.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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