Jim Weir went along with what was said in the Press & Journal earlier in the day and left out 5 players who had featured in the Brechn game. Left out were Brian Cameron, Shane Sutherland, Daniel Moore, Darryl McHardy and Chris McLeish. Into the side came Robbie Bruce, Scott Smith, Jamie Reid and Kyle MacLeod.
Play was even in the first 10 mins, but at that point, sprang into life. Firstly Scott Smith fired in a low shot from 20 yards whic was well held by the keeper. Then a City midfielder gave the ball away cheaply, 2 passes later it was being buried behind Stewart Black by Ferns for Stirling Albion. A minute later and it was all square. It was a comedy of errors from the Stirling defence. A cross ball was lifted into the Stirling box. A defender tried to head it but missed. The second defender did head it, but against the first defenders head. The ball ran very nicely to Kyle McLeod who rammed the equaliser in past the Stirling keeper. I thought Robbie Bruce was showing up well, wide on the City right, and he appeared not to be intimidated by some of the meatier challenges coming his way courtesy of the Stirling midfield. City had a lucky escape when the ball was flashed across our goal, but Twiggy cleared the danger. Kyle McLeod had a header which landed on top of the net, but Stirling also went close when a passing movement fell at the last hurdle for them and was intercepted by the City defence. So at half time, honours were fairly even and the score was 1-1
3 minutes into the second half and Stirling regained the lead, courtesy of either Jamie Duff(as reported in P&J) or Keiran Stewart( as I thought). No matter who it was, it was a howler. The ball was hoisted high into the City penalty box. There was no one close to the City player when the ball came down, but he totally miscontrolled it, inadvertently gave it to Blair Henderson who went on and lobbed Blackie to make it 2-1 for the home side. At this point City took off Robbie Bruce and Craig Gunn and introduced Brian and Shane to the action, and with 20 mins to go, put on Daniel Moore for Scott Smith. Unfortunately for City that coincided with the 3rd goal for Stirling. An in swinging corner was headed goal wards by Blair Henderson. Blackie did make a tremendous save but he could only palm it back to Henderson who netted the rebound to make it 3-1 for the home team and 2 mins later it really was all over as Stirling were awarded a penalty for a push/trip on Henderson. He got up and fired home the penalty completing his own hat-trick. City huffed and. puffed in the last quarter of an hour, and Kyle McLeod should definitely have reduced the deficit when he was 1 on 1 with the keeper, but the keeper brought off an excellent save.
This was certainly a game of 2 halves. We competed very well in the first half, but in the second it just didn’t happen for us. Don’t know whether that was down to us or them.