Report by George Hay
Opponents Stirling Albion had been well and truly beaten by the City the last time the two sides met and even the most negative City supporter must have been thinking that this would be a stroll in the park for their favourites. And for a while in the first half it looked like it would turn out that way.
City started the game with Mark Nicolson in his usual central defensive spot replacing Keiran Stewart. City lost the toss and Stirling opted to defend the leisure centre end in the first half.
The first chance of the game fell to Chris McLeish when he was played in by Shane Sutherland, but he delayed his shot and Chris Smith came off his line and smothered the shot.
City were dictating play at this point and the Binos defence was flying distress signals. However their methods of defending were crude to say the least.
However on the half hour their tall crude striker fouled Darryl McHardy and when the defence failed to clear the kick, it ran kindly for Darryl who fired a low shot into the net for the opening goal. There was a delay in play following an injury to Edward Fearns, but play resumed after 5 minutes. There wasn’t much goalmouth action before half-time and so the score then was 1-0 to the City.
The second half started with a bang with Stirling grabbing an equaliser. There appeared to be no danger when Henderson swung in a cross from the left. It was met at the far post my the smallest man on the park Marc Mckenzie and his header beat Marc Waters at his near post.
The goal lifted the Binos and they continued to pose problems for the City defence. Stirling went into an undeserved lead after 60 minutes through Blair Henderson, which was down to the Stirling front man being allowed to drift away from his marker. City committed two subs in 72 minutes with Craig Gunn and Daniel Moore replacing Chris McLeish and Chris Dodd and later introduced Kyle MacLeod for Jamie Reid.
With a quarter of an hour to go, City got an equaliser. Following a corner from Daniel Moore the ball broke to Brian Cameron. He did not hesitate and fired a left footed grounder just inside the keeper’s left post. With ten minutes to go Marc Waters was called into action twice in the space of 30 seconds, diving low to his right to save from McKenzie and Dillon. But wth practically no time left a Stirling attack gave them the winner. Marc Waters was in action again saving a header which was on target. However the ball seemed to squirm out of his grasp and it fell right at Jamie Mills feet. He wasted no time dispatching the ball into the back of the City net.
City did have an opportunity with 4 minutes of injury time when Daniel Moore had a chance of a shot on goal. He elected to go for the keeper’s left hand side, the keeper must have breathed a huge sigh of relief.