Stranraer 2-2 Stirling Albion

Stranraer 2-2 Stirling Albion

Scorers: Stranraer – Orr (8) and Duffy (54); Stirling Albion – Ryan (16 pen) and McManus (34 og)

Spoils were shared as playoff challengers Stranraer and Stirling Albion cancelled each other out.

It was fourth hosting third at Stair Park with both teams looking to lay down a marker in their bid for promotion.

Unsurprisingly, Stevie Farrell named the same starting XI that had triumphed at Glebe Park seven days earlier, with the bench strengthened with the return of Sean Burns and Andy Stirling.

The hosts continued that impressive form and found the breakthrough after just eight minutes.

Adam Cummins swung the ball in from the left where Ruari Paton was waiting.

Ruari Paton laid the first goal on for fellow forward Thomas Orr

He drilled the ball at goalkeeper Cameron Binnie from a tight angle and, although the Stirling man got something on it, it fell to Thomas Orr to score from close range.

Joao Victoria then smashed over from the edge of the box before the visitors carved out their first chance.

A long clearance up the pitch caught the Stranraer defence napping and Andy Ryan powered through on goal.

The striker probably had more time than he thought but slashed his shot high and wide.

On the quarter hour mark, the visitors were given the chance to pull level.

Darryl Duffy was penalised for a high foot challenge on Kieran Moore right on the edge of the box and referee Matthew MacDermid pointed to the spot.

Ryan sent Greg Fleming the wrong way to level things up and the game was turned on its head on 34 minutes.

Stirling Albion battled hard and were worth their half time lead

A Stirling corner was cleared as far as former Stranraer man David Wilson and his drive from distance struck Connor McManus and wrong-footed his goalkeeper.

It was a goal which rocked the Blues and Stirling could have extended their lead ahead of the half time interval.

Kurtis Roberts was denied by Fleming and the goalkeeper had to be at his very best to pull off a stunning save to keep Declan Byrne’s volley out.

Those missed chances would prove costly nine minutes after the restart when Stranraer pulled themselves level.

There seemed little on when Duffy collected a long ball but the veteran striker made the most of it and drilled the ball beyond Binnie from the edge of the box.

Darryl Duffy scored for the fifth consecutive game with a well-taken strike from distance

It levelled the score, with both teams pushing to get their noses in front for a second time.

The hosts created the better chances in the closing stages, with Orr unable to generate the necessary power from McManus’ cross and directing his header too close to Binnie.

Then, the goalkeeper had to be at his very best to deny Cummins with under five minutes to go.

The final chance would fall to the hosts and it would come to the boot of Orr.

The game was already in stoppage time when substitute Stirling cut the ball back to Orr but from six yards he smashed his shot at substitute Matty Yates.

Orr’s stoppage time shot took an unfortunate touch from Yates

A draw was probably a fair result with each team perhaps feeling they could have edged it for all three points.

A trip to Stenhousemuir – level on points with Stranraer – awaits Farrell’s team next weekend.

Stranraer: Fleming, Robertson, Cummins, Sonkur, Gallagher, McManus, Victoria, Millar, Paton (Yates 87), Duffy (Stirling 73), Orr.
Not used: Burns, Hilton, Hamill, Devitt and Walker.

Stirling Albion: Binnie, McLean, Banner, Wilson, McGregor (El Zubaidi 80), K Roberts, Ryan, Moore, Byrne (Mackin 83), Leitch, Creaney (S Roberts 64).
Not used: Magee, Thomson, Docherty, Heaver and Currie.

Referee: Matthew MacDermid
HT: 1-2

Stranraer: Fleming, Gallagher, Robertson, Sonkur, Cummins, Paton (Yates 88), Millar, McManus, Victoria, Orr, Duffy (Stirling 74).
Not used: Jamie Walker, Burns, Hilton, Devitt, Hamill.

Stirling: Binnie, Banner, McLean, McGregor (El-Zubaidi 80), Creaney (S Roberts 65), Leitch, Wilson, K Roberts, Moore, Byrne (Mackin 84), Ryan.
Not used: Currie, Thomson, Magee, Docherty, Mackin.

Referee: Matthew MacDermid
HT: 1-2

Photos: Bill McCandlish