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Stranraer 0-4 Albion Rovers

  • Post published:14 January 2023

Scorers: Albion Rovers – Reilly (45 pen and 56), Bevan (47) and Wilson (55)

Ruthless Albion Rovers swept aside Stranraer with three goals in nine second half minutes.

The Blues were looking to bounce back after narrowly losing out at Stenhousemuir seven days earlier.

Manager Jamie Hamill made two changes from that side as Anton Brady and Sean McIntosh dropped to the bench to be replaced by Craig Malcolm and Luke Watt.

On a wet and windy day at Stair Park, it was the visitors who settled quicker and took the game to their hosts.

George O’Connor saved well from Charlie Reilly in the first five minutes and he was on hand again just after the 10-minute mark to keep the scores blank.

Blair Malcolm found himself clean through on goal with just the Stranraer shotstopper to beat but O’Connor stood tall to make the block.

It was the teenage goalkeeper who was on hand again to frustrate Albion Rovers midway through the first half.

Again, Stranraer’s defence was cut open and recent signing Joe Bevan powered free down the right.

He had Reilly in the middle but opted to go it alone and O’Connor once again made a vital interception.

Stranraer’s best effort in a disappointing first half fell to James Hilton on 36 minutes.

Josh Walker did well down the left and played the ball to Hilton on the edge of the box but the first time shot drifted harmlessly wide.

The breakthrough came just seconds before the half time whistle.

Sam Ellis gave the ball away in defence and Reilly cut into the box where he went down under the challenge of Kyle Girvan.

Reilly then dusted himself down to fire his penalty beyond the reach of O’Connor.

Stranraer needed to come out and take the game to the Coatbridge side after the break but instead found themselves up against it just two minutes after the restart.

The defence failed to deal with a corner and when the ball broke to Bevan he hit a shot through a crowd of players and into the net.

Almost immediately, Stranraer came close to pulling one back.

A deep cross into the box was flicked on by Scott Robertson and fell at the feet of Walker.

He beat goalkeeper Jack Leighfield but Luke Graham was well positioned on the line to make the clearance.

Just minutes later and it was well and truly game over as Albion Rovers extended their advantage.

Luke Watt’s cross from the right was kept in play by the strong wind and Rovers counter-attacked from almost their own goal line.

Reilly was again heavily involved and he rolled the ball along the six-yard box for Callum Wilson to score a tap-in.

The home defence were all at sea and after surrendering possession in the visitors’ half were caught napping by a quick throw in.

Wilson returned the favour to Reilly, who cut inside and fired the ball beyond a helpless O’Connor.

Rovers would have further chances over the remaining 35 minutes but there would be no more scoring on a bad day for the Blues.

Stranraer: O’Connor, Robertson (Eze 69), Ellis, Girvan, Ross, Hilton, Gallagher (Brady 61), Malcolm, Walker, Forrest (McIntosh 61), Watt (Duffy 61).
Not used: Downie.

Albion Rovers: Leighfield, Fernie, B Malcolm, Sonkur, Fleming (Kidd 81), C Wilson (Roberts 81), Leslie (Duncan 81), Reilly (Dolan 86), E Wilson, Bevan (McColl 86), Graham.
Not used: Smith.

Referee: Alex Shepherd
Attendance: 336
HT: 0-1