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Stranraer 1-1 Stirling Albion

  • Post published:18 March 2023

Scorers: Stranraer – Robertson (72); Stirling – Leitch (41)

A Blair Currie penalty save denied Stranraer three much-needed points as they battled from a goal down.

The Blues were unlucky to go into the half time interval trailing to Jack Leitch’s strike from outside the box.

However, after Scott Robertson’s leveller, there was only one team who looked like going on to take the three points.

The best chance came as the game entered stoppage time but Currie – brother of former Blue Max – denied Josh Walker from 12 yards.

The hosts had made two changes from the defeat to Stirling’s title-chasing rivals Dumbarton as Anton Brady and Luke Watt dropped to the bench as Kyle Girvan and Finn Ecrepont both returned.

Kyle Girvan made some vital interceptions in his return to the Blues lineup

Stranraer almost opened the scoring in bizarre fashion with just 10 minutes on the clock.

Good link up play involving Matty Grant and Sean McIntosh saw the Stranraer defender cross the ball into the box.

There seemed little danger but Currie could only get hands to it and the ball rolled along the crossbar before dropping behind for a corner.

Stirling countered from the set piece and Matty Connelly did well to block with his right foot when Kieran Moore’s shot from outside the box took a deflection.

Clear cut chances were few and far between but Stranraer were more than enjoying their share.

Grant and Walker linked up well on the edge of the box but Robertson’s effort was always rising and failed to test Currie.

The only goal of the opening 45 minutes came four minutes before the break and in controversial fashion.

Grant Gallagher was incensed by the referee’s assessment of the visitors’ goal

Grant Gallagher and Leitch tussled in midfield, with the Blues captain claiming his rival had controlled the ball using his hand.

Referee Jordan Curran was not interested and Leitch blasted into the bottom corner.

Gallagher was booked for his protestations and Robertson was also booked for a challenge before the half time whistle.

Stranraer kept up their momentum after the interval though and Currie got behind a curling effort from Aaron Brown just seconds after the restart.

At the other end, Connelly denied Danny Denholm and the offside flag came to Stranraer’s rescue when Dale Carrick found the net.

Scott Robertson’s header earned Stranraer a share of the points

However, with just under 20 minutes remaining, the Blues got the leveller they craved.

Walker did brilliantly to dig out a cross and Robertson got across his man to plant a diving header under Currie.

All of a sudden, momentum was firmly in Stranraer’s favour and the final 10 minutes were near one-way traffic.

Two Walker corners in quick succession caused panic in the visitors’ box and it was another dead ball delivery that ultimately led to the penalty.

Walker, who performed tirelessly up front, took the spot kick himself but Currie guessed right to push the ball round the post.

Josh Walker was denied a winner from the spot

A valuable point against a title-challenging Stirling but also tinged with the feeling it should have been all three right at the death.

Attention now turns to a trip to Cliftonhill and another big contest with Albion Rovers.

Stranraer: Connelly, Robertson, Girvan, Ross (Watt 87), Walker, Gallagher, Ngandu (Forrest 70), Brown, Ecrepont, McIntosh, Grant.
Not used: Brady, Malcolm, D Duffy and O’Connor.

Stirling Albion: Currie, McGeachie, McLean, Cummins, Davidson, Carrick, Leitch (Banner 71), Denholm (Dunsmore 68), Moore, F Duffy, Thomson (Spence 83).
Not used: Clark, Hamilton, Cooper and Weir.

Referee: Jordan Curran
Attendance: 406
HT: 0-1

Photos: MadMac Photography