Stirling Albion F.C. Official Magazine
FORTHBANK TWENTY YEARS AND COUNTING
FAN’S FAVOURITE FORTHBANK MEMORIES | THE DEEP END |MATCH PREVIEWS|PLAYER QUICK QUIZ
Editors Notes It has been a marvellous recovery in form by Stirling Albion since the turn of the year – something that has been absolutely fantastic to watch. We have now entered the final stretch of the season though, and there is only four games left to play in the 2012/13 campaign. Time certainly flies by in the world of football! As the season comes to a close then, The Albion magazine prepares to hibernate through the summer too, and this is likely to be our last issue this term before we get going once more for a whole new campaign. In this issue of your Albion magazine, we will be running a special edition to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Forthbank Stadium, to where the Binos moved in and played their first match in April of 1993. Jim Thomson will be leading the tributes to the ground that has seen many highs and lows for Stirling Albion over the past couple of decades, and we’ll have all the fans favourite memories from their time at the ground too. This will, of course, be alongside all your favourite Albion regulars, including Ross Forsyth taking on the player’s quick quiz, match reports from David Ogilvy, and all the latest previews from the Albion team.
I unearthed an outstanding statistic in the past week; Stirling Albion have lost only three games in 2013. Three! Considering there has been 16 fixtures since the turn of the year, to have only lost in three of them is quite the achievment for Greig McDonald’s red and white troops. The boss puts it best in the View From the DugOut citing the poor early season form being the only thing standing in the Binos way as they have made a late push for the play-offs. It looks highly unlikely now that the Albion will enjoy any more fixtures this season following the conclusion of the days fixtures on May 4th but at least the team can say they tried. There is a clear positive mood in the air around Forthbank now and I believe the only way is up for the club as we look towards next season and the future. Next season’s strips have been released and you can see them on the Albion News page alongside your regular Binos’ updates. We here at the Albion think the home kit has a touch of the Ajax kit about it - it would be nice if the team plays similarly to the much heralded Eredivise side! It’s been a great year being part of this magazine and I hope next year we can come back and produce some new great content.
Enjoy your match day magazine, and let’s hope the Binos can see out the season in style.
Please enjoy this issue of the magazine reminiscing in Forthbank folklore and we hope you enjoy today’s match.
Enjoy. Stuart K.
Regards, David C.
Club Executive Team Chair and Operations Director Stuart Brown Finance Director Alan Christie Commercial Director John Hunter Director David McFarlane Members Graham Douglas Jim Thomson Football Management Manager Greig McDonald Assistant Manager Marc McCulloch Physiotherapist Stuart Phin Goalkeeping Coach David Eccles Kit Man Gregor Dryden Club Doctor Michael Beyer Head of Youth (Admin) Stewart Taylor Head of Youth (Coaching) Blair Cremin Under 19 Coaches Graeme Donald David Binnie
Club Chaplain Duncan Strathdee 0778 991 2259
Regular features: 03. Inside the Box 04. Albion news 05. from the dugout 14. The deep end
Jim Thompson reveals the best Forthbank memories
Peterhead preview Elgin preview
Phil Johnston The Deep End
28 April 2013 / w w w.st irlin g albionf c .c o.uk
Editors: Stuart Kenny David Chalmers Contributors: David Ogilvie Jim Thompson Scott Binnie Stuart Brown Fraser Clarke Greg Barrie Graham Ruthven
Inside the Box Stuart Brown - Operations Director
Never has the cliché “football’s a funny old game” been truer than this season and amazingly we are still in with a chance of making the playoffs. If someone had said that at the beginning of February, I suspect they’d have been laughed at but 13 games later and just one defeat (to a cruelly deflected, last minute, free kick), a run of four wins might just deliver the impossible!
Thanks to: John Brogan Greig McDonald Ross Forsyth Phil Johnston Montrose FC Photography: Andrew Wightman Connor Hamilton Deena Mobbs (redweb) Montrose FC Dave Murty Neils Bootma Daily Record ESPN Design: David Chalmers Printing: Mailboxes Etc. Stirling Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Interact: T| 01786 450339 E| email@example.com W| stirlingalbionfc.co.uk Club Honours C Division Champions 1946/47 B Division Champions 1952/53 Second Division Champions 1957/58, 1976/77, 1990/91, 1995/96, 2009/10 Division One Play-off Winners 2006/07 Stirlingshire Cup Winners 1953/54, 54/55, 58/59, 71/72, 73/74, 76/77, 77/78, 83/84, 88/89, 91/92, 98/99, 2003/04, 04/05, 05/06
No one has worked harder to bring about improvement than Greig McDonald and I’m delighted that this has been formally recognised by his being appointed the Irn Bru SFL3 Manager of the Month for the second month in a row (and his third of the season). Whilst Greig himself would accept that his October award had “publicity stunt” written all over it, no one can argue that his February and March awards have been anything other than fully merited. On behalf of Greig and the Exec Board, I’d like to acknowledge the contributions of Marc McCulloch, Stuart Phin, our Physio, and the entire playing squad in delivering a fantastic run of results. Whatever the outcome come May 4th (or later!), planning for next season is well underway with 5 signed (Ferry, Weir, Allison, Bishop and McClune), 3 on two year deals (Day, McGeachie and Cunningham) and talks ongoing with a number of others. The official website will be the first to break the news of further signings. With the SPL voting on reconstruction on April 15 and the SFL due to follow suit on the 19th, who knows, we might even find out, by the end of next week, what season 2013/14 holds for Scottish Football. Despite the endless twists and turns from all quarters on this long running saga, our stance has remained clear and consistent throughout – a new Governance Model (i.e. a merger of the SPL and SFL) and a revised Financial Distribution Model are a must and to help achieve this we are content to live, at least at the outset, with whatever league structure is decided on. Away from the excitement on the pitch and the ongoing drudgery of reconstruction, we continue at a pace with the appointment of our full time Community Engagement Manager. Applications have closed and the selection interviews are taking place during w/c 22 April. All being well, I would expect the successful applicant to take up post no later than the end of May – keep an eye on the official website for further announcements. Our new Macron kit for next season will be launched at our final home game of the season versus Elgin City. Expect to see Bradley Coyne (self-confessed male model!) and another wearing the 2013/14 home kit and the 2013/14/15 away kit on the day. Again, keep an eye on the official website for news of when the kit will be available for purchase / pre-order. I close with (yet another) thank you to our Supporters Club for their latest donation to Club funds. It goes without saying that their financial contributions are most welcome; however it is their support for the team, both home and away and through thick and thin, which is even more appreciated. The Executive Board, Management Team and players will be out in force at the end of season Awards Evening to thank everyone personally!
That’s all folks! See you in July! Unless… the impossible happens!
Stuart Brown Operations Director
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MANAGER OF THE MONTH AGAIN Congratulations to Greig McDonald, who has been voted Irn-Bru Division Three Manager of the Month for March – the second month in a row he has won the prize. At the time of writing, we have lost just once in 13 games, a sequence that includes two draws against Rangers and a 9-1 defeat of East Stirlingshire. Greig and his assistant Marc McCulloch also picked up the award in October following our historic victory over Rangers. MANAGEMENT TEAM SIGN NEW DEALS Greig McDonald and assistant Marc McCulloch last month signed new deals which will keep them at the club for next season. Operations Director, Stuart Brown, said: “On behalf of the Executive Board, I’m delighted to confirm that Greig and Marc will be at the helm for season 2013/14. Whilst there remains considerable uncertainty about what next season actually holds for Scottish football, I am in no doubt that we have the right management team in place to take us forward (and upwards) into the unknown. “Whilst clearly their priority remains finishing the current campaign as strongly as possible, Greig and Marc have already started planning for next season and I will have further news on this front in due course.” Greig McDonald said: “Marc and I are delighted to accept the Executive Board’s offer and we would like to thank everyone associated with the Club for their support to date. We look forward to working with you all throughout the remainder of this season and in the future.” RE-SIGNINGS FOR NEXT SEASON Brian Allison recently became the latest player to commit his future to the club for next season. The 24-year-old former Falkirk defender joins Jamie Bishop, Mark Ferry, David McClune and Graham Weir in putting pen to paper. Sandy Cunningham, Stephen Day and Ross McGeachie were
already contracted to Stirling Albion FC for next season. NEW KIT DEAL SAFC are pleased to announce that we have signed a kit contract with Italian Sportswear manufacturers, Macron. Whilst the three-year deal is naturally based on commercial terms, both parties are agreed it can be viewed as working in partnership to produce mutual benefits. One obvious example of this is the common link to the John Hartson Foundation and we will continue to display their logo on our home and away kit. With regards to first-team kit for season 2013/14, this will be a one season only kit and for this reason we will be looking to retail it at a very competitive price. Why one season only? We have ambitious plans to celebrate our 70th Anniversary during season 2014/15, 2015/16 with a special commemorative return of an iconic strip from the past. More news to follow in due course. Our away kit for the next two seasons was offered to Trust Members to vote on and they have selected an Inter Milan style affair! SAFC ANNUAL DINNER Following the success of our recent fundraising dinner at the Golden Lion Hotel in Stirling, we are pleased to announce that next year’s SAFC Annual Dinner will take place at the same venue on Friday 28 March, 2014. Details to follow but in the meantime make a note in your diary! JOHN HARTSON FOUNDATION We are proud of our partnership with the John Hartson Foundation and wanted to highlight that the third BraveHart Ben Nevis Challenge takes place in July – why not join John and help raise some money for a fantastic cause. More information is available at www.johnhartsonfoundation. co.uk RECORD WIN Our 9-1 win against East Stirlingshire on March 9 was the biggest league victory in our 68-year history, beating the
previous best of 7-0. Our biggest win in all competitions remains the 20-0 demolition of Selkirk in the Scottish Cup in 1984 – a result that is unlikely ever to be topped! CLARK IN LOAN MOVE Stirling Albion defender Jamie Clark has joined Junior side Bo’ness United of the East Region Super League until the end of the season. Jamie, who turns 20 in May, has made six league appearances for the Binos in 2012/13 but missed a number of games through injury and our defensive options have increased since the turn of the year following the signings of Jamie Bishop and Ross Forsyth. McCLUNE MISSES OUT David McClune will miss our trip to Annan on Saturday April 20 due to a one-match ban after picking up his sixth booking of the season in the recent 2-2 draw against Queen’s Park at Hampden. EARLY START FOR CLYDE Our final game of the season, against Clyde at Broadwood on Saturday May 4, will now kick off at 12.45pm. The change was announced by the SFL as Rangers v Berwick has been selected for live coverage on Sky Sports and all matches on the last day have to start at the same time. IRN-BRU CANS FOR YOUTH TEAMS Remember to keep all your empty IRNBRU (and other Barr’s) cans and help Stirling Albion raise money for our youth teams. SFL sponsor IRN-BRU are putting up a total of £70,000 across the three divisions and last year we benefited to the tune of £5,000. Please ask your friends, family and neighbours to help out – cans can be dropped off at Forthbank and we can also arrange for them to be collected. A BIG THANKS A big thank you to everyone who has given Stirling Albion their support this season – it really is appreciated and we hope to welcome you to Forthbank again next year.
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View from the Dug-Out Greig McDonald “If we don’t make the play-offs we’ll rue the first 10 or 11 games of the season where we weren’t up to the level we should’ve been.”
ood afternoon and welcome to Forthbank At the start of the season we said that play-offs with the home straight of the season in was the aim but we’ll assess where we are as a sight. team at ten to five after the 36th game. I’ve said that so often I feel like I’m repeating myself but The last couple of months have been great for the that’s all we can do. club. We’ve lost just once in our last 12 games and I’m delighted with the momentum we’re building. If we don’t make the play-offs we’ll rue the first The players deserve a lot of credit. They’ve been 10 or 11 games of the season where we weren’t up magnificent and considering that nine of those 12 to the level we should’ve been. games were played in just 29 days their fitness levels have been very impressive. We seem to have found a formula that works here, it’s now about trying to keep as much of We’ve added a bit of steel in the new year. We’ve that formula for next season. The natural way been able to grind results out, which we weren’t of football is that some players will move on and doing earlier in the season. The last two games others will get better offers, but we’ll try and have been good examples of that, beating a good keep the majority of the squad together. Things Berwick side without playing particularly well are working on the park and this squad is very and taking a point from Hampden. capable. We want to keep that together. The five signings we made have obviously had an impact, but it’s not just them that have upped our game. Players like Mark Ferry, Graham Weir and David McClune have all stepped up their level and set an example.
We’ve started the process it’ll continue over the next few weeks and hopefully we can start next season as settled as we are now.
I think we’ve overcome our confidence issues and there’s a real unity to the squad which is good to see.
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Match Report by Stuart Kenny
Cloud 9 as Binos prevail in local derby Filler McCunnie Forsyth McClune Bishop Allison McAnespie (68) Ferry White Davidson (63) Johnston (76)
Hay Gillespie Maxwell Miller Jackson Zufle (42) Greenhill Stirling Turner (78) Quinn (68) Wright
Subs: Subs: Cleland Gordon Ashe (76) Anderson Flood (68) Benton (68) Day Glasgow (78) Cunningham (63) Begg (42) Pictures by Rajmund Bakonyi
Gillespie og 28 White 38, pen 41, pen 80, 90 Ferry 53, 70 Johnston 66, Flood 72
9-1 9th March, 2013 Referee: M. Northcroft Att: 563
T seems highly unlikely that Stirling Albion will be beating their all-time record victory in the next few years, having defeated Selkirk 20-0 in the Scottish Cup almost 20 years ago. However, the Binos 9-1 victory over East Stirlingshire at the start of March can be said to be every bit as sweet as that hammering win. Indeed, this resounding success was Albion’s most prolific in their league history, throwing aside the 7-0 triumphs the club have recorded several times, most recently against Queen of the South in a 1996 Second Division tie, but also against the likes of Arbroath, St Mirren, Montrose and Albion Rovers. This eight goal triumph blew all of these out of the water, as Jordan White netted four times to compliment a brace of strikes from mark Ferry, one from Phil Johnston and Joshua Flood, and an own goal from the unfortunate Kyle Gillespie. After three ties with the Shire were yet to warrant a win this season for Greig McDonald’s men, few people would have seen this result coming despite the impressive form of the Forthbank club, but the Binos support were given their first inkling of what was to come after Gillespie inadvertently knocked a Phil Johnston cross directly into his own net. White then claimed his first of the day after netting from a tight angle to double the Stirling lead, and the travelling supporters were given more reason to sulk when Steven Jackson saw red for bringing down Scott Davidson in the box.
Grant Hay would save the initial penalty effort from White, but when the referee ordered the penalty to be retaken, it was clear it was going to be Stirling’s day. This time White stepped up to slam the ball straight down the middle and expand the lead to three, leaving the Shire support in anger about the dismissal of Jackson. Next on the scoresheet was Mark Ferry, whose well placed shot would be cancelled out by the only goal of the match from East Stirling, which came through Max Wright. The Binos kept their heads held understandably high though, and Phil Johnston continued the goal drive with his first ever goal for the club curtsey of a neat finish that left Hay stranded. Johnston would then turn assistee as he crossed for Mark Ferry, who claimed his second of the game and the sixth for the Binos, before Ferry then set up Flood to turn in the seventh with a calm low finish that extended the pain of the East Stirlingshire defence. After youngster Sandy Cunningham was brought down in the area with just 10 minutes remaining, Jordan White netted his hattrick with a confident finish and his second from the spot, and the former Falkirk man then made it four as he finished at the back post to put the final touches on the 9-1 score line. An incredible day and a wonderful match for Jordan White, whose tally role to 14 for the season by the final whistle. The result will be one not quickly forgotten in the terraces of Forthbank. April 2013 / w w w.st irlin g albionf c .c o.uk
“It’s nice to make a bit of history. The sending off was the key point in the game but credit to the players for taking advantage because it’s not always easy. I thought some of our football was excellent. People will make a lot of the scoreline but I was just pleased with the attitude of my players – they were raging at losing a goal and that shows the progress we have made. “The second half can become a non-event when you are comfortably ahead but the players kept going and we scored some quality goals. The squad have done magnificently well to win five games and draw three in the space of a month – they certainly gave the supporters something to cheer about on Saturday.”
John Coughlin “It’s my blackest day in football and the result will haunt us for the rest of our days as a football club. We had several players out but a lot of it was self-inflicted and everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. We didn’t compete and some of the defending was horrific.”
Fan’s favourite moments Sue Lauder: “Seeing all of the 9 goals. I normally miss the 1st goal of most matches!”
@InIngles “The energy of the crowd in the second half...brilliant atmosphere... smiles all over the place!!”
Alan Murrie: “Jordan White, the good Peter Crouch.”
@andrewjenkin “Huge congratulations to @stirling_ albion on their record breaking 9-1 win yesterday. Great achievement, proud to be a Trustee of the club.”
Scott Fergus: “Not being there was certainly my least favourite moment!
@stuartkenny “A 9-1 win for the mighty Stirling Albion. Outrageous.”
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Match Report by David Ogilvie
Binos almost snatch historic win at Ibrox Alexander Hegarty Cribari Faure Wallace McCulloch McKay (61) Hutton Hemmings (90) Craford Aird (77)
Filler McCunnie Forsyth McClune Bishop Thom Flood (77) Ferry White Davidson (64) Johnston (90)
Subs: Subs: Gallacher Crawford Argyriou (77) Ashe (77) Murdoch Cunningham (90) Naismith (61) Day Mitchell (90) Weir (64) Pictures by Rajmund Bakonyi
0-0 23rd March, 2013 Referee: C. Thompson Att: 44,608
REIG McDonald’s side deservedly drew with the runaway leaders for the second time in the space of a month with an outstanding performance at Ibrox.
This was a display to be proud of on our live TV debut. Stirling looked comfortable in possession and were rarely ruffled by a Rangers team closing in on the title.
The result means we have only lost once in four meetings with Ally McCoist’s men this season – an incredible statistic – and we could easily have come away with another famous win here.
They had gone into the weekend hoping today would be the day but the postponement of the Annan v Queen’s Park match removed that prospect and Albion again denied the Light Blues victory in any case.
Jordan White had a header cleared off the line by Fraser Aird following a corner and Scott Davidson had a great chance when he fired over at the end of the first half after being set up by his strike partner.
Rangers were missing a number of players through injury and suspension, and top scorer Andy Little was on international duty with Northern Ireland, but we had to do without banned duo Brian Allison and Kieran McAnespie at a venue where we gave a good account of ourselves in December despite losing 2-0.
We restricted Rangers to very few opportunities as they failed to score at home in the league for the first time in 2012/13. It was also their first Division Three blank since we won 1-0 at Forthbank on October 6. Sam Filler, who kept his place despite the return from injury of David Crawford, made an important early save from Lee Wallace and Kane Hemmings headed wide when he might have scored but the hosts struggled to break down a composed Albion side as we stretched our fine recent run to just one defeat in 10 matches.
McDonald stuck with a 4-4-2 formation, drafting in Josh Flood and Gary Thom in our first outing since the record-breaking 9-1 win over East Stirling a fortnight ago. On a brutally cold and windy March afternoon, the Binos were excellent throughout to claim our first point at Ibrox since a 0-0 draw in the top flight in September 1955. With a bit of luck in front of goal it would have been even better, but this was an occasion to remember nonetheless – and on the TV too! April 2013 / w w w.st irlin g albionf c .c o.uk
Match Report by Stuart Kenny
Ferry smashes home late Binos winner Filler McCunnie McAnespie McClune Allison (84) Thom Flood (60) Ferry White Davidson Johnston (74)
McCallum Jacobs Hoskins Townsley McLean Currie McLaren Notman Lavery (72) Dalziel (80) Gielty
Subs: Subs: Crawford McDonald Ashe (84) Janczyk Day Addison Weir (60) McDonald (72) Cunningham (74) Carse (80) Pictures by Rajmund Bakonyi
Stirling Albion Ferry 87’
30th March, 2013 Referee: G. Salmod Att: 601
IDFIELDER Mark Ferry settled a tight encounter with a dramatic late winner as we earned a crucial victory over Berwick at Forthbank.
The game appeared to be heading for a goalless draw when Ferry popped up at the back post to smash home a Scott Davidson cross and avenge our recent reverse at Shielfield. The result means we have lost just once in 11 games during February and March and leaves us eight points short of the play-offs, with a game in hand against Queen’s Park at Hampden on Tuesday. Berwick’s defeat sees them drop out of the top four to be replaced by Peterhead but they will feel they should have travelled back south with a point. We went into the game without Jamie Bishop (suspended) and Ross Forsyth (injured) but Brian Allison and Kieran McAnespie returned from bans. It was a difficult day to play football, with a dry bobbly pitch, but we ground out a vital victory and claimed backAp r il 2 0 13 / www.s t i r l i n g a lb i o nfc. co . uk
to-back shut-outs after the 0-0 draw at Ibrox. The closest to a goal in the first half came when Berwick’s Darren Lavery hit the post from 20 yards and Sam Filler saved the follow-up from Damian Gielty. Jordan White was thwarted by Marc McCallum at the other end and our top scorer came close with a header from a Jamie McCunnie cross just before the break. The visitors almost made the breakthrough early in the second period but we survived a goalmouth scramble and chances were generally few. Ferry was the home hero with a terrific finish for his 10th goal of the season and White came close to a second in stoppage time but he was denied by McCallum after latching on to a superb Davidson pass. The only negative was a knee injury suffered by Allison that looks set to keep him out of the midweek match with Queen’s Park but Forsyth could return.
Match Report by David Ogilvie
Albion sacrifice two goal load at Hampden Parry Gallacher (71) Robertson Little Bradley McParland Connolly Anderson Longworth Kennan (89) Spittal
Filler McCunnie McAnespie McClune Thom Forsyth Flood (46) Ferry White Davidson (66) Weir (79)
Subs: Subs: Lochhead Crawford Davison (71) Ashe (66) Capuano McGeachie Shankland (89) Johnston (46) Gibson Cunningham (79)
Pictures by Rajmund Bakonyi
Queen’s Park Anderson 57’ Connolly 77’
2nd April, 2013 Referee: D. Somers Att: 494
ueen’s Park hit back from two goals down to deny Albion a second away win of the season at Hampden on Tuesday night, leaving us seven points short of the play-offs with five matches remaining. Gary Thom headed us into an early lead from Kieran McAnespie’s free-kick and Scott Davidson finished off a fine move 10 minutes after the restart with his sixth goal of the season from a Jordan White assist.
Thom 12’ Davidson 55’
The last time Stirling Albion secured a win at Hampden Park.
got the nod ahead of Phil Johnston in midfield. Midfielder David Anderson pulled one back with an angled drive just two minutes later and winger Aidan Greig McDonald’s side always looked a threat going Connolly, son of former Albion favourite Paddy, earned forward and Neil Parry somehow kept out a Josh Flood the Spiders a deserved draw when he held off Jamie effort after White’s header from a Davidson cross had McCunnie and drilled a low shot beyond Sam Filler with come back off the post. 13 minutes left. That would have given us a 2-0 lead at the break but Queen’s Park, beaten here by Elgin on Saturday, Gardner Speirs’ team, who are in second place despite finished the game strongly, and there was a lucky escape winning just four times at home, played some good stuff when Jamie Longworth was denied from close range, but in the second period, retaining possession for long spells. our good run now stands at just one defeat in 12 matches. We remain without a win at Hampden since February Jamie Bishop (suspended) and Brian Allison (injured) 2004 but the point was our first against Queen’s Park missed out but Ross Forsyth returned and Graham Weir this term.
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Match Report by David Ogilvie
Late Flood equaliser earns Binos a draw Gibson McNally Watson Campbell Lunan Winter (71) Young Masson Boyle Johnston R. McIntosh
Filler McCunnie Forsyth (46) McClune Thom Bishop Johnston (79) McAnespie Ferry White Weir (75)
Subs: Wood Gray McLeish McCord (71) L. McIntosh
Subs: Crawford Ashe (46) Flood (79) Davidson (75) Cunningham
Pictures by Rajmund Bakonyi
Montrose Boyle 36’ R McIntosh 66’
6th April, 2013 Referee: K. Graham Att: 448
inger Josh Flood came off the bench to grab a late equaliser as we extended our good run to just one defeat in 13 games on the plastic pitch at Links Park.
Mark Ferry fired Albion in front after just seven minutes but Martin Boyle equalised before the break and Ricky McIntosh’s 18-yarder midway through the second half had the hosts ahead. Flood got on the end of a fine cross from fellow substitute Scott Davidson with three minutes left to glance a header in off the post as we followed up Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at Hampden with an identical result here. In reality, we had to win to keep alive our slim hopes of a play-off berth – we are eight points shy of the top four with just four games remaining – but a draw was a decent return against a good Montrose side, who slipped a place to fourth. Binos boss Greig McDonald made two changes, with Jamie Bishop (back from a ban) and Phil Johnston returning to the side in place of Davidson and Flood. Brian Allison again missed out with a knee injury and Ross Forsyth was replaced by Danny Ashe at half-time, also with a knee knock. Stirling started well and within four minutes Kieran McAnespie, who was deployed just behind top scorer Jordan White, saw his shot come back off the post after being teed up by Johnston. Ap r il 2 0 13 / www.s t i r l i n g a lb i o nfc. co . uk
Ferry 7’ Flood 87’
The opener wasn’t long in coming. White did brilliantly to control a pass and hold the ball up for Ferry, who coolly guided a low shot beyond John Gibson and into the corner for his 11th goal of the season. Montrose came back strongly and Sam Filler did well to keep out a Lloyd Young header and he also denied the dangerous on-loan Dundee striker Boyle. We almost doubled our lead on the break when McAnespie found White in space but his finish lacked power and a defender was able to get back to clear. Almost immediately, Stuart Garden’s side were level. Boyle found himself one-on-one after a long ball forward and he was able to beat Filler with a header after the keeper was forced to come out to the edge of his box. Montrose enjoyed good spells of possession without creating many chances in the second half but they went ahead in 66 minutes when a defensive slip allowed Boyle to find McIntosh and his shot looped into the net. Davidson had an effort blocked after a good run as we tried to hit back and the former Falkirk player picked out Flood to score his fourth goal of the season with a well-timed header as the game ended all square.
Player Quick Quiz with Ross Forsyth Date of birth: 20/11/82 Age: 30 Position: Defender Albion debut: Ayr United 0-1 Stirling Albion, Challenge Cup R1, 30/07/05 Previous clubs: St Johnstone , Stirling Albion, Morton and Dumbarton Where do you live? Old Kilpatrick. What do you work as outside of football? Senior Manager at a Financial Services company based in Glasgow. What’s the best goal you have scored? I am not known for my goalscoring ability and have only scored eight in competitive games. My recent goal against Rangers, although not my best, was my most memorable. Biggest influence on your career? My father. Best ground played at? Ibrox. Most difficult opponent? Henrik Larsson. What’s the best thing about being a footballer? Winning football matches is the best part of playing! And the worst? Pre-season!
manager... both of who I know well! Outwith the team, former SAFC player Andy Graham is someone I talk to regularly. Worst-dressed player at the club? Scott Davidson. He wears the same burgundy tracksuit every training night and it’s a shocker! He hasn’t taken the hint yet. Who’s the joker in the dressing room? Kieran McAnespie and David McClune – both keep the dressing room going with their antics! What would be your perfect weekend? Winning and playing well on a Saturday, spending time with family and friends & having a few beers. If you could have two people over for dinner, who would they be? Barack Obama & Billy Connolly Who would be your dream date? I would have to say my Fianceé Louise! What was the last film you went to see? The Croods. I took my nieces and nephews at Easter ... I think I enjoyed it more than they did! What’s your favourite band/musician? I like a wide range of music but I am currently listening to Swedish House Mafia.
What’s the last football match you went to see? I don’t get the time to go to see football but I watch the Champions League/Premiership on TV.
Favourite food? Steak or pasta.
Who are your best pals in football? My best pals are actually some of my current teammates – Kieran McAnespie, David McClune and Mark Ferry. Add to that assistant Marc McCulloch and the
Favourite TV programme? Currently Homeland.
Favourite holiday destination? Las Vegas or Jamaica.
Any hobbies? Eating out, cinema, travelling, golf and keeping fit. April 2013 / w w w.st irlin g albionf c .c o.uk
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The Deep End
...I’m loving it at the club at the moment so I suppose I would be open to staying at Stirling Albion for next season. I’m concentrating on the rest of this season for now and we’ll see what happens.
GRAHAM RUTHVEN CATCHES UP WITH
You’ve been at the club for three months now. How are you finding your time with Stirling Albion? I’ve settled into the squad really well. The boys are an absolutely excellent bunch. I was saying to the gaffer today that this is probably the most I’ve enjoyed playing part time football. Training is really enjoyable and the results have improved which means it’s just really good fun to be involved with this team at the moment. You’ve seen results turn around since you arrived in January. What’s changed? It’s all to do with confidence. Results breed confidence and as results have got better so has our confidence. When I came in things weren’t too good but since then the performances have picked up and signings have tightened up the team. We’ve not looked back since then. How much of an impact have the signings made in the time you’ve been here? There were already good players here but the signings have really brought the squad together. It’s really in the dressing room where the biggest impact has been made. Mark Ferry, Kieran McAnespie, Jordan White and others are all great players with great ability and they’ve turned in the performances as well. The aim at the start of the season was to make the play-offs. Is that still possible? It’s definitely still possible. It’ll be extremely tough, we know that, but there’s five games left and we believe we can win all of them. We might need to win all five games to make the play-offs but we’ll always go into every game thinking we can win.
April 2013 / w w w.st irlin g albionf c .c o.uk
You’re on loan at Stirling from Dumbarton. What are your hopes for next season? Would you be open to staying at Albion? I’ve not thought that far ahead to be honest but I’m loving it at the club at the moment so I suppose I would be open to staying at Stirling Albion for next season. I’m concentrating on the rest of this season for now and we’ll see what happens.
Ap r il 2 0 13 / www.s t i r l i n g a lb i o nfc. co . uk
Match Preview: Stirling Albion vs. Peterhead April 13th - Forthbank Stadium - 3PM KO
Club Profile: Founded: 1891 Stadium: Balmoor Capacity: 4000 Nickname: The Blue Toon Manager: Jim McInally
Preview by Stuart Kenny
he last few months have been packed with lofty highs and unfortunate lows for the Peterhead fan base, but as the Irn-Bru Third Division enters the final stretch of the 2012/13 campaign, the Balmoor club have earned the attractive opportunity to push on and cement their spot in the promotion play-off positions. After establishing themselves as one of the prime candidates to claim the ‘best of the rest’ tag behind inevitable runaway leaders Rangers, the Blue Toon hit somewhat of a road block come January. After opening the new year with a triumphant 3-0 defeat of the unpredictable Elgin City, a horrible run of form followed that saw Peterhead fail to win in five matches and taste victory only once between that Elgin success and their resounding defeat of Montrose on March 16th. This was a baron spell that spawned just seven points out of a possible 30, and it dealt a real blow to the playoff hopes at the club that has seemed so certain and solid before. As was mentioned though, when Peterhead did get back to winnings ways against the Gable Endies they did it in style, thrashing Montrose by an away 6-0 score line that whilst bringing a sigh of relief for Jim McInally’s men also called into question just where this kind of performance had been hiding for so long. A couple of 2-0 victories followed over Berwick Rangers and Annan Atheltic away and at home respectively, and a thunderous 6-0 defeat of East Stirlingshire brings us up to date with the revitalisation of a Peterhead team who appear to have rejuvenated their form and reset their sights on claiming a top four finish.
Rory McAllister can take a large part of the plaudits for this Balmoor recovery after hitting a prolific scoring spree up top that has seen him net three against Montrose, two against Annan and East Stirlingshire, and one against Berwick in the past four games. The Former Inverness hitman had already represented the biggest threat in the Peterhead front line, but this exceptional spell brings him up to 19 goals for the season and puts him second behind only Andy Little in the Third Division goal charts. The Binos back line will have to keep a keen eye on this frontman to prevent him hitting the net again then, but McAllister has by no means carried the Peterhead team entirely over the past few matches. Indeed, Ryan McCann and Andrew Rodgers have also been chipping in to add to the celebrations, with 31 year-old right back or wingman McCann providing a steady head on the park while the attacking Rodgers continues to compliment McAllister in attack. What can be taken from these sides previous meetings is that this will almost definitely be a close fought encounter. Stirling Albion remain unbeaten against the Blue Toon this season, but with the first match ending 2-2, the next 1-0 and the latest in a goalless stalemate, there is no reason to expect a runaway winner this time around. It seems, though, that Peterhead have woken up with a vengeance after a lengthy run of poor recent form – and they appear to have awoken at just the wrong time for Stirling Albion. With the Binos currently also on a formidable run of form though, and still feeling the confidence that comes from their unforgettable 9-1 defeat of the Shire, this tie will hopefully be one filled with class and enthrallment. April 2013 / w w w.st irlin g albionf c .c o.uk
Peterhead Squad Goalkeepers 21 Jarvie Defenders 4 Ross 5 Smith 10 Gilfillan 11 Strachan 15 McGlinchey 16 Alexander Harding MacDonald McBain Tully
Remaining Fixtures Stirling April 13th SFL Div. 3
Rangers April 20th SFL Div. 3
Clyde April 27th SFL Div. 3
Queen’s Park May 4th SFL Div. 3
LAST TIME Ap r il 2 0 13 / www.s t i r l i n g a lb i o nfc. co . uk
Midfielders 2 Sharp 3 Noble 6 Cowie 7 Cox 8 Redman Fitzgerald Kelly Forwards 9 McAllister 12 Bavidge 14 Rodgers Maguire Deasley Ross
Key Battle Jamie Bishop vs. Rory McAllister Since signing up for Stirling Albion after being released from the ranks at Forfar, centre-back Jamie Bishop has become a vital cog in the Binos defence. The former Edinburgh University man has looked consistently solid and comfortable in his defensive area, dominating the air and tackling well, and Grieg McDonald will be pleased to have him back after serving a two match suspension. This will be a particularly welcome return for the Albion manager when Rory McAllister’s form is taken into account. The Peterhead man has seemed unstoppable in the past few fixtures, and it is clear to see why St Mirren, amongst other top flight clubs, were interested in signing him up at the start of the year – something he only turned down to finish a plumbing apprenticeship. McAllister has moved ahead of the likes of Rangers’ Lee McCulloch, Berwick’s Darren Lavery and Elgin’s Stuart Leslie to become the second most prolific man in the Third Division so far this season with his startling scoring record in the past few games. Bishop, though, will no doubt fancy his chances of putting an end to the impressive form and helping Stirling Albion continue their unbeaten record against the Blue Toon this term. When Stirling Albion went down to 10 men at Balmoor with the game still goalless, many thought Peterhead would go on to run out winners in front of their home support in the eight minutes still left to play. The Binos thought otherwise though, and after a hard fought encounter that could have gone either way, they extended what would become an enjoyably long unbeaten league spell to three matches. It was Brian Allison that would see red late on for a challenge on Peterhead’s Jamie Redman that was arguably not worthy of dismissal. Before this it had been a tight game throughout, with Ross Forsyth making his first start since returning to the Forthbank outlet and McDonald employing a 4-5-1 formation as the Albion kept things firm. Rory McAllister came close from a free-kick for the home side, while David McClune almost netted from long range for Stirling. Ultimately though a 0-0 draw was a fair result – the first goalless stalemate the Binos have been involved in since their blank against Ross County in March 2011.
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On the 25th March 2010, Eilidh Brown passed away after a 14 month battle with Germ Cell Cancer.She was 9 days short of her 16th birthday.
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The Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund has been set up by her family to make Eilidh’s wish, of helping others in her situation, come true. The aim of the Memorial Fund is to build and maintain a respite holiday home in the Stirling area for young people and their families who are in treatment for or recovering from cancer. A place where, not only the families can relax and spend quality time together, but they can make memories that will last a lifetime. Before Eilidh passed away, the family took a holiday to Calum’s Cabin, it was their last holiday together. Eilidh wanted other families to have the opportunity to do this too.
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The John Hartson Foundation has been set up through the determination of John himself as he continues to battle through his horrendous ordeal, this is the character of the man, his main focus will be to openly offer his experience in going through a traumatic time since he was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer after ignoring a lump for 4 years, John admits himself that if he was aware of how easy it was to get checked and that Testicular Cancer is over 90% curable if caught early enough he probably would not have had to go through the brain operations, lung operations and over 60 sessions of chemotherapy. The aims and objectives of the Foundation will be to raise awareness of Testicular Cancer and how easy and most of all how important it is to check yourself on a regular basis, the foundation will also raise funds to provide cancer organisations more support throughout the UK.
FORTHBANK STADIUM EST. 1993 O
n 24th April 1993, Vinnie Moore led out the Albion onto the new playing surface at Forthbank. This month the club is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the move to the stadium where the Binos now ply their trade. Jim Thomson will be leading the tributes for The Albion.
For our younger fans wondering how we got here, it was all to do with synthetic football pitches. While commonplace now, Stirling Albion lead the way back in the 1980's as the first Scottish club to play home league games on a plastic surface. Cup ties were treated differently and opposing sides could opt to play on grass â€“ they all did. The plastic surface did not prove popular and the SFA demanded it be lifted following the three year trial period. Stirling Council had transformed Annfield into a community facility and was unwilling to put more cash into a stadium that would only be used by the club. It looked like they would have to ground share with another local team to stay in business, but fortunately the club and local authority agreed to jointly build a new stadium and sell off Annfield for housing. A number of locations were considered and it was narrowed down to two options; Broadleys or Springkerse. This new community stadium would not only have a modern football ground but also indoor facilities and an Astroturf pitch adjacent to the ground for community use. Sports Council funding was available and work started on the new facilities in 1992. In the meantime, the Albion ground shared with Stenhousemuir. The new ground opened with two all seater stands holding 2,500 fans. A year later terracing was added behind the goals which would take the capacity of the ground up to 3,800. The club had office space in the new complex, with a new boardroom, and offices for
the secretary, and manager. Four hospitality suites were provided along with the use of a state of the art treatment room and gymnasium. In the East Stand there is a Police Control room with two holding cells below, and the TV and press facilities are also in the East Stand. Traditionalists among the fans argued that the ground was too far out of town, especially as Annfield was just a few minutes walk from the town centre. Although many people criticised the impact of the move, statistics prove that we now have higher attendances than we did in the last few years of playing at Annfield, and there has been many a famous moments recorded at Forthbank since the move. As with any new stadium there was debate about what to call the ground. A competition was set up and the name Forthbank was selected. The winners of the competition were the pupils of Fallin Primary School. Other suggested names were to rename the stadium Annfield or go with Fergusson Park, Springkerse Park or Wallace Park. The Forthbank choice was a sensible one, as Kings Park ground was also called Forthbank and lies less than a mile from the present site of our current stadium. So, in late April in 1993 the new Forthbank played host to its first ever league match against Clydebank, who coincidentally were also the last team to play the Albion at Annfield. A full house saw the Bankies win by three goals to two in a game the Albion had to win, with relegation looming. Tom Tait scored the first goal at the new stadium on 24 minutes. Paul Armstrong scored our second from the spot two minutes after Willie Watters had missed a penalty, but Ken Eadie would go on to net in the 73rd minute to win the game for Clydebank. The ground has its official opening on the 31st July 1993 when Rangers provided the opposition in a 2-2 draw. April 2013 / w w w.st irlin g albionf c .c o.uk
TOP 10 MOMENTS --------------------------
3rd May, 1993 2-1 vs. Raith Rovers Runaway League leaders Raith Rovers came calling in a game the Albion desperately had to win to avoid the drop to Division Two.
The Binos were level on points with Meadowbank, with Cowdenbeath already doomed to relegation, and whether it was the threat of relegation or the fact that Raith were already promoted, the Albion overran their opponents by a 2-1 scoreline, with the goals coming from Paul Watson and Paul Armstrong. Stirling won and drew their final games, escaping relegation by three points. 13 May 1995 2-0 vs. Dumbarton It was the final game of the season and unfancied Stirling Albion found themselves playing Dumbarton at home in a promotion decider. The Sons had a superior goal difference so only a win would suffice, with Morton already promoted. An early injury to an Albion centre-half forced a substitution, with Craig Taggart replacing Gary Paterson. Ronnie McQuilter moved to centre-half but the Sons proved to be the better side and went on to win the game by two goals to nil. Another season in Division Two but what a season it proved to be. The season of 1995-96 It would be unfair to pick any one game in a season where Stirling would romp the League, finishing top with a record 81 points. Kevin Drinkell had built a team of good defensive players and creative midfielders. Their home performances were good, but it was the away form that most impressed. Even so, the 36 goals scored at home by far exceeded the rest and the loss of only 15 goals at Forthbank was second to none. A truly remarkable season. 8th January 1997 vs. 4-3 Morton The Albion had slipped into ninth place and the second relegation spot when Morton called for a midweek fixture. A defeat would put them deeper into the mire but the enigma that was Stuart McLaren scored a brace in what would be a 4-3 win. A seven goal thriller that gave Stirling hope that brighter things were to come. 20 August 1997 6-2 vs. Kilmarnock Premier Division side Kilmarnock were the visitors for this League Cup tie. It turned out to be a rout as the Albion went on to win by six goals to two, the biggest margin of victory the club have recorded against a side from a higher division. Andy Paterson opened the scoring with more to follow from McCormick, twice, Gibson, Tait and Taggart. Even with a four goal lead, the prospect of Killie coming back to win was a possibility and the final whistle was met with both joy and relief. 2 February 1999 2-1 vs. Hibernian The Albion had been drawn against Hibs at Easter Road Ap r il 2 0 13 / www.s t i r l i n g a lb i o nfc. co . uk
in the Scottish Cup tie at Easter Road. You know the old adage, the wee team’s only get one go. Gladly the pundits got it wrong. A full house witnessed David McCallum taking the lead only for Russell Latapy to score a spectacular equaliser. Former Hibs midfielder Chris Jackson surged through a yawning gap in the visiting defence to blast the ‘Binos ahead. Stirling held on for a deserved win. 11 September 2002 3-3 vs. Stenhousemuir (Stirling win 4-2 on penalties) You would hardly think that a first round League Cup game could ever prove so controversial and exciting. Throughout the entire game, Stennie were the better side and were deservedly two goals to the good with 10 minutes to go, but a Robert Dunn goal and a rare injury time strike from Gareth Munro took the game into extra time. Waldie scored in the second period of injury time and it looked as if justice had been done, when deep into stoppage time, Nicholas scored the equaliser. To add insult to injury, the Albion went on to win by 4 penalties to 2. 13 March 2004 6-0 vs. East Stirlingshire Unfortunately for the Shire, they were the opponents when the Albion ran up their record score at Forthbank, losing 6-0 to the home side. It would be unfair to take too much out of this game, the Albion were well on their way to a promotion spot and the poor Shire were having a torrid time. Ultimately their away record would read played 18, won 0, Drawn 0, lost 18. 8 May 2004 2-2 vs. Stranraer With both teams promoted, this match could possibly have decided the destination of the League Division Three title. Stranraer were two points ahead with a superior goal difference. Two wins from their final two games and the Albion would be champs. 2200 Albion fans were at Forthbank, only to see Stranraer take a two goal lead, but with time running out, Derek Lyle pulled one back, then substitute Craig Ferguson equalised with five minutes to go. The Albion pummelled the Stranraer defence but in the end, a drawn game was a fair result. Albion won the closing fixture 5-0 at Cowdenbeath, with Stranraer taking the title with a 4-0 home win against Albion Rovers. 9th March 2013 9-1 vs. East Stirlingshire We couldn’t let the 9-1 defeat of East Stirling pass without comment. A record breaking score and the first time since 1947 that an Albion player has scored four League goals at home – well done Jordan White. This match was a pleasure to watch and a fitting finale to this segment just a month and a few weeks before the 20th anniversary of the first match ever to be played at Forthbank. Hopefully the future at the stadiums hold many more matches as enjoyable as this day when the Binos support were brought to cloud nine.
RECORDS -------------------------Top ten appearances (substitute appearances in brackets) David O’Brien 110 (10) Myles Hogarth 110 (0) Mark McGeown 108 (0) Ross Forsyth 98 (5) Thomas Tait 96 (5) Stewart Devine 95 (24) Paul Nugent 95 (1) Stewart Devine 95 (24) Ronnie McQuilter 79 (0) Craig Taggart 79 (4) Top Ten Goalscorers Alex Bone 34 Ally Graham 23 David O’Brien 22 Christopher Aitken 21 William Watters 19 Steven McCormick 19 David McKenna 17 Scott McLean 16 Thomas Tait 14 Alex Williams 14
Most Substitute Appearances Douglas Wilson 28 Nathan Taggart 28 Stewart Devine 24 Kevin McCallion 20 David McKenna 20 John Gibson 19 Michael Mullen 17 Josh Flood 16 Stuart McLaren 14 Gareth Munro 14 Most Substituted Player David O’Brien 26 Stewart Devine 25 Nathan Taggart 22 John Gibson 21 David McKenna 21 Robert Dunn 16 Joe McLeod 15 Michael Mullen 14 James Gardner 12 Mark McNally 12
Goals Records 1 23 April 1993 v Clydebank - Tom Tait 100 16 November 1996 v East Fife - Alex Bone 200 10-March 2004 v Elgin City - Derek Lyle 500 02-January 2012 v Stenhousemuir - Josh Flood Hattricks (or better) Steven McCormick (3) v Alloa 3 February 1996 Alec Bone (3) v Alloa 24 October 1998 Alex Williams (3) v Dumbarton 19 September 2001 Scott McLean (3) v Elgin City 10 March 2004 Derek Lyle (3) v East Stirling 13 March 2004 Chris Hay (3) v Forfar Athletic 3 December 2005 David O’Brien (3) v Forfar Athletic 27 January 2007 Michael Mullen (3) v Brechin City 14 April 2010 Jordan White (4) v East Stirling 9 March 2013
Goalkeeping Records Myles Hogarth 110 31 28% Mark McGeown 108 31 29% Scott Christie 52 12 23% Chris Reid 47 10 21% Garry Gow 21 3 14% Calum Reidford 20 2 10% Jed Gardiner 17 3 18% Mike Monaghan 11 4 36% Sam Filler 10 3 30% Ian Turner 7 4 57% Mark Peat 6 1 17% David Crawford 5 1 20% Henry Heighton 3 0 0% Graeme Donald 1 1 100% Robert Giacomi 1 1 100% James Chalmers 1 0 0% Anton Nugent 1 0 0% - Columns are games played, shut outs and percentage shut outs - Robert Giacomi was a loan signing from Rangers - Graeme Donald played outfield but was keeper on 3 occasions due to injuries and players out on loan April 2013 / w w w.st irlin g albionf c .c o.uk
12/13 Division Three 7th 15 8 11/12 Division Two 10th 18 4 10/11 Division One 10th 18 2 09/10 Division Two 1st 18 7 08/9 Division Two 5th 18 7 07/8 Division One 10th 18 3 06/7 Division Two 2nd 18 12 05/6 Division Two 5th 18 8 04/5 Division Two 4th 18 8 03/4 Division Three 2nd 18 10 02/3 Division Three 5th 18 9 01/2 Division Three 9th 18 6 00/1 Division Two 10th 18 3 99/00 Division Two 7th 18 7 98/99 Division Two 6th 18 7 97/98 Division One 10th 18 3 96/97 Division One 7th 18 8 95/96 Division Two 1st 18 12 94/95 Division Two 3rd 18 9 93/94 Division One 9th 22 7 92/93 Division One 10th 3 1
2 5 3 8 5 7 2 4 5 5 4 5 9 4 3 7 3 4 3 6 1
5 9 13 3 8 8 4 6 5 3 5 7 6 7 8 8 7 2 6 9 1
36 22 26 22 29 17 17 39 9 30 22 29 26 23 26 22 33 16 37 17 38 28 28 28 29 26 29 37 12 35 24 16 31 23 29 23 15 20 18 34 33 25 27 28 18 20 31 16 27 25 27 36 15 40 28 20 30 23 30 27 5 5 4
LEAGUE PLAYING RECORD
1.733 2.40 1.47 0.944 1.22 1.61 0.500 0.94 2.17 1.611 1.67 1.22 1.444 1.44 1.28 0.889 1.22 1.83 2.111 2.06 0.94 1.556 1.56 1.56 1.611 1.61 1.44 1.944 2.06 0.67 1.722 1.33 0.89 1.278 1.28 1.61 1.000 0.83 1.11 1.389 1.89 1.83 1.333 1.50 1.56 0.889 1.11 1.72 1.500 1.50 1.39 2.222 2.00 0.83 1.667 1.56 1.11 1.227 1.05 1.36 1.333 1.67 1.67 *per game
-------------------------Team Pld W D L GF GA Pts Airdrie 7 0 4 3 6 12 4 Airdrie United 2 0 0 2 1 6 0 Albion Rovers 8 3 2 3 15 13 8 Alloa Athletic 14 5 4 5 21 17 14 Annan Athletic 2 2 0 0 7 2 4 Arbroath 14 2 7 5 18 22 11 Ayr United 15 7 6 2 25 16 20 Berwick Rangers 9 6 2 1 21 13 14 Brechin City 16 7 0 9 25 29 14 Clyde 16 4 4 8 19 22 12 Clydebank 7 2 2 3 11 12 6 Cowdenbeath 10 3 4 3 11 13 10 Dumbarton 14 5 4 5 20 17 14 Dundee 8 0 3 5 7 17 3 Dunfermline Athletic 6 3 1 2 10 9 7 East Fife 18 8 4 6 27 19 20 East Stirlingshire 8 6 2 0 28 5 14 Elgin City 7 4 1 2 18 8 9 Falkirk 8 1 1 6 7 21 3 Forfar Athletic 14 10 3 1 38 19 23 Gretna 6 2 0 4 3 9 4 Hamilton Accies 8 3 1 4 11 13 7 Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2 0 0 2 1 6 0 Livingston 4 0 2 2 5 10 2 Meadowbank Thistle 2 1 0 1 4 4 2 Montrose 10 4 4 2 16 9 12 Morton 20 7 5 8 26 33 19 Partick Thistle 16 6 3 7 22 22 15 Peterhead 15 11 1 3 22 14 23 Queen of the South 14 4 6 4 19 16 14 Queenâ€™s Park 12 5 2 5 13 13 12 Raith Rovers 12 5 3 4 17 16 13 Rangers 2 1 1 0 2 1 3 Ross County 4 2 1 1 5 4 5 St. Johnstone 4 1 1 2 5 8 3 St. Mirren 6 3 2 1 6 2 8 Stenhousemuir 12 5 4 3 19 13 14 Stranraer 14 4 6 4 20 21 14 Ap r il 2 0 13 / www.s t i r l i n g a lb i o nfc. co . uk
Match Preview: Stirling Albion vs. Elgin City April 27th - Forthbank Stadium - 3PM KO
Club Profile: Founded: 1893 Stadium: Borough Briggs Capacity: 4,520 Nickname: City / The Black & Whites Manager: Ross Jack
Preview by Fraser Clarke
n Saturday the 27th of April, Elgin City will be the visitors to Forthbank. Ross Jack will bring his team down from Borough Briggs with the hope that they can replicate their last visit, which saw them run out 4-1 winners, but an on form Binos side will have another end result in mind. Elgin are currently four points above the Binos at the time of writing and the club are the same points tally off the play-off positions. After a horrible turn of losses following the new year bells, Elgin’s recent form, like that of Stirling, has been strong. A spirited performance against Division Three winners Rangers was sandwiched in between back to back 1-0 away wins against Peterhead and Queen’s Park respectively to see the rejuvenation of their form complete. A strong home performance against Clyde resulted in them scoring four goals and continuing their impressive winning streak before a dramatic finish at Annan meant the black and whites were held to a two all draw. Fans of the highland side will surely wish that their side had performed this well consistently throughout the season, and will have their fingers crossed that their side can bounce back from their mid-season blip to claim the play-off spot that they looked well on track for before Christmas. The current manager Ross Jack has been at the helm for the past three seasons. Last season he guided them to the play-offs despite having the youngest squad in the division and this year he’ll be hoping that with a year’s extra experience, his young team can get there again and perhaps go one better to gain promotion.
One of the most experienced members of the Elgin squad is well known Scottish front man Dennis Wyness. The 36 year old boasts top level experience in the country and remains Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s leading goal scorer ever with 101 goals. Wyness has also appeared in the UEFA Cup for Hearts and with such a young squad, his experience around the dressing room and performances will be priceless at Borough Briggs. Another of the more senior players in the dressing room is Paul McMullan. McMullan made the breakthrough at Hearts early on in his career but now in the twilight years of his career, has become a vital cog in the Elgin machine and a crucial player in their quest to make the play-offs. Stirling will have to pay close attention to 25 year old striker Craig Gunn too. The Elgin frontman has scored 12 goals from 27 appearances this term and finished last with 18 goals, having won the “ginger boot” in August for the player that scored the most goals that month across all three SFL divisions. Another key man for Ross Jack’s side is 22 year old attacking midfielder Stuart Leslie. Leslie was plucked from Highland league side Clachnacuddin, where he had won the Highland League Young Player of the year in 2011. He has 13 goals from 27 appearances this term and the talented young player is one Stirling will have to pay close attention too. Despite these strengths though, Elgin have struggled on the road this season, and Stirling mus take advantage of their home advantage. Having played 17 away matches so far this season, the side have only won four. This bodes well for an improved Albion side who, with the Forthbank crowd behind them, should prove a difficult test for any visiting side. April 2013 / w w w.st irlin g albionf c .c o.uk
Elgin City Squad Goalkeepers Midfielders 11 Moore 1 Malin 3 McMullan 12 Beveridge 21 Black 8 Morrison 14 Wyness 10 Harkins Millar Defenders 15 McLean Forbes 2 Niven McHardy 4 Crighton MacLeod 5 Duff O’Donoghue 16 McKinnon Robertson Forwards Nicolson 6 Cameron 7 Gunn 9 Leslie
Key Battles Stuart Leslie vs. Brian Allison
Montrose April 13th SFL Div. 3
Berwick April 20th SFL Div. 3
Depending on what position Leslie is deployed in Jack’s team line up, Brian Allison could have the responsibility of handling the forward’s threat. Leslie is strong in the air and pacey and so will pose a threat wherever he is used. Allison could be tasked with marking him will have to be extremely vigilant to nullify the threat he poses but should they do so, then Stirling’s chances of gaining all three points will be greatly increased.
Craig Gunn vs. David McClune
Stirling April 27th SFL Div. 3
East Stirling May 4th SFL Div. 3
25-year-old Craig Gunn has been in good form for Elgin in 2013 with six goals since the turn of the year. The striker scored in the recent 4-2 home win over Clyde to add to his impressive record this season. The former Ross County man won the ‘Ginger Boot’ award in September 2011 while at City for scoring seven goals in the month of August. That run included four goals against Queen’s Park and a brace against Albion’s local rivals East Stirling. Tasked with marking the hit-man could be David McClune. The 30-year-old defender has been an almost ever-present for the Binos this season and Greig McDonald will surely rely on the Glaswegian’s experience to thwart the threat.
Elgin City 1 - 2 Stirling Albion
LAST TIME Ap r il 2 0 13 / www.s t i r l i n g a lb i o nfc. co . uk
The two sides met last on Saturday the 2nd of March at Borough Briggs. A Kieran McAnespie double either side of a Stuart Leslie goal for the home side was enough to see the Binos extend their unbeaten run to seven games. McAnespie’s first goal was a peach from 30 yards after only seven minutes and his second was a lovely volley into the top corner shortly before half time.
Away Preview by Greg Barrie Annan (April 20th)
he season has petered out disappointingly for Annan Athletic, who currently sit second bottom in the table. When Annan beat the Binos 5-2 back in November, they appeared to be picking up a nice momentum to push on for the play-offs, but the Galabankies have struggled to find any sort of consistency since then. Their form in the last couple of months in particular has been a real cause for concern, with just the one win from the last ten matches. Strangely enough, the solitary victory came in one they probably did not have earmarked as a likely three points: a 2-1 triumph over Rangers at Ibrox. The victory at Ibrox was arguably the greatest result in the club’s history and remains the only defeat to be inflicted upon the Glasgow giants on their home turf, although the Binos have gone close a couple of times, and it was only the second loss for Rangers all season. Goals from Ally Love and David Hopkirk earned Annan Athletic the thoroughly deserved three points. Andy Little had pulled a goal back for the home side with half an hour to play but the Annan defence coped with everything thrown at them and the team were applauded off the pitch by both sets of supporters at the final whistle. Manager Jim Chapman was understandably delighted with what was his first win since he took charge of the club in January. However, in the three league matches since that historic win at Ibrox, Annan have only picked up one point, laying ruin to any faint play-off hopes that remained for the Galabank club. Consecutive defeats without registering a goal in fixtures home to Clyde and away to Peterhead have left Annan looking over their shoulders rather than chasing the pack ahead of them. The club’s most recent fixture, at the time of writing, offered some encouragement for the club though, as the recovered from what appeared to be a stoppage-time winner for Elgin by immediately grabbing an equaliser in front of a home crowd. It would have been a travesty if Annan had left the match with nothing to show, having been the better side for most of the match and creating the majority of the chances. After Dennis Wyness put the away side in front in the dying minutes with a classic counter attack, the response of the Annan players will have greatly pleased Chapman. The spirit that the team showed in battling back and grabbing a point through David Hopkirk’s drilled effort will have given them a real confidence boost coming into the final fixtures of the season. Annan’s home form has been reasonably solid this season, with six victories, four draws and five defeats. Their goals for and against are substantially better home than away, having scored nine more and conceded fourteen less. They will be looking to rely upon their home fixtures to pick up the points required to move away from the bottom of the table and finish the season in as high a position as possible.
LAST MEETING Stirling Albion earned a hard-fought, thoroughly deserved 2-1 win over Annan Athletic when the sides met at Forthbank Stadium on 19th February. The visitors took the lead against the run off play through Scott Chaplin, before goals from Graeme Weir and Jordan White either side of half-time turned the game around. Despite all of the early pressure coming from the home side, Annan grabbed the lead when Stirling’s Gary Thom was caught on the ball in his own defensive third, with David Hopkirk dispossessing him before drilling a low cross into the penalty box which was smartly slotted home by Scott Chaplin. It didn’t take Stirling long to level the game up though, as in the 25th minute Graeme Weir was on hand to tap in to an empty net after great work from the lively Sandy Cunningham, who ran directly at the Annan defence before having his shot parried into Weir’s path. Early in the second half Jordan White capitalised on a defensive mistake to coolly slot the ball past the keeper and give Stirling the lead. The lead should have been extended with a series of good chances missed by Stirling, and the inability of the Binos to put the game to bed led to a nervy finale as Annan piled on the pressure in the final minutes, but the home side held out for the win. KEY BATTLE A key factor in the excellent run of form that Stirling Albion have embarked on has been the solid nature of the current midfield, including an abundance of impressive run of performances from central-midfield rock Mark Ferry. Ferry has found his scoring touch in the last few weeks, grabbing a brace in the 9-1 drubbing of East Stirling, scoring a crucial winner against Berwick Rangers and giving Stirling the lead in the draw at Montrose. The forward runs of Ferry have been a real attacking tool for the side, and they have given the likes of White and Cunningham up top some great support. In the centre of the midfield for Annan, Scott Chaplain has chipped in with nine goals this season and sits currently as the clubs second top goal scorer. In his first season for the club, Chaplain has been one of the brighter sparks within the struggling side, and his goals from midfield have been a real boost to the side. Whichever one of these two players is most effective going forward could be a deciding factor in the game, as they will look to control the match and get forward to support the strikers.
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Away Preview by Scott Binnie Clyde (May 4th)
t the time of writing the Bully Wee are one of the form teams in the Third Division with only the likes of Rangers, and of course the Binos, enjoying a richer run of results. Clyde have picked up four wins in their last six games to pull away from the bottom of the league, an area in which they were seemingly entrenched just a few weeks ago after a niggardly run of just a single win in eight games. That poor series of results ended with a huge 2-0 win over playoff contenders Peterhead at the beginning of March, goals from Kevin Watt and John Sweeney giving Jim Duffy’s side their first win January – a 2-1 win over Stirling. Clyde lost a two-goal lead to Queen’s Park in their next fixture before wins over basement buddies Annan and the Shire pulled Clyde away from the Third Division floor. Of the three previous meetings between the sides this year, Clyde have won two with Albion picking up the victory in the latest fixture back in February. Kevin Watt gave Clyde victory at Forthbank early in the season, contributing to Stirling’s streak of six losses on a frustrating afternoon for Greig McDonald’s men. It was victory for the Bully Wee again in January, Stefan McCluskey and John Sweeney scoring at Broadwood either side of Jordan White’s six goal of the season. Greig McDonald’s charges finally got a win over Jim Duffy’s side in February in a 2-0 win at Forthbank, Kieran McAnespie and Mark Ferry scoring in the opening 30 minutes in what has become a pleasingly typical Albion result in the last few months. Clyde are particularly potent in attack through the likes of Kevin Watt and Stefan McCluskey in the central positions and John Sweeney and Stuart McColm providing support from deeper. Indeed that quartet is responsible for 28 goals and assists for the Bully Wee. Defensively, Clyde are found to be lacking, however, and currently possess the second worse goal difference in the league on -19, a poor total worse than all others except for East Stirlingshire’s shocking -40. With Jordan White keen to add to his sterling goal record to bring it 20 before the end of the season, the big striker could really enjoy himself and do Duffy’s men a bit of damage. Were this game at Forthbank it would likely be a very safe bet to back the Binos to come away with victory but Clyde have enjoyed a good series of displays at their Broadwood home, winning seven games there. They’ve also lost seven as the hosts with two draws. On the road their record is significantly murkier, with just four victories coming on Clyde’s travels in the face of two draws and ten defeats. Albion meanwhile, have only won once on the road, the 2-1 win over Elgin City in March, so even though the formbook would point in the direction of a Stirling win, the Binos’ continuing struggles away from home mean that this really could go either way.
Ap r il 2 0 13 / www.s t i r l i n g a lb i o nfc. co . uk
KEY BATTLE – KIERAN MCANESPIE VS JOHN SWEENEY Industrious central midfielder John Sweeney has been with Clyde for three years now after signing from junior side Pollok. Sweeney picked up two of Clyde’s player of the year awards last season after a terrific year and, despite something of a slow start this campaign, has returned to that level of form at the perfect time to spur the Bully Wee’s resurgence in the league. The 24-year-old has scored 10 goals for Clyde this year – tying him as the club’s top scorer with Kevin Watt. Four of those strikes have come in the last six games with four of the 10 coming from the penalty spot. With Brian Allison and Gary Thom unlikely to win any fair play awards this season, Jim Duffy’s men might fancy their chances of getting a spot kick against Stirling and seeing Sweeney converting yet again. One of the biggest changes in the Stirling side has been the move forward of Kieran McAnespie from the left back berth following the arrival of Binos favourite Ross Forsyth in January. McAnespie has scored three times since that move and all three goals were stunning, particularly his brace at Elgin. McAnespie has struck up a partnership with David McClune in the middle of the park with Mark Ferry moving out to the left hand side and with just one defeat in 13 matches, the Binos are clearly doing something right. The faceoff between McAnespie and Sweeney will have a huge say on the winners of this final day battle, not just for the personal aspect but also for what they offer their respective sides in attack – Sweeney’s goal threat and McAnespie’s excellent set piece potency. LAST MEETING – STIRLING ALBION 2-0 CLYDE These sides last met in February when the Binos extended their unbeaten run to five games with a 2-0 win over their opponents at Forthbank that lifted the Albion off the bottom of the table on goal difference, with Clyde slipping below them. Kieran McAnespie scored his first goal for the club after a very smart attacking play ended with a clever pass from Jordan White and Mark Ferry’s seventh of the campaign before half time wrapped up the points for Stirling. Kieran McGachie forced Binos keeper David Crawford into a top save after the interval and Stuart McColm missed a good chance but other than those instances, Albion were very comfortable and the result was never in doubt.
Forthbank Memories With the celebrations ongoing for the 20th anniversary of Forthbank this month, we thought we would gather up some of the best Binos moments that have taken place since the club moved to the stadium in 1993. We asked your opinions on Facebook and Twitter and got a great response, so here are some of your favourite Forthbank memories!
Scott O’Hare: 2-1 v Morton, 2-2 v Stranraer, the play offs and 1-0 v Rangers. Scott Johnstone: Beating Killie 6-2, 2-2 draw with Airdrie and Stranraer in important end of season matches. Ben Campbell: Coming back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in the play off final first leg a few years ago. Stewart McIntyre: Special mentions to the 9-1 win the other week, the narrow 3-2 defeat by Hearts in the League Cup, and the 2-1 win against Morton when Snoddy scored. Kevin Milne: Stevie McCormick being on form in the 6-2 mauling of Kilmarnock... Elaine Mair: Drinkell wonderland! Caroline Dunbar: Beating Kille 6-2 and beating Rangers 1-0 at Forthbank. John Buchan: 1. Welsh ref back heeling a player in face 2. The budgie on the pitch 3. The Lino who looked like Jonah Lomu getting near knocked out when the ball hit him a beauty in the face 4. Neil Orr’s sublime own goal against St Mirren (Jan94) 5. 3-3 penalty win over Stenny in League Cup where John McVeigh went bananas twice with the lateness of both equalisers 6. Paul Nugent going all Pele in the playoffs as he scored 7. Mark Hateley for Ross County 8. The Gretna three (2 plus driver) 9. Alloa fans putting away their 7-0 flag when they went four down in about half an hour 10. Lindsay Hamilton dropping the into the net for a draw in a very lady-like fashion Alban Dickson: 11. The First Aiders dropping players (on several occasions). Jim Brown: A game vs. Raith when we won 3-2 having been 2-0 down. Was around Christmas time, Andy Paterson free kick. Apart from that, the 6-2 vs. Killie, 2-1 Hibs cup replay, 1995/1996 season, 1996/1997 season... Robin Bairner: 6-2, need I say more? Melissa Dunbar: Beating Rangers 1-0, because I am a ball girl at Forthbank! Jonathan Savage: My last game as a ball-boy, when I received an autographed football from Willie Watters himself!
@ingles_a: Watching my son (Sandy Cunningham) make his debut for the Binos and seeing that astonishing 9-1 win against East Stirling. @HtgDPark: The 6-2 win vs. Kilmarnock, who were Scottish Cup holders at the time. The finest performance i’ve seen from ANY Albion side. @DavidEsson1: Beating clyde 3-0 in Jan 1995-96 season – Alex Bone 25 yard volley into top corner on a cold Wednesday night! @AJMC1987: Apart from those already mentioned – the 1st game against Airdrie in the 1st division play off. Brilliant come back!! #BINOS @Jakey_lufc: Beating Rangers, one of the best moments of my life. @awr1992Morton: The victory over Rangers. Nothing can beat that! @Aldo1892: 2-2 vs. Stranraer. Last home game of the season, title decider, Craig Ferguson double and hit the post. @ftmathieson: 2nd division title seasons under Drinkell and Moore. Good games and good football
April 2013 / w w w.st irlin g albionf c .c o.uk
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