Stirling Albion rescue a point with forty yard equaliser


Promotion challengers Stirling Albion dropped to fourth in League Two after managing to rescue a point at home to Queens Park with a forty yard strike from 19-year-old winger Craig Comrie.

League Two’s bottom outfit, Queens Park had given the Forthbank side an early scare as they rushed into an early 2-0 lead with first-half goals from Blair Spittal and Gavin Mitchell.

But they were unable to beat the Bino’s who still remain unbeaten at home in the league since a defeat to Peterhead in September.

Going into the game, Stirling Albion made one change to the side that won last week away to Elgin City with club captain Jamie Bishop coming in to replace Stephen Day who moved to the bench.

Queens Park made three changes from the side that narrowly lost midweek against Annan Athletic with Gavin Mitchell, Grant Mosson, Tony Quinn coming in to the side with Sean Burns and Liam Gormley moving to the bench.

The first chance of the game came the Bino’s way when Queens Park keeper, Lucas Birnstingl was forced into a fingertip save on eight minutes. Jordan White played a neat ball through to David Wetherston who from just inside the box unleashed a low drive towards the far bottom corner but Birnstingl was equal to the shot with his save being cleared by his defence before Comrie could pounce on the rebound.

However, Albion’s early pressure counted for nothing as Queens took the lead on 18 minutes through Blair Spittal after a mistake in the Albion box gave Queens top goal scorer the easiest of chances to convert.

It was Spittal’s 11th league goal of the season and he couldn’t have had many easier as he collected the ball 10 yards out and he made no mistake as he placed the ball low into the bottom corner past a helpless David Crawford.

It wasn’t long after the Spider’s took the lead that they managed to double their advantage with again poor defensive play from the hosts to blame.

A cross from out wide by Grant Mosson on 33 minutes found Gavin Mitchell at the back post who slid in and prodded the ball into the bottom corner.

However, the goal managed to wake Stirling from their slumber as they found a reply two minutes after the restart through a Scott Gibson own goal.

The Bino’s top goal-scorer Jordan White found space in the box to unleash a shot which Gibson failed to clear on the line, instead firing the ball into the roof of his own net.

With six minutes of the first-half remaining, Queens could have restored their two goal advantage when the ever dangerous Spittal was unable to convert his one on one chance as he fired the ball over the bar and into the pitches behind the stand.

It was a disappointing effort from the 18-year-old youngster who had managed to nutmeg Stirling’s Michael O’Byrne leading up to the shot.

Only two minutes into the re-start of the second-half and Stirling could have equalised through David Weatherston. However Weatherston was unable to direct his header on target instead narrowly heading the cross Mark Ferry narrowly over the bar.

The moment of the match came just short of the hour mark on 57 minutes when former Falkirk youngster Craig Comrie managed to score a free-kick from all of forty yards!

What should have being an easy save for Lucas Birnstingl turned into a nightmare as the ball slipped through his hands and into the net to the delight of the home crowd.

Stirling could have stolen the three points shortly after that when Mark Ferry had a shot from distance which was pushed onto the bar by Birnstingl, however the Bino’s late attacking play counted for nothing as both sides had to settle for a point apiece.

Next up for Stirling Albion is a trip away to East Stirlingshire next Saturday while Queens Park entertain Clyde at home.

After the match, Queens Park manager Gus Macpherson gave his thoughts on the match, he said: “It was an individual mistake that has cost us, we looked for a reaction after Tuesday night and we got that. We competed well considering we had to make changes at half past one with boys unable to get her with commitments with work but credit to the group there who played and did pretty well. You could see two or three of them were short of match fitness as the reserves haven’t had games for the last few weeks, so credit to the group to get something out of the game.”

Stirling Albion manager Greig McDonald commented: “We need to stop doing this to ourselves that was two poor goals to lose. The first one is rather fortunate, it could have went anywhere but it breaks perfectly for the guy (Spittal), but it’s poor from our point of view. The second one Danny’s just switched off with the cross ball coming into the box and yet again we give ourselves a mountain to climb.

“I’m getting sick of watching our side dominate games and still getting beat. But I felt they did well to bounce back to get it back to 2-1 before half-time and I said to the guys you need to go out there and win the second-half and we did win the second-half. David Crawford only had the one save to make in that second-half and we have hit the woodwork and being close, we certainly huffed and puffed.”

Stirling Albion: David Crawford, Ross McGeachie, Danny Ashe (Stephen Day), Darren Smith, Jamie Bishop, Michael O’Byrne, Lee Hamilton (Phil Johnston), Mark Ferry, Jordan White, David Weatherston, Craig Comrie (Kieran McAnespie)

Subs not used: Graham Weir, Sandy Cunnigham, David McClune, Callum Reidford

Queens Park: Lucas Birnstingl, Gavin Mitchell, Grant Mosson, Paul Gallacher, Scott Gibson, James Baty, Tony Wallace (Liam Gormley), David Anderson (Conor McVey), Tony Quinn, Blair Spittal, Bernard Coll

Subs not used: Michael Keenan, Lee Davison, Sean Burns, Thomas Collins, Blair Lochhead

Attendance: 656

Referee: John McKendrick


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