Stirling Albion 0 v 1 Clyde, Ladbrokes League 2 08/08/2015
Stirling Albion got their league season underway this afternoon when they welcomed Barry Fergusons, Clyde to Forthbank in the season opener. This was the first time the Binos and the Bully Wee since we beat them 4 v 1 back in May 2014.
The Binos got the game underway shooting towards the Monument end in what was a rather uneventful first half of football. Phil Johnston came close with his strike that was pushed behind for a corner by Clyde ‘keeper John Gibson. The resulting corner was easily picked out the air by Gibson.
Clyde also tested the Binos from a flurry of corners that ended with ex Bino Chris Smith heading the ball towards goal only to be denied by his Albion namesake our ‘keeper Chris Smith.
The first half ended all square and as the teams headed for the dressing room it looked like we were in for a quiet game, neither side looked like they were going to score or be much of a threat.
Half-Time: Stirling Albion 0 v 0 Clyde
As the second half got underway, the Binos looked more lively and were more positive going forward and soon had a claim for a penalty when Scott McLaughlin clearly handled the ball in the box however referee Steven Kirkland waved the Binos claims away. Clyde made the first change of the game when Hugh Murray made way for David Marsh.
The Binos were looking the more settled team as the second half went on with some good chances, Sean Dickson set up Phil Johnston but his shot was pushed past the post by Gibson. Lee Hamilton broke into the box soon after but was unable to get a shot before being challenged.
The referee soon had more shouts from the Binos as we had yet another claim for a penalty turned down after Craig Comrie seen his shot cleanly handled by Clyde defender Chris Smith. Binos boss Stuart McLaren made his first change of the game when he brought on Sandy Cunningham for Craig Comrie, a somewhat strange substitution as Comrie looked to be having a good game and even he was unhappy at being hooked off.
The referee was soon to get in the action after WIllie Robertson cleanly won the ball, but the theatrical role played by the entire Clyde team, after Steven Brisbane went down got Robertson booked, nice to see that Barry Ferguson is getting his players to do what he done when he was playing.
Things only got worse for the Binos when Mark Staunton gave away a penalty and was also shown a red card for his foul. No question about it, it was a penalty the referee got this decision right. Scott Linton stepped up for the Bully Wee to slot home the spot kick.
With the Binos a goal and a man down the remainder of the game started to fall away in to a time wasting exercise by Clyde and even when we had the ball we were unable to develop many chances.
Full-time: Stirling Albion 0 v 1 Clyde
Today was a frustrating day at the office for the Binos, it raises some important questions about the way the team is being set out especially at home, we started the game with Craig Beattie as a loan striker which is good if we are playing through the midfield and not bypassing them. For some reason we insist on playing long balls up to a loan striker who hasn’t got anyone else to play off as the midfield isn’t moving up to support.
In a view to Clyde, they were no better than us and before the penalty the looked less likely to score, we were the team more likely to take the lead if we didn’t keep trying to walk the ball into the net and just take chances when we were in the box. It was clear it was one of those games where it could have easily ended in a goalless draw. If they are to be considered title contenders then we will be fighting them on the final day of the season back at Forthbank for the title.