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Saturday October 25, 2014

SPFL League One

Stirling Albion




Fulton 20
Smith 85


Fraser 57
Fitzpatrick 87


Airdrie twice came from behind to earn another point on the road as the bottom two clashed at blustery Forthbank.

The Diamonds continual inability to keep a clean sheet, just twice in 14 competitive matches means that they are virtually having to score at least once to take something from their matches and twice to guarantee a win.

There is little doubt that not a lot could have been done about Stirling’s first goal but the second was down to the type of poor defending evident too often this season.

Parker was flagged offside in 3 minutes after a run in behind the home the back line while a misplaced pass by O’Neil was not capitalised upon by the home side who failed to hit the target 2 minutes later.

With 10 minutes gone a fine run from Parker down the right saw a decent interception as his cross was heading for Watt.

Loan midfielder Scott Fraser collected a clearance in 18 minutes about 30 yards out sidestepped a challenge before fizzing an excellent shot just wide of Reidford’s goal.

With 20 minutes gone Stirling took the lead. Doris pursued a long punt upfield out to the left and crossed immediately as McNeil had come from his goal and had to retreat. The cross was headed out of the penalty area but Fulton had time and space to control the ball then hit a 20 yard volley into the net off the crossbar past the Airdrie keeper.

As Airdrie strived to level matters, a strong run by Watt in 33 minutes was followed by a wild shot well wide of the goal, but two minutes later his neat lay off to Fitzpatrick saw an excellent 18 yard shot well saved by Redford.

With 5 minutes remaining Watt was on the end of an O’Neil cross from the right but his attempt was deflected before being gathered by Reidford.

As first half stoppage time approached Fraser was next to try his luck but shot just wide of the goal.

Two minutes after the restart Albion raced forward and Doris sent a 20 yard shot that struck the crossbar on the way over the top.

Fraser delivered a free kick in 50 minutes into the box and Lister rose to head the ball over the target.

7 minutes later Fraser repeated his feat against Brechin City, when he curled a free kick all the way into the back of the net, this time perhaps from 35 yards out.

In 64 minutes a ball through the Stirling rearguard found Gray with just the keeper to be but he fired the ball straight at Reidford who pushed it away for a corner.

2 minutes later Watt and Fitzpatrick combined, as they had done in the first half, on this occasion Watt blasted a twenty yard shot high over the goal.

In a rare second half appearance in the Airdrie third of the field, Albion’s Hamilton had a fine run and shot deflected away for a corner in 69 minutes.

As Airdrie continued to press, Gray struck a free kick in 76 minutes that Reidford took comfortably, then a minute later racing in on Reidford, Parker tried to bend the ball with his right foot and mishit his effort with substitute Cadden vainly trying to reach to head the ball for goal.

Cadden was on target in 77 minutes from Parker’s intended pass but drilled a low shot that Reidford collected.

Against the run of play Stirling took the lead for a second time in 85 minutes when Gordon Smith was given the freedom to fire the ball into the net from inside the box.

Two minutes later Fitzpatrick hammered an equaliser into the net after Richards-Everton’s header had been knocked away from goal.

Stirling had more attempts in the closing stages than they had in the rest of the match as Chris Smith went close on a couple of occasions with headers while Johnston fired wide on the right just before the final whistle.

The chance to close on those above was gone.

John O'Brien at Forthbank Stadium.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.

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