MONTROSE 0-1 STIRLING ALBION
With Kerr Waddell joining Terry Masson on the long-term injury list and Michael Gardyne and Kane Hester out through suspensions after getting red cards in last week’s game against Annan Athletic, manager Stewart Petrie opted to go with Blair Lyons and Ben Hermiston upfront.
They were joined in attack at set pieces and throws in the final third by Luke Graham. Sadly, despite dominating the first half, they were unable to find the net.
Paul Watson went close after just five minutes, but his shot was turned behind by Blair Currie for a corner.
Watson was again involved on 19 minutes, but his shot was blocked and moments later, Ali Shrive saw his attempt saved by Currie.
It took until the 32nd minute for the Binos to seriously threaten when Paul McLean hit the bar with a right footed shot.
At the other end, Hermiston appeared to be bundled to the ground in the box during a Montrose attack but claims for a penalty were ignored by referee Scott Lambie.
Minutes later, Hermiston cut the ball back to Watson who saw his shot saved before Steeves fired over.
Just before half-time, a Stirling corner from the left eluded everyone in the six-yard box and then, in time added, Dale Hilson went into the ref’s book for a bad foul.
Four minutes into the second period Crane tried his luck from 40 yards but his effort was easily saved by Gill.
The Gable Endies were not out of it and Ali Shrive shot wide after being played in by Graham Webster.
After 51 minutes Stirling broke well but Hilson was unable to get a touch almost on the Montrose goal-line and the chance was lost.
The Binos were showing more purpose than the home side and a Kieran Moore shot drifted just wide.
Just after the hour, Craig Batchelor and Craig Brown replaced Watson and Hermiston.
Stirling got the all-important goal after 69 minutes when the Crane capitalised on a defensive error to run through and smash a left footed drive past Gill.
Five minutes later, Montrose introduced Liam Callaghan and Harry Craig for Shrive and Graham.
On 79 minutes goal scorer Crane saw red for a reckless challenge and the Binos’ manager was shown a yellow card, no doubt for giving his opinion of the ordering off to the officials.
Reduced to ten men Stirling were content to play out time and although Montrose pressed forward looking for an equaliser – Webster, Lyons and Brown all had opportunities – it was not their day.
On 93 minutes Lyons appeared to be tripped in the penalty box but the referee decided the player had dived and showed him a yellow card.
It was a game the Gable Endies might have won but, in the end, it was three points dropped, with every point important if we are to finish in the top four.
Report by Forbes Inglis
Pic by Pheonix Photography
Post Match interview https://youtu.be/H9AYyBjdT8c?si=jx_l3eX2Czs0IFZv