Forthbank Astro, 14th March 2017
Stirling Albion U20’s 0 – 2 Raith Rovers U20’s
The best soap opera couldn’t come up with a script to match the start of tonight’s match. Firstly, the roads of the central belt were gridlocked due to the closure of the Forth Road Bridge causing the very late, but not guaranteed arrival of keeper Rory Brian and team mates David McKay, Johnny Court and Euan Valentine.
Secondly the trialist keeper tripped on one of the weights that hold the goals in place at the Forthbank Astro pitch, despite the attentions of our physio he was deemed a nonstarter.
The coaches agreed a ten-minute delay to see if anyone would turn up, thankfully Euan Valentine arrived with seconds to spare to make an eleven, but Josh MacDonald had already donned the keepers kit and took to the field for the first half.
The match began with a makeshift back four but acquitted themselves well, as did young Josh.
Rovers were the first to make inroads with Osei and Dall with runs which were intercepted by Binnie who did well to deny the Rovers an early advantage.
The first quarter saw both sides going from box to box and the first effort on goal came when Stevenson floated in a corner which rebounded back and he shot just over the bar.
Up the park, ex-Rover Petrie hit a shot from 30 yards which Josh tracked and smothered with confidence.
Rovers replied with Smith angled pass to Osei which went wide as Yaw tried to control the ball.
Both sides had good attempts on goal, Petrie with a free kick going narrowly over then Cameron from 6 yards which fell to MacDonald who palmed wide. It was then the turn of Stevenson, Trialist S and Osei to bring out the best in Binnie, but the best goalkeeping was yet to come.
Just before the half, Cameron thought he had won a watch when he thundered the ball from six yards, but a reactionary save from Josh saw the ball palmed wide.
Seconds later he was at it again as Darren Petrie hit a 20 yarder to the back post which was gathered up with ease and cleared.
Half time subs saw Easton and Dall replaced by McKay and Brian who assumed his normal position in goals and brave Josh MacDonald moving to his usual spot.
With the side more settled chances for both sides were few and far between for twenty minutes barring a half chance from Smith and Evans heading wide at the other end, then the game just got better.
Rovers played the ball across the Stirling 18-yard line with Coustrain combining with Berry and it was his sweet cross that fell to the unmarked Yaw Osei who bulleted his header in at the back post. 0-1
The young Rovers tails were up and Trialist S fancied his chances from 10 yards but his shot was parried by Binnie, next up was MacDonald who shot wide from the left edge of the box.
Rovers pressed again and Ryan Stevenson feigned to his left and rattled the ball in the postage stamp corner from the edge of the D. 0-2
The remainder of the game played out with Rovers having done the business, albeit under strange, nay bonkers circumstances.
Craig Easton gave the lads a lot of praise after the game which was more than earned, after all, it’s not just the first team that can have goalkeeping headlines.
|Stirling Albion||Raith Rovers|
|Cammy Binnie||Josh MacDonald|
|Declyn Cumming||Euan Valentine|
|James Mills||James Berry|
|Ryan Lockie||Craig Easton (45)|
|Kyle Banner||Andreas Thorsen|
|Ross Forsyth||Ryan Stevenson|
|Callum MacDonald||Yaw Osei|
|Darren Petrie||Joel Coustrain|
|Ross Cameron (45)||Jack Smith (58)|
|Morgan Reid (45)||Kieran Dall (45)|
|Luke Martin (80)||Trialist S|
|sub: Taylor Evans (45)||sub: Rory Brian (GK)|
|sub: Conan Shields (45)||sub: David McKay (45)|
|sub: Justin Watson (80)||Jonathan Court (58)|
|sub:Ronan Fallens (GK)||Trialist Q (GK)|
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