Match Report

Forthbank Astro, April 23rd 2018

Stirling Albion (Vezza (p) 23) – Raith Rovers (Smith 31, McCann 64)

Rovers complete the 2017/18 campaign with a narrow win against a strong Stirling Albion side and finish eight points clear at the top of the division.

Craig Easton’s side finally got the better of the Wee Binos after two previous draws against a side well drilled by coach Andy Todd.
The sides traded early chances, first Smith and Valentine with a 1-2 the former hitting a low ball straight to the Albion keeper, next saw McLaren and Cameron combine at the edge of the area, the latter seeing this low shot parried by the outrushing Brian.

It was Rovers who looked more likely to score with McCann sending a low ball just wide, then Valentine with a powerful dipping shot from 25 yards which Wight spilled but was cleared from the feet of Smith who was ready to net from the centre of the box.

Stirling opened the scoring from a penalty after Berry, with the hint of a push fell in the box and handled the ball as he went over.
Alberto Vezza stepped up and hit a low left footed shot past the diving Brian 1–0.

Rovers restored parity after a cross from the left fell to Dall; his lob from the edge of the box left Wight stranded and hit the bar, the rebound fell nicely for Jack Smith to head home at the back post 1-1.

The league champions didn’t rest on their laurels and pressed for a second goal, laying siege to Wight’s goal with five corners in as many minutes, Smith and Dall coming close but denied both times by Wight, then just before the break a Valentine run on the left ended when the left back struck the post with a shot from a tight angle.

Stirling started the second half and stepped up a gear, Justin Watson hitting the side net, then Cumming with a shot from distance falling onto the roof of the net coming closer was scorer Vezza with a lob from the edge of the box which struck the bar.

Rovers finally took the lead on the 64th minute after the ball was laid off to Lewis McCann who dropped a shoulder on his marker and from the edge of the area found the postage stamp corner past an outstretched Wight 1-2.

The tempo of the game dropped in the final phase of the game with a flurry of substitutions breaking up the rhythm of play, but Rovers had done enough by this time to keep the upper hand.

This concludes a second successive season for Craig Easton’s side who have met the target set, hopefully they will carry on the good work into next season.


Stirling Albion Raith Rovers
Craig Wight Rory Brian
Craig Wight Jamie Watson
Luke Martin Euan Valentine
Ryan Lockie James Berry
Kyle Banner (54) Trialist B
Marc Innes Gregor Jordan
Justin Watson (75) Kyle Bell (80)
Callum MacDonald Ryan Stevenson (73)
Reg McLaren Jack Smith
Ross Cameron (75) Kieran Dall (67)
Alberto Vezza Lewis McCann
sub: Trialist A (54) sub: Trialist A (67)
sub: Brooklyn Mair (75) sub: Kieran Swanson (80)
sub: Connor Preston (75) sub: Lewis Crosbie (73)
sub: Callum Law sub: Ross Hain (80)
sub: Christopher Peden

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