Stirling Albion………………0

Inverness CT………………..0

STIRLING ALBION valiantly held holders Inverness to a draw and made sure their name went into the hat for the Scottish Cup fifth round draw.

The Premiership side were expected to progress without too many problems but the Binos put in a superb performance to secure a replay in the Highland capital.

Stuart McLaren made three changes to the side which lost out to East Stirling, with Craig Comrie, Ross Smith and Phil Johnston coming into the starting lineup.

The first chance went the way of the visitors, and Albion had goalkeeper Chris Smith to thank for keeping them in the game. Danny Williams played a lovely one-two with Liam Polworth and found himself with only Smith to beat, but the keeper made a superb save to keep the game goalless.

The Binos were dealt a massive blow when Kevin McKinlay was forced off with a serious-looking injury with less than a quarter of an hour played and had to be replaced by Ross McGeachie.

Williams was a threat throughout the first half and jinked his way into the box only to be denied by an excellent tackle from man-of-the-match Ross Forsyth.

The Binos almost caused a shock with half an hour on the clock. Steven Doris chased down what looked like a lost cause, forcing Gary Warren into a mistake and hooking the ball into the box, but it bounced just over the head of the onrushing Darren Smith and into the grateful arms of Owain Fon Williams.

Greg Tansey blazed a free kick over the bar as the visitors continued to pose a threat every time they came forward, before Gary Warren had a penalty claim waved away by referee Mat Northcroft.

The first clear-cut chance of the second half went the way of the Binos. Phil Johnston burst down the right and played in Smith, but the striker could only blaze the ball over the bar.

Caley Thistle went agonisingly close to opening the scoring just before the hour mark. Tansey’s corner was headed back across goal by Danny Devine, and as Miles Storey attempted to stab the ball home, goalkeeper Smith clawed it away before the Binos defence hacked it clear.

Substitute Alex Fisher drew another fine save from Smith when he found space to turn and shoot in the box, the experienced keeper doing well to keep out the debutant’s effort.

Darren Smith forced Fon Williams into action with a powerful low drive which the Wales international did well to parry away and out of the danger zone, before Warren made a heroic block to deny Doris.

The visitors’ search for a winner became desperate and Tansey, Polworth and Andrea Mutombo all went close, but the Binos held on to record a famous result and set up a replay at the Caledonian Stadium next Tuesday.

Stirling Albion: C. Smith, Mazel, McKinlay (McGeachie), Forsyth, R. Smith, Robertson, Johnston (Lamont), Comrie (Beattie), Doris, D. Smith, Dickson. Not used: Binnie, Kouider, Cunningham, Verlaque.