Stirling Albion…………….0
Queen’s Park……………..0

Stirling Albion and Queen’s Park played out an enthralling draw at Forthbank as the Binos returned to league duty.

Despite the game ending scoreless there was no shortage of drama, and both sides could have won it, but goalkeepers Chris Smith and William Muir were the stars of the show.

Stuart McLaren fielded a very attacking lineup, with Mark Lamont and Craig Beattie replacing Craig Comrie and Aurelien Mazel. 

There was a place on the bench for new signing Scot Buist, who joined the Binos for a second time last week after coming out of retirement.

The Binos had the better of the opening exchanges and Steven Doris drew a fantastic save from Muir, the keeper tipping the ball round the post after the former Dundee striker had fizzed a free kick towards the top corner.

Willie Robertson sent a dipping volley just wide of the Spiders’ post as the Binos put early pressure on the visitors, before Mark Lamont was unlucky to see an effort of his own miss the target.

Binos keeper Chris Smith was called into action with a quarter of an hour played, getting down well to get a fingertip to David Galt’s shot, before Darren Smith broke quickly, but his shot lacked power and was held by Muir.

Albion were looking the more dangerous of the two sides and Lamont again went close, cutting inside before curling a shot a matter of inches over the crossbar.

John Carter had scored in both of the sides’ previous meetings this season and should have repeated the feat on the half-hour mark, but he inexplicably missed the ball after Scott Gibson had whipped a delicious cross in for the striker.

Queens were dealt a blow when the impressive Vinnie Berry was forced off after he picked up an injury when tackling Doris.

Just before the break the Binos had a great chance to take the lead. A melee in the box resulted in the ball falling to Ross Smith, who flicked the ball goalwards. He looked certain to have scored but Muir made an incredible save to keep the scores level.

Darren Smith blazed over with the last kick of the half as the teams went in at the interval all square.

The Binos were dealt a massive blow in the opening moments of the second half when captain Robertson went down with what looked to be a calf injury.

The Binos went agonisingly close and again Ross Smith was the man unfortunate not to get his name on the scoresheet. Lamont picked him out with a terrific free kick and the centre-back’s header crashed off the underside of the bar and bounced clear.

There were huge shouts for a penalty when Phil Johnston went down under Scott Gibson’s challenge but the referee was unmoved, to the fury of the home supporters.

And their hearts were in their mouths when Chris Smith spilled Jamie McKernon’s shot, but Joe Bradley made a mess of the follow-up and the goalkeeper was able to gather the ball.

The Binos had another wonderful chance to find a winner when they broke from a Queen’s Park corner, but Darren Smith scooped the ball over the bar when he should really have let Doris’ cross run through to Lamont.

Bradley thundered a shot inches wide of the target as the visitors went in search of the goal which would give them all three points.

The match ended with a flashpoint when Bradley tussled with Ross Forsyth. Players from both sides got involved in the ensuing melee, but despite both sets of fans appealing for red cards to be shown, the referee was content to show yellows to Bradley and Forsyth as well as Doris and Gibson for their part in the handbags.

That was the last action of an entertaining encounter, and despite failing to pick up a victory the Binos’ promotion prospects remain positive after results elsewhere went their way. 

Stirling Albion: C. Smith, McGeachie, Forsyth, Robertson (Mazel), R. Smith, Dickson, Johnston (Cunningham), Beattie (Verlaque), Doris, D. Smith, Lamont.