Stirling Albion had plenty of chances to seal this game, but a combination of poor penalty taking, and poor finishing, saw them draw 2-2 at home to 9th place Elgin City.
The game didn’t get off to the best of starts on 14 minutes, when Elgin took the lead, through a well-worked corner routine. Paul Harkins drilled a corner to the edge of the penalty area, catching the Stirling defence off guard, and Elgin striker Shane Sutherland lashed the ball home, giving the away side the lead.
Albion had a fantastic opportunity to level the game ten minutes later, when they were awarded a penalty, after Elgin defender Sean Crighton was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area. Jordan White, Stirling’s top scorer this season, stepped up, but his penalty hit the left hand post, ran across the line, hit the right hand post and bounced out to safety, in what was a remarkably unfortunate penalty.
White made up for his earlier penalty miss on 37 minutes, when he cut inside two Elgin defenders, and unleashed a powerful shot, which found the back of the net. The score stayed the same until the half-time break, but it was Stirling who came out strongest after the restart, with a couple of half-chances for Jordan White and Philip Johnston, and then they got another penalty on 51 minutes, after another handball.
This time is was Ross Forsyth who stepped up to take the penalty, but the Albion skipper could only see his effort denied by John Gibson in the Elgin goal. Jordan White had a glorious chance to put the home side ahead, just a minute after Forsyth’s penalty was saved, when the ball ricocheted around the penalty box, falling to the number 9 just six yards out from goal. However, he put the ball over the bar, when it looked easier to score than to miss, and Stirling were to rue this missed chance a minute later, when a defensive mix up allowed Craig Gunn to go one-on-one with David Crawford, and it was Gunn who scored, to restore Elgin’s lead.
Sandy Cunningham came onto the pitch in the 60th minute, and his introduction seemed to spark the Stirling crowd into life. Cunningham himself made a couple of fantastic runs, and was unlucky to score himself a few minutes after his introduction, when his shot was stopped at point blank range by Elgin goalkeeper John Gibson.
Stirling finally found a way past the resilient Elgin defence in the 81st minute, when a fierce Craig Comrie strike from 25 yards out was too powerful for Gibson. In the last ten minutes, Stirling created plenty of chances, but Chris Smith and substitute Danny Ashe could not capitalise, with the game ending in a draw.