Stirling Albion 1-3 Berwick Rangers

Berwick bounced back from last week’s horror show at East Fife with a morale-boosting away victory at Forthbank.

Saturday, 22nd August 2015, 5:07 pm

Rangers were desperate to put the 5-0 thrashing at Methil behind them and with three changes to the starting line-up, they took a firm grip on the game with two goals in two minutes in the lead up to half-time.

The victory means the Rangers are now in a six-way tie at the top of the second division table with six points from three games played.

Kieran Ainslie won his first start in defence, as did Mark Walters in goal, replacing the suspended Kevin Walker. Player-manager Colin Cameron also made a rare start, with David Banjo and Robert Wilson relegated to the bench.

Stirling started brightly and Ross McMillan got in a shot in the opening seconds which was safely collected by Walters.

Lee Hamilton and Willie Robertson also both had shots off target in the early stages, whilst Phil Johnson pulled a shot wide.

Berwick’s first effort fell to Michael McKenna after 16 minutes, but he headed over the top.

Sean Dickson and Darren Lavery both went close at either end before Stirling were forced into a substitution after less than half an hour gone following an injury sustained by Craig Beattie.

Robertson then shot over before Berwick took the lead after 39 minutes with an own goal, which was credited to Craig Comrie. McKenna broke down the wing and crossed into the box, where the ball was turned into the net.

And less than two minutes later it was 0-2 when Finn Graham found the net with a low shot after being set up by Lavery.

With confidence running high, Graham shot wide in the build-up to half-time as Rangers went in at the break having taken control of the match

Early in the second half there were chances at both ends with substitute Steven Doris heading over and Blair Henderson having a shot saved. And after 59 minutes Henderson was desperately unlucky when he saw an effort come back off a post after a good cross by McKenna.

But the striker wasn’t to be denied for long, as after 65 minutes he made it 0-3 with a powerful finish from a cross by Ewan McNeil.

In the 70th minute Stirling pulled a goal back when Robertson found the bottom corner after taking a pass from Doris.

A minute later Dickson pulled a shot wide before Ross Smith headed over as the home side tried to force their way back into contention.

But by this stage Berwick seemed destined to take all three points and with Andy Russell shooting wide and McKenna having a shot saved late on they saw out time to finish the day in a six-way tie at the top of the table.

Stirling Albion: Stirling Albion: Smith, Hamilton, Smith, McMillan, Forsyth (Aissa 78), Comrie, 4 Robertson, Johnston (McKenzie 45), Cunningham, Dickson, Beattie ( Doris 28).

Berwick :Berwick Rangers: Walters, McNeil, Ainsli (R Graham 85), Fairbairn, Beveridge, Cameron (Banjo 78), F Graham, Coultress, Henderson, Lavery (Russell 69), McKenna.