Stirling Albion 3-1 Berwick Rangers

Lee Currie equalised with his fourth goal in four games.
Lee Currie equalised with his fourth goal in four games.

Berwick Rangers dropped to second bottom in the table when their recent mini revival in the league came to an end in this re-arranged fixture at Forthbank on Tuesday.

Ian Little’s side had picked up four points from their last two games, but this defeat to Stirling Albion, which lifted the home side to second top of the table, saw Rangers drop to second from bottom, with Albion Rovers leapfrogging them as a result of their 3-2 win over East Stirling.

Berwick were keen to bounce back after the disappointment of Saturday’s 3-1 Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Dumbarton.

Little recalled goalkeeper Paul Grant and Kenny O’Brien was preferred in a 4-4-2 formation ahead of midfielder Neil Janczyk, who was on the bench.

But Rangers got off to a poor start when a defensive mix-up between goalkeeper Paul Grant and centre back Michael Dunlop let Jordan White in for the opening goal after nine minutes.

It looked as if the ball might cross the line for an own goal before White popped in to knock it into the net from close range.

Berwick tried to respond with Darren Lavery, Currie and O’Brien all getting in shots, but none of them troubled home goalkeeper David Crawford.

Crawford also saved from a Stevie Notman shot from a central position inside the area, whilst at the other end Ross Forsyth headed over from close range.

Within a minute O’Brien pulled a shot wide and full back Dean Hoskins headed over as Rangers tried to force the issue.

Lavery then had a shot saved, but White kept the visitors’ defence on their toes and he fired wide as he went in search of his second.

Stirling finished the first half the stronger and Grant twice had to make saves before the break to keep his side in the game, the first a low effort from Dale Fulton and the second a shot from outside the box by Kieran McAnespie.

At the start of the second half Little introduced Scott Dalziel up top by sacrificing Hoskins at the back, and Rangers were immediately rewarded with an equalising goal from Currie, who netted his fourth goal in as many games with a low shot from the edge of the box after 47 minutes.

In a frantic opening period White again tried his luck with a well struck half volley, well stopped by Grant, and the keeper also denied Graham Weir moments later. But in the 52nd minute he was beaten as Albion retook the lead through an own goal from Notman, the ball rebounding off him after the keeper had made another fine save.

With play swinging from end to end Ross Gray had a shot saved by Crawford low to his left, but the Bino’s killed the game off with a well-worked third goal after 63 minutes, Ross Forsyth shooting low into the corner after being set up by Weir.

Berwick tried to respond and within a three minute spell Lavery (twice) and Gray had half chances, all of which were missed. Stephen Tulloch also had a header saved by Crawford, who had a good game between the posts, but Berwick just couldn’t find a way through and in the end they came up short.

Stirling Albion: Crawford, McClune, Bishop, McAnespie, Ashe, Johnston (Coyne 61), Fulton (Munn 88), Forsyth, Weatherston (Day 71), White, Weir. Subs not used: Reidford, Paton, McGeachie, Clark. Booked: Day. Goals: White 9,Notman 52 og, Forsyth 63.

Berwick Rangers: Grant, Jacobs, Dunlop, S Tulloch, Hoskins (Dalziel 46), L Currie, Notman, Gielty, Gray, Lavery, O’Brien (Ronald 73). Subs not used: Bald, Janczyk, Morris. Booked: Jacobs. Goal: L Currie 48.

Attendance: 378