Arbroath snuff out Albion

From the Daily Record

Stirling’s recent revival was halted on Saturday as Arbroath claimed a comfortable win.

Albion headed to Gayfield on the back of victories over East Stirling and Montrose but their hopes of a third straight success came to nothing in the glorious September sunshine.

After an even first half, two goals in as many minutes early in the second from Spanish midfielder Sergio Alvarez and last season’s League 2 Player of the Year Bobby Linn effectively killed the game and Stirling never looked like getting back into it.

The result allowed the Red Lichties to move level on seven points with Stuart McLaren’s men in the lower reaches of a remarkably tight Ladbrokes League 2. Annan lead the way on 13 points but no fewer than five clubs are within a point of the summit after seven rounds of fixtures.

Stirling complete the first quarter of the campaign at home to Queen’s Park and away to East Fife and will need to offer more threat than they carried at the weekend to achieve positive results.

McLaren made two changes to the team for Albion’s first visit to Gayfield since a League Cup defeat on penalties in August 2012. Frenchman Aurelien Mazel made his first start in place of the suspended Ross McGeachie and Kevin McKinlay was preferred ahead of Ross Smith.

Injury ruled out Craig Beattie, Phil Johnston and Darren Smith and there was a place on the bench for defender David Verlaque, who made his debut as a late substitute.

Arbroath came into this game having lost all three homes matches – to Elgin City, Queen’s Park and Clyde – but were boosted by last week’s win at East Fife.

The first half was largely low key. Stirling enjoyed a bit more of the ball but struggled to create clear-cut chances. Their most likely route to
goal appeared to be via a set-piece and there were a couple of close calls from corner kicks.

That said, the Binos were comfortable and rarely looked like conceding, other than when Alvarez raced clear as half-time approached but he fired his shot wide with only Chris Smith to beat.

It looked hard to pick a winner when the second half kicked off but within six minutes of the restart it was all over and Stirling were staring at a fourth defeat in seven league games.

The opener came when Alvarez, previously with Atletico Victoria of Tenerife, found the corner with a well-placed low drive from 18 yards after Smith had done well to keep out a powerful shot from Andy Ryan.

Worse was to follow. Ryan, on loan from Hamilton Accies, burst down the left flank and cut the ball back for the unmarked Linn to easily score the second goal.

The introduction of midfielder Mark Lamont gave Albion a bit more of an attacking threat but Arbroath keeper Allan Fleming remained largely untroubled and the outcome was clear long before the end.