Harry Cairney's rejuvinated Arbroath side beat Stirling to record there first home win of 2004.
The Lichties lined up with the same formation and team as against Dumbarton. Inglis in goal, a back 5 of Flyer, Rennie, McLeod, Bishop and Donaldson, a midfield of Henner, MacDonald and Cusick with Alan Brazil and Gavin Swankie up front.
Stirling started the game brighter and had the earlier pressure, but didn't have any worthwhile shots at goal. The game kept swinging from end to end for the first quarter until Arbroath had the first chance. Good play on the left wing by Gavin Swankie saw him skin 2 players and have a shot at goal from the edge. The ball deflected off a defender and broke to Euan Donaldson who, from 5 yards out, blasted the ball into the top of the net. Sadly though, the celebrations were short lived after a quick look over at the stand side linesman showed the goal was judged to be offside.
After some more pressure from Arbroath, the first goal came. A Stirling attack was quickly broken down and Stuart MacDonald played a good pass over the top to Gavin Swankie. Swankie then took on the Stirling left back and swung a cross into the middle where Alan Brazil was waiting. A debatable push in Brazil’s back to stop him getting the ball then resulted in a penalty. John Cusick stepped up to convert and Arbroath had there first home league goal of this season!
Two minutes later Jamie Bishop came very close to adding a 2nd. A good corner in from Gavin Swankie was met by Bishop’s head but the ball went straight at the keeper. Just after this the Half Time whistle was blown and the Lichties went off to a good reception from the fans!
The 2nd half started a lot differently to the 1st! Stirling came out attacking and for the first 5-10mins of the half were, by far, the better side. They got their deserved reward for all the pressure on 51 minutes when Scott McLean scored a deserved equaliser. After dribbling past the Lichties defence he hit a good, low shot into the corner of the net from the 10 yards out. Most Arbroath fans would have taken a draw now, but the players had other ideas!
For 5 or so minutes after the goal it looked like Stirling would get a 2nd and take all 3 points. Arbroath then scored against the run of play. Gavin Swankie broke down the left hand side and beat the defence, yet again, and put in a good shot on goal which rebounded to Alan Brazil to score his 1st goal for the club, and he looked like he enjoyed it!
The next 25 minutes saw Arbroath battle and give 110% for the club, an all round superb effort. Flyer had a chance to finish things off with 10 minutes left from a Swankie cross, but his left footed volley went just over the bar. A few minutes after this Stirling were reduced to 10 men. A cynical foul on Flyer as he was dribbling towards the Stirling goal resulted in a straight red for McNally of Stirling.
When the whistle went both the support and players looked delighted with the result.