Stirling Observer

BOSSKEV PUTSTHE TRUSTIN PLAYERS

Montrose await in SPFLTrustT­rophy

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Stirling Albion are in SPFL Trust Trophy action tomorrow when they play Montrose at Links Park in a second-round tie, kickoff 1.30pm.

The Binos were given a bye in round one after Ross County were unable to field a B team due to lack of players in that age group and withdrew from the competitio­n. The winners of Saturday’s match will be at home to Celtic B or Morton in the third round on the weekend of October 9/10.

The early start at Montrose was agreed between the clubs to allow fans to potentiall­y attend Scotland’s World Cup qualifier with Moldova at Hampden in the evening. If the scores are level after 90 minutes, the tie will be decided on penalties with no extra-time at this stage.

It will be Stirling’s first visit to Links Park since January 2018, when they slipped to a 2-1 defeat in a League Two match despite going ahead through a Darren Smith goal.

The most recent meeting of the sides came last season when Albion produced one of their best performanc­es of the campaign to secure a 2-1 win in a League Cup tie at Forthbank thanks to goals from Sean Heaver and Dylan Mackin.

Stirling have twice reached the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup, losing to Stenhousem­uir in 1995/96 and Alloa Athletic in 1999/00, but have a poor recent record in the competitio­n.

The tournament wasn’t held last season due to the pandemic and Albion’s last involvemen­t was a 1-0 defeat to St Mirren’s B team two years ago, although they did beat East Fife in the previous round.

Tomorrow’s opponents Montrose had taken 10 points out of 12 in League One and were sitting top of the table before losing 2-1 at home to Dumbarton last weekend. Stewart Petrie’s men reached the promotion play-offs in 2020/21 but were narrowly beaten by Morton in the semi-finals, conceding a goal in the last minute of extra-time.

Defenders Paul McLean,

Jordan McGregor and Ross McGeachie will again miss out tomorrow but Dylan Bikey will be available for the trip to the Angus coast.

Manager Kevin Rutkiewicz could make some changes to freshen up the team and give one or two players carrying knocks a rest ahead of next weekend’s visit of Forfar.

Rutkiewicz said:“I felt we started slowly against Albion Rovers last week but we grew into the game and could have won by more in the end. The boys deserve a lot of credit for the way they have bounced back from losing to Kelty and Annan.

“Montrose will be a difficult game but hopefully we can get a positive result and take that momentum into the Forfar match next weekend.”

Meanwhile, there was no last-minute transfer activity at Forthbank ahead of the window closing at midnight on Tuesday but League Two clubs have until the end of September to make domestic loan signings. Numbers drawn on Wednesday in the Stirling Albion Supporters Trust lottery were 11, 17, 18 and 30. There were no jackpot winners so it rises on Wednesday to £1,120.

Three lucky dip winners each receive £20 – S Kaney, A Dickson and C Craigie.

 ??  ?? Roar of approval Dylan Mackin celebrates scoring against Montrose last season
Roar of approval Dylan Mackin celebrates scoring against Montrose last season

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