Irn Bru SFL Third Division - 11/08/12
After the disappointment of suffering their second successive relegation at the end of last season, Stirling Albion were looking for a positive start to a season which will be seen as one of rebuilding and, hopefully, challenging for promotion from Division 3.
Albion opened their league campaign at home to Annan Athletic, who finished just outside of the Division 3 play-offs last season, and took only sixteen minutes to net their first goal of the new season. Striker, Scott Davidson, latched onto a Graham Weir pass to turn inside the box and find the corner of the goal.
It was clear that it was not going to be Annan's day when, after just twenty-seven minutes, striker Graeme Ramage was sent off for an elbow on Mark Ferry. Graham Weir found himself nodding in Scott Davidson's corner at the near post in the thirty-first minute for Stirling's second goal.
Another Scott Davidson corner set up Stirling's third in the thirty-seventh minute, when Danny Ashe smashed the ball in from six yards out, and scored his first senior goal. In the forty-second minute, Albion stretched their lead to four goals, when centre-back Jamie Clark curled the ball into the top left-hand corner past the helpless Alex Mitchell in the Annan goal.
Stirling didn't appear to be as dangerous in the second half, but eventually increased their advantage to five goals in the sixty-eighth minute, after Gavin McPherson's free-kick was deflected into the Annan net.
Annan pulled back a consolation goal following an error by Albion goalkeeper, Sam Filler, when a seemingly innocuous free-kick from Annan substitute Graeme Bell found its way into the Albion net.
Next week, Stirling travel to play Elgin, who drew 0-0 against Berwick Rangers in their first league match.
Stirling Albion: Filler (GK), McGeachie (McClune 68), Ashe, McCunnie, Clark, Allison, Davidson, Macpherson (McSorley 68), Weir, Coyne (Brass 46), Ferry.
Subs (not used): Flood, Cleland (GK).
Scorers: Davidson (16), Weir (31), Ashe (37), Clark (42), Macpherson (67)
Annan: Mitchell (GK), Blake, Thorburn, Swinglehurst, McGowan, Chaplain, Sloan, McKechnie (Steele 46), Daly (McGachie 70), Ramage, Love (Bell 46).
Subs (not used): Jardine, Summersgill (GK).
Scorer: Bell (72)
Referee: Greg Aitken