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Airdrie are a good work-out for Binos; Albion secure draw from their pre-season friendly Airdrieonians ........ 1 Stirling Albion ....... 1.

David Ogilvie Stirling Albion began their preparations for the new season with a 1-1 draw in a friendly match with Airdrieonians on Tuesday night.

It was a good work-out for Dave Mackay's men, who turned in a strong performance against a Diamonds side who had thrashed Gala Fairydean Rovers 7-0 at Netherdale on Saturday.

After a goalless first half on a warm evening at the Penny Cars Stadium - the new name for the Excelsior Stadium - the Binos took the lead in 65 minutes when trialist Jacob Borg beat sub keeper David Hutton from distance.

Right-sided midfielder Borg was born in Australia and was with Gold Coast United as a youngster but has been playing in Malta of late, most recently with Gzira United and Balzan.

He was one of two trialists in the starting line-up - the other was former Celtic and Falkirk defender Jason Marr.

He had a number of good seasons with Alloa and spent last year with Albion Rovers but was unable to prevent the Cliftonhill side dropping into League 2. Full-back Jordan Allan was given a first outing after signing from Elgin City and the left-sided defender was on setpieces while striker Mark Stewart took his bow after joining from Dumbarton earlier this summer.

Skipper Willie Robertson impressed in the middle of the park but Darren Barr, Lee Hamilton and Darren Smith all missed out as they are short of fitness following injuries at the end of last season.

It looked as if Albion would make a winning start to their friendly programme against the hosts, who included ex-Binos Scott Robertson and Jonathan Page after they moved to Airdrie from Stranraer and East Fife this summer.

But with only a few minutes left experienced forward Darryl Duffy, recently recruited from St Mirren, headed a Ryan Conroy cross past Cammy Binnie.

Stirling's second friendly match is tomorrow (Saturday) when they head south to play Dalbeattie Star at Islecroft Park, kick-off 2pm, and they also face Lowland League opposition in the shape of last season's runners-up East Kilbride at K-Park on Wednesday July 4. Albion won 5-0 on their last visit to Dalbeattie in a Scottish Cup tie in September 2012.

Meanwhile, Stirling Albion will play local rivals Alloa Athletic in a competitive game for the first time in four years after the sides were paired together in the first round of the IRNBRU Cup on August 14 or 15.

The Binos will head to the Indodrill Stadium seeking revenge for a 2-1 defeat to the Wasps in the same competition in 2014, when Greig Spence, who returned to Alloa this summer, scored a double at Forthbank, with striker Darren Smith on target for Stirling.

Albion have a terrible recent record against their near neighbours, suffering nine straight defeats since a 3-2 away victory in a Second Division match in March 2009.

Midfielder Liam Caddis is to leave Forthbank, it was announced yesterday (Thursday).

The 24-year old had previously agreed a new deal for next term, but the club this week confirmed that he will not be re-signing due to "non-football related personal reasons".

This week's Albion Lotto numbers are 6, 15, 26, 29. No jackpot winner so next week's jackpot is PS3200.

Three players matched three numbers to win PS83.33 each. Play online at www.safclotto.co.uk.

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SkipperWillie Robertson impressed in midfield for Stirling Albion
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Publication:Stirling Observer (Stirling, Scotland)
Date:Jun 29, 2018
Words:561
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