Stenhousemuir secure play-off place with draw at Stirling

Stenhousemuir missed out on third place, but sealed a playoff semi-final double header with Queen's Park.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 29th April 2018, 1:20 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th April 2018, 1:30 pm
Colin McMenamin's goal earned Stenhousemuir a play-off place
Colin McMenamin's goal earned Stenhousemuir a play-off place

Colin McMenamin's first half strike helped them battle to a cagey local derby draw with third placed Stirling Albion on the final fixture of the league season.

Mick Dunlop headed the best early chance into the hands of Cammy Binnie after Alan Cook swung in a dangerous ball from the left.

The opening stages were tight and bereft of chances, lacking the spice that late season derby games often have, with Alan Cook's set pieces looking like the only substantial threat. A corner from the right flashed across goal and had Cammy Binnie flapping on 23 minutes but Stirling were able to recover.

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The visitors were looking marginally the better of the two sides and were rewarded on 38 minutes when Eddie Ferns beat two of the Stirling back three and cut back to the waiting Colin McMenamin who stabbed the ball into the roof of the Stirling net.

Neither side started the second half with any particular urgency, perhaps not helped by news filtering through that Clyde were behind to Berwick, meaning a draw would suit both sides in their pursuit of a playoff place.

Eddie Ferns had a half chance as his attempt from the edge of the box deflected wide, and Alan Cook had a long range effort sail wide as the second half progressed.

A rare moment of quality saw substitute Peter MacDonald get Stirling back on level terms with the home side's first shot on target, emphatically firing past Chris Smith into the top corner from the edge of the box.

MacDonald was involved again seconds later, going down in the box claiming to have been struck in the head as Stirling players appealed mildly for a penalty, but the referee saw nothing in it.

Mark McGuigan made his return from injury for the visitors with minutes remaining as Stenny pushed for winner, and Harry Paton missed a terrific late chance when he raced through and blasted an effort at goal from a tight angle which was well tipped over by Binnie.

A draw it would remain, though, as both sides entered the promotion playoffs.