Report: Dominant Lichties held by Stirling Albion as Smith stars

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Arbroath dropped two points at home to Stirling Albion - but still made up ground on league leaders Forfar Athletic.

The Loons’ 3-2 defeat to Berwick Rangers let the Lichties take a point off the gap between the Angus rivals chasing the League Two title with Arbroath drawing 1-1 with Dave McKay’s Binos.

The hosts should have been well out of sight by half-time but poor finishing from the Arbroath forwards meant Stirling were well in the game at the break.

The Binos then went ahead through Darren Smith before Steven Doris equalised for the home side.

Arbroath started the game well and a poor pass from the back by Ross Smith was seized upon by Bobby Linn on six minutes; the winger ruined Smith for pace before shooting low to Chris Smith’s left across goal, however the goalie made a fine save.

Gorgeous one-touch passes from Linn, Mark Whatley and Ryan McCord ended with Linn taking a first-time strike on his right foot from 18 yards, but the shot didn’t dip enough to trouble Smith.

Arbroath somehow failed to take the lead on 24 minutes after Doris and Omar Kader saw gilt-edged chances saved by Smith in quick succession.

It was more of the same when Doris’ header was turned onto the crossbar by his own man - the rebound fell to Prunty whose shot was saved by Smith before Kader’s low drive was cleared off the line.

Prunty then saw his effort saved as Arbroath piled on the pressure.

Gomes had to be alert at the other end, diving low to turn away McLaren’s shot.

Linn’s 44th minute shot grazed Smith’s crossbar with the hosts looking to take the lead their dominance deserved.

The second half continued with the Lichties on top but they didn’t fashion a proper chance until the 57th minute, when Whatley’s low drive from the edge of the box was blocked for a corner.

Smith then put Stirling in front seconds later with what looked like an attempted from the right flank - the ball’s curve bamboozled Gomes and flew into the far corner of the net.

Doris put Arbroath level on 64 minutes, slotting the ball beyond Smith after Kader split the Binos defence and midfield with a glorious through ball.

The wind proceeded to ruin the game for a spell with both teams strangely electing to play plenty of long balls.

The home fans couldn’t believe their eyes on 86 minutes when Kader was slammed to the floor inside the box with an open goal ahead of him, only for the referee to wave away appeals for what seemed to be a blatant penalty kick.

Gomes and Hodge made key blocks from Stirling challenges before Little smashed a shot inches wide.

Doris’ weak shot was then easily saved by Smith in the game’s last action.