Stirling Albion 1

THE Pars overcame a cup scare to see off Stirling Albion and advance in the Betfred Cup.

A brace from Myles Hippolyte and an effort from James Vincent in the second half cancelled out Peter MacDonald's surprise opener as Allan Johnston's men were made to work for the three points and a spot in the last 16.

The Binos made it clear they weren't simply in attendance to make up the numbers and defended doggedly to keep Athletic at bay.

Their defence stood tall but they gifted a cheap corner under pressure, with thankful eyes being drawn to Cammy Binnie as he denied Mark Durnan finding an opener on 10 minutes with his bullet header.

Jackson Longridge called Binnie into action once more but again he denied Athletic with a smart save down to his right.

The keepers' perseverance to keep Athletic out gave confidence to those ahead of him and Albion began creating chances of their own.

They threatened to score and then did just that through veteran frontman MacDonald, stunning the home support into silence.

Jordan Allan's whipped delivery from deep on the left flank was hooked back from the byline by Kevin Fell, and MacDonald was there to angle his volley clear of Cammy Gill.

The visitors finished the second-half strongly and went in ahead, with a small amount of booing emanating from the Norrie McCathie stand.

Johnston no doubt lamented his players for their first-half display and with his words still ringing in his side's ears, they pegged the visitors back two minutes after the restart.

A long ball over the top found Myles Hippolyte and after shrugging off desperate attempts to hold him back, he slotted home past Binnie.

They wasted no time then edging themselves ahead.

Faissal El Bakhtaoui raced clear and his lob over Stirling's shot stopper fell to James Vincent who headed home from four yards out.

Bakhtaoui almost laid on another two in quick succession but picked out the wrong option on the first occasion during a 4v2 breakaway, and Joe Thomson hit the side-netting a minute later after being set-up by the Dundee loanee.

The fan favourite deserved a goal for his endeavour to find a third, but he wasted a golden opportunity to do so himself.

J.Longridge worked hard to cross to the back post where the striker was lurking.

Half the crowd thought it was in, but the striker skewed his effort far away from goal.

Andy Ryan was introduced and pestered Albion's defence and earned a free-kick 25 yards out.

He got back up and hit the free-kick himself, with his effort flying through the air and crashing off the bar.

It bounched back down and Hippolyte was there to grab his brace with the last kick of the game as the Pars emerged victorious after an early fright.

PARS: Gill, Craigen, Devine, Durnan, Ashcroft, J.Longridge, Thomson, Vincent (Connolly 70'), L.Longridge, Hippolyte, Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Ryan 70').

Subs: Robinson, Williamson, Higginbotham, McCann, Smith.

Booked: Durnan.

Goals: Hippolyte (47, 90'), Vincent (56).

Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Marr, Banner, Allan, Docherty, Jardine, McLaughlin, Fell (Watson 71), Stewart, MacDonald (McLaren 76').

Subs: Law, Young, Thomson, M.McDonald, C.McDonald.

Booked: McGeachie.

Goal: MacDonald (36)

Referee: Mike Roncone.
Attendance: 2,359.