Sunday, March 23, 2008

Football Stadia Tour 7: Forthbank

I was amazed to find out who one of the biggest fans of this series on football stadium is. So for her sake I'm determined to get to the end before the end of the fitba season.

So I'm continuing to rattle my memory banks and going back to the game on the 19th January over at Forthbank the home of Sterling Albion.


Forth Bank is on the outskirts of the Stirling on the Eastern side of the city and is on the edge of a retail park. The club moved here from their old ground Annfield which was close to the city centre in 1993. It leads to the old trivia question of which two teams other than Liverpool have been based at An(n)field, answer at the bottom of this post.

The Ground

The capacity of 3808 includes 2508 seats is made up largely of two stands facing each other over the pitch. The West Stand houses the home support, hospitality, changing room and office facilities. The East Stand houses the visiting support, the press and police control room. There are terraces behind the two goals but these are rarely used at present, the south terrace would be used by home support and the north by visitors if the need arose.

The Atmosphere

Sadly Stirling Albion have one of the smallest supports in this league, and even though Livi can manage one of our largest travelling supports for the short hop over to Sterling with them being over the other side of the park the atmosphere is largely lacking.

The Programme

The Forthbank News cost £2. Apart from the outside and centre pages is entirely black and white. However, these are utilised well as inside the front cover is action shots, the centre fold contains more action shots. One of the centre pages is colour advertising but the other is the home team pictures. Inside the back cover is an attempt to get the team line-ups displayed pictorially. However, putting our left back at right back, right back at centre back, and centre back shunted to left back did sure a lack of research into how we'd been lining up when fully fit all season.

Pie and Bovril

At the start of the season there was much fund raising going on to get a new pie oven for the away end at Forthbank. This effort has been greatly appreciated as hot pies are available although a little tinkering with the recipe would be appreciated.

Cost of a pie was £1.10 and it comes served to you on a paper plate. Bovril is £1 in a Styrofoam cup. The case was a little too salty and too floury for my tastes, and there was only a mince pie no steak and gravy available.


Admission £14 (although £10 for concessions makes this an expensive outing for families)
Programme £2
Mince Pie and Bovril £2.10
Total £18.10

League Table of Cost
Morton £17.90
Stirling £18.10
Queen of the South £18.60
Clyde £20.60
Dunfermline £21.50
Dundee £21.60
St. Johnstone £21.90

Match Report

Sterling got off to a sharp start in this game, getting an early free kick which Livi keeper Colin Stewart had to stop. But we'd seemed to settle down when a Eric Paartulu shot took a deflection off Cameron 'Cammy' MacDonald's heel and into the back of Stewart's net.

However, Livingston didn't look dejected having scored 8 goals in their previous two outing and hit two goals within 4 minutes just before half time. Firstly after Colin McMenamin failed to convert a Steven Craig cross, Graham Dorrans connected and a second deflection of the game saw the scores levelled. However, the next goal was a peach being lobbed in from 25 yards out Steven 'Stef' Craig fired it into the top corner giving Binos keeper Scott Christie no chance.

IN the second half Livingston continues to dominate. Graham Dorrans running the Stirling midfield and defences ragged, and right back 'Super' Dave MacKay was at his rampaging best getting forward whenever the opportunity arose. It was one of these runs that led to the third goal, coming from deep he penetrated into the Albion box, and rather than taking a pop himself laid it off for Stef, whose shot was cleared but it fell to an advancing Robert 'Snoddy' Snodgrass who powered it into the net. Craig just slotted a chance from a free kick wide from impossibly close in, but when Christie failed to cut out a Dorran's cross, Snoddy fought off two Stirling defenders with a strong back post finish.

Dorran's later hit the post and Liam Fox also slotted one just wide. But the livi fans left happy with an emphatic win on the road to keep a good run going.

Final Score Stirling Albion 1 Livingston 4 (Stirling: Paartulu 28, Livingston: Dorrans 35, Craig, 39, Snodgrass 58,65)

Effect on the relative teams' positions. Livingston climbed above Morton into 7th place but Stirling remained rooted at the foot of the table in 10th.

Next up should have been a trip to Firhill in the League but we ended up there next anyway with a replay in the cup with an away tie against either Rangers/Hibernian on offer to the winner.

Trivia Answer: The two other teams based at An(n)field were Stirling Albion 1945-1993 and Everton, the original occupants of the Liverpool ground, 1884-1992.

Previous Stadia Dens Park, East End Park, Broadwood, McDiarmid Park, Palmerstone

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