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Albion 3-1 Stranraer: Match Report
Albion avoid the drop
Albion preserved their place in the Scottish Second Division after a dramatic penalty shoot-out play-off final triumph over Stranraer, who will play Third Division football again next season.
Scott Chaplain and Robert Love cancelled out Stranraer's 2-0 advantage from Wednesday's first leg before Martin Grehan quickly put the visitors back into a 3-2 aggregate lead at Cliftonville.
Albion were soon level again, though, as Chaplain grabbed his second from the spot and it remained 3-3 on aggregate throughout extra-time, leaving Ciaran Donnelly to win it for Albion 5-3 on spot-kicks after goalkeeper Derek Gaston had saved from Frank McKeown.
With the first goal crucial, it was the hosts who set the pattern for an exciting afternoon as Chaplain received the ball off Love from the right and found the bottom corner from 12 yards after just six minutes.
Love turned goalscorer midway through the first half when he drilled into the top corner from a similar position, but the advantage remained for just two minutes as Grehan fired home a well-taken effort from the edge of the area.
A thrilling eight-minute passage of play took another twist when Grant Gallagher handballed in the area and Chaplain stepped up to power home the resulting penalty and make it 3-1 on the day.
And that was the way it stayed despite both sides enjoying a host of second-half chances to clinch matters, while Grehan saw a shot turned around a post by Gaston in the first half of extra-time.
Albion 3-1 Stranraer: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.
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