ALBION Rovers secured their second division status on a dramatic afternoon which ended with manager Paul Martin resigning due to on-going health issues.

Coming into the match with a two-goal deficit, the Coatbridge side levelled the contest to take the tie to extra time and penalties. And in a dramatic finale, captain Ciaran Donnelly struck the decisive penalty off goalkeeper David Mitchell and the underside of the bar before the ball finally crept over the line.

Martin, who was absent for four weeks earlier this season with suspected meningitis, asked his players to give him the perfect send-off prior to the penalties being taken after the tie ended all square after extra time and they responded in a positive manner.

The outgoing manager, who will be replaced by Todd Lumsden, his assistant, said: "I need to take time out; this was going to be my last game regardless of the outcome. It could have turned out differently but we came through it. We have faced adversity time and time again this season and always come back.

"It was a cruel way to win but our players were magnificent and they can be proud of what they have achieved as staying up is a first in nearly 80 years for Albion Rovers.."

Martin sprung a surprise by including Ghanaian striker Joseph "Larry" Acquah in his starting XI in place of the suspended John Gemmell and his unorthodox style paid dividends after six minutes. Acquah won a tackle 30 yards out and he found Robert Love, who crossed for Scott Chaplain to fire past Mitchell.

Rovers levelled matters on aggregate after 25 minutes when Love pounced on a loose ball and fired past Mitchell. That goal seemed to spur Stranraer into action and Martin Grehan pulled a goal back two minutes later. However, Albion again levelled matters when Grant Gallagher was penalised for a handball offence from a Chaplain cutback and the midfielder netted from the penalty spot.

With just three minutes left it looked as if Stranraer would get the goal they required to win promotion but Gaston produced a wonder save from Grehan's attempt to force a penalty shoot-out.

Frank Meade, the Albion Rovers chairman, said: "Paul is leaving us after a wonderful few years where he has taken this club to a fantastic level. He has not been well for some time and he was always going today regardless of the result."