University of Stirling set down a marker as they opened their 2019-20 British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) campaign with an 8-2 win over Northumbria University.
The team – wearing green ribbons in support of World Mental Health Day – scored four in each half as they secured three points in style.
Blair Lyons – who recently signed for Montrose but plays university football for Stirling – opened the scoring after just five minutes, before Kieran Hall added a second from the penalty spot three minutes later.
The spot kick resulted in a yellow card for the Northumbria player – and he was sent off on 11 minutes after receiving a second for a rash tackle on Lyons.
Lyons added a third on 31 minutes after rounding the keeper following a mazy run down the left wing, before Craig Brown scored the fourth with a long-range effort in first-half stoppage time.
Brown added his second of the game – and Stirling’s fifth – with a left-foot finish on 55 minutes and Northumbria scored seven minutes later.
Brown completed his hat-trick on 67 minutes – and then Northumbria made it 6-2 on 78 minutes. Conor Doan headed in at the back post for the seventh, before Calum Heath completed the rout with a long-range effort on 83.
Stirling play Birmingham away in their next BUCS match on Wednesday (October 16) – but first travel to Edinburgh to face Spartans in the South Challenge Cup on Saturday (October 12).
University of Stirling: Fry, Burrows, Webb, Quigley, Mailer, Cowley (Doan, 50′), Brown, Berry, Hall (Baird, 56′), Jarvis (Heath, 73′), Lyons.
Goals: Lyons (5′, 31′), Hall (8′), Brown (45′, 55′, 67′), Doan (82′), Heath (83′).