Spartans 2 – 3 Stirling University
South Challenge Cup, Saturday 12 October, 2019
Ainslie Park, Edinburgh
By Lewis Fraser
Ten-man Stirling University stunned Spartans in the South Challenge Cup – with a sublime stoppage time winner from midfield star Jason Jarvis.
The 3-2 victory on Saturday followed the University’s midweek thrashing of Northumbria University in the British Universities and Colleges Sport Premier Division. The run of results gives Chris Geddes’ side a huge momentum boost ahead of this weekend’s Scottish Cup clash with Linlithgow Rose.
First Team coach Chris Geddes was delighted with his team’s performance, saying: “We were quite happy going in at half-time 1-1, but to limit Spartans to very few chances – even when we were a man down – was very pleasing.
“We needed a bit of magic to win the match; we got a free kick about 25 yards out in the 93rd minute – and Jason Jarvis bent it into the top corner, unbelievable. That’s what he’s got, he’s got that bit of magic. It’s a really good day for Jason and the team.”
Highlights of match, courtesy of David Chandler.
The home side started strongest and, within five minutes, they went a goal ahead thanks to striker Scott Maxwell – who netted from a Blair Atkinson cross.
Ten minutes later, former Falkirk player Jarvis drilled the ball into the box and it was deflected past the helpless Spartans goalkeeper for 1-1.
Spartans who threatened to retake the lead when Atkinson found himself through on goal with only Kevin Walker to beat – but he dragged his shot wide of the right-hand post. Stirling had to dig deep to keep the scores level and managed to reach the interval all square, despite home side pressure.
The second half began brighter for Stirling, who knew they would have to pose more of a threat to progress through the tie. Their persistence paid off on 54 minutes when a Jarvis corner was headed into the roof of the net by debutant Liam McMaster.
However, the University’s momentum took an immediate knock as they went a man down. Centre back Alex Webb was shown a straight red card, after it was judged he fouled a Spartans player through on goal. Geddes later branded the decision “disgraceful.”
Despite stoic defending from the depleted Stirling side, the equaliser did come for Spartans when Mikey Allan blasted home a loose ball at the back post, with only 20 minutes left to play.
Spartans sensed an opportunity to grab a winner but Stirling captain Angus Mailer kept his side disciplined and extra time loomed.
Deep into injury time, Calum Heath won a free kick for Stirling about 25 yards from goal on the left-hand side. Jarvis stepped up, and despatched an unstoppable right-foot strike into the top left-hand corner – giving the ten-man students an impressive victory.
Stirling’s Scottish Cup Second Round match takes place at Forthbank Stadium this Sunday (October 20), with pay-on-the-gate tickets priced at £6 for adults and £3 for concessions.
Stirling: Walker, Mailer, Webb, Quigley, Downie, Berry, Brown, Chia (Burrows, 57’), Baird, Jarvis, McMaster (Heath, 75’)
Goals: OG (14’), McMaster (54’), Jarvis (90 +3’)