Stirling dealt Scottish Cup blow by Linlithgow

University of Stirling 0 – 2 Linlithgow Rose
Scottish Cup Second Round

Sunday 20 October, 2019, Forthbank Stadium

By Lewis Fraser

Stirling University’s Scottish Cup campaign is over after they lost 2-0 to East of Scotland League side Linlithgow Rose in a close-fought encounter.

The students – seeking to reach the Third Round for the second consecutive year – applied a great amount of pressure throughout the game, but could not break down their experienced opponents.

Speaking after the match, University of Stirling First Team Coach Chris Geddes said: “We’re disappointed. It’s a game we could have won on another day. We had opportunities at goal, we’ve hit the bar, we’ve given away a sloppy penalty.

“It was a 50-50 game, but Linlithgow took their opportunities and we didn’t. We just weren’t clinical enough in the final third today, and that’s cost us.”

Reaction: Chris Geddes reflects on a disappointing afternoon at Forthbank.

Despite the result, Geddes was thankful for the crowd of more than 500 who turned out. He added: “It was a really good day for everyone who came down to watch. Boys from the football club came along and made noise; and we also had support from other students, University staff and members of the public too. Linlithgow also brought a fantastic backing too.” 

Stirling posed a real threat during an evenly matched first half, with Jason Jarvis almost putting Stirling ahead after only four minutes with a free kick from 20 yards out, but his curling effort could only find the side netting.

But the Uni’s best chance of the game came after half an hour. A free kick was half cleared into the path of James Berry, who looked certain to score. His shot had beaten the Rose goalkeeper, only to be headed off the line and cleared.

After a goalless first half, the definitive moment came when Linlithgow were awarded a penalty after 49 minutes. An uncharacteristic mistake from captain Angus Mailer saw Ross Allum brought down inside the box. It was Rose’s record breaking striker, Tommy Coyne, who stepped up and slotted the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal to give the away side the lead.

After going ahead, Linlithgow were happy to defend, knowing that they were dangerous on the counter attack. They limited Stirling to few chances, but nonetheless the home side had opportunities to grab an equaliser.

Highlights of the Scottish Cup Second Round match

With less than 10 minutes to go, Stirling almost levelled the score when Craig Brown created space to get a shot away just outside the box, but he was denied a brilliant goal by the crossbar. 

With time running out, Geddes rolled the dice and introduced attackers Liam McMaster and Louis Kennedy to the fray, hoping that fresh legs would make an impact. With centre back Mailer now also playing in an attacking role, Uni were always going to be vulnerable to a late goal. Indeed, they were punished as the game ran into stoppage time.

Rose substitute Sam Collumbine ran down the right hand side and, bypassing the Stirling defence, his cut back into the box presented Coyne with a tap in, with which he made no mistake.

The students will look to pick themselves up with a home game on Wednesday against Nottingham Trent University in the British Universities and Colleges Sport Premier Division North, before taking on East Kilbride in the Lowland League on Saturday.

University of Stirling: Walker, Burrows, Quigley, Mailer, Downie, Berry (McMaster 84’), Jarvis, Cowley (Kennedy 84’),  Hall, Brown, Heath (Baird 60’)

Linlithgow goals: Coyne (49’, 90’)  

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