East Kilbride 0 – 1 University of Stirling
Lowland League, Saturday 26 October, 2019
By Lewis Fraser
Stirling University stunned reigning Lowland League champions East Kilbride – securing all three points thanks to a second-half strike from midfield star Craig Brown.
Despite an injury-ridden squad, Chris Geddes’ side were able to snatch a goal and keep Kilby at bay to record a memorable victory in Lanarkshire.
Speaking after the game, Geddes said, “We were happy to be in goalless at half time, but I just told the players to believe. They are a good group of players, and East Kilbride were there for the taking. I told them: ‘Don’t think about the name of the club, think about who you’re playing against.’
“I thought our defenders dealt really well with the significant pressure that East Kilbride put us under at times. Credit to them, especially considering the quality of the opposition; they won their first headers and second balls too.”
Ex-Scotland and Rangers captain Barry Ferguson – the manager of Kelty Hearts – was among the crowd at K Park for Saturday’s match. On two occasions, the home support thought their team had taken the lead – after just 12 minutes when Callum Downie headed the ball off the line, and then when captain Angus Mailer and the crossbar denied East Kilbride following a goal line scramble.
But it was Stirling who had the ball in the back of the net before half time. Calum Heath’s ball found Kieran Hall who slotted home at the back post, but the goal was disallowed due to a clear handball.
Stirling started the second half well and, on 54 minutes, Hall won the ball on the halfway line. A series of excellent passes followed, before Hall once again found himself with the ball 20 yards from goal. He played in Brown, who – from just outside the penalty area – powered a left-footed shot low into the bottom right corner of the net.
After going a goal down, the experienced East Kilbride side piled on the pressure, but were unable to break down Stirling’s back three. Kilby’s best effort of the second half came with just five minutes left to play, when attacking midfielder Sean Winter sent a half volley past Kevin Walker’s right hand post.
Chris Geddes was pleased that his players showed resilience and strong game management skills, as they ran down the clock for a welcome victory.
Stirling – who sit 10th in the Lowland League, with 14 points from 11 games – will hope to cause another upset when they take on title contenders Bonnyrigg Rose on Saturday. However, they will first take on Loughborough University in the British Universities and Colleges Sport Premier League North, at the University on Wednesday afternoon.
For more information on all of the University of Stirling’s fixtures and results, visit: stirlingunifc.stir.ac.uk.
University: Walker, Quigley, Webb, Downie, Berry, Cowley (Doan 77’), Brown, Mailer, Hall (Baird 67’), Jarvis (McMaster 82’), Heath
Goals: Brown (54’)