Gretna 2008 1 – 2 University of Stirling
Saturday 23 November, 2019
Raydale Park, Lowland League
University of Stirling returned to winning ways at the weekend with an impressive win against Gretna 2008 in tough conditions.
The students – coming off the back of a challenging run of games – took all three points in the Lowland League encounter despite a heavy, muddy surface at Raydale Park.
Calum Heath opened the scoring for the University in the first half, before Craig Brown slotted home a penalty – with Gretna securing a late consolation in the final minute.
Stirling First Team Coach, Chris Geddes, said: “It was an excellent win for our boys today – especially when you consider the weather, pitch conditions and Gretna’s style of play.
“I thought our boys stood up to everything that was thrown at them and I am delighted they showed their quality.”
Geddes’ side began the match well, with forward runs causing problems for Gretna, who were looking to play the ball long and direct. On the 15-minute mark, Heath put the visitors ahead following a clever through ball from midfielder Brown.
Gretna responded and made a good use of set plays to cause Stirling problems, but good defending ensured goalkeeper Murray Bushell – called up from the 20s due to injuries – had few saves to make.
Both teams had opportunities at the beginning of the second half and Bushell was called into action – pulling off two excellent saves to protect Stirling’s advantage. Gretna goalkeeper Aaron Taylor was equally impressive between the sticks – denying Conor Doan and then captain Angus Mailer, following a mazy run.
Stirling scored their second with around 15 minutes to go, when substitute Kieran Hall ran into the box and was hacked down from behind just as he was about to shoot. The Gretna player was shown a red card for the challenge before Brown stepped up to blast home from the penalty spot.
Gretna got a goal back in the 90th minute of the game after getting a shot away following a corner – but the game finished 2-1 to the University.
The University are 10th in the 16-team Lowland League, with 17 points from 14 games – and will hope to pick up another win on Saturday when they play Spartans at Forthbank. However, their attentions will first turn to Wednesday’s away tie with Nottingham Trent University in the British Universities and Colleges Sport Premier North.
University of Stirling: Bushell, Burrows, Webb, Quigley, Mailer, Cowley (Jainta, 79’), Berry, Doan, Jarvis (Hall, 68’), Brown, Heath (Downie, 76’).