Dalbeattie Star 0 – 1 University of Stirling
By Lewis Fraser
The University of Stirling continued their strong run of form with an away win over 10-man Dalbeattie Star on Saturday.
Euan Baird’s 72nd minute strike was the only goal of the game in a tight affair – which saw Dalbeattie have a player sent off after just 30 minutes.
Delighted with his side’s performance and their second consecutive victory, Geddes said: “It was a difficult game due to a pretty muddy park, but I thought we dominated for large spells.
“Dalbeattie were tough to break down, probably more so after they had Lee Wells sent off. He’s one of their most influential players and they sat in and tried to frustrate us – which most teams do when they go down to 10 men early on.
“But it is a great goal from Euan. He takes a touch past the defender, before slotting the ball past the goalkeeper, into the far corner of the net. I’m delighted for him because he’s had a tough spell of late, so it’s great he got the winner.
“We’re playing well at the moment and, if we can stick in at games, we know we always have a chance with the quality we have on the pitch.”
The home team’s task was made harder after only half an hour when midfielder Lee Wells was shown his second yellow card, leaving Dalbeattie with only 10 men. Wells had been instrumental in the last meeting between the teams, which saw Star emerge 3-0 winners.
Although Star were a man short, it was not easy for Stirling, and clear cut chances were hard to come by. Stirling’s best chance before the interval came when Jason Jarvis fired a shot over the bar, after his delivery from a corner was deflected back to him.
However, the first half remained goalless, largely thanks to a very wet and heavy pitch.
After the interval, Stirling started with more energy, and a powerful shot from midfielder Craig Brown was well saved by Star goalkeeper Vinnie Parker at the start of the half.
Stirling’s persistence paid off in the 72nd minute when midfielder Tom Cowley collected and controlled the ball on the right side. His pass to substitute Baird was well weighted, as the forward only had to flick the ball past the defender. He then expertly dispatched the ball into the bottom left corner of the net to give his team the lead.
Stirling were fairly comfortable for the remainder of the game, and Dalbeattie’s frustrations continued to boil over. Star player Ross Thomson picked up a straight red card in the dying moments of the game, after an off the ball incident with Craig Brown.
This victory sees Stirling draw level on points with East Kilbride, but the students remain in 10th place. The University will travel to face league leaders Kelty Hearts on Saturday.
University: Fry, Burrows, Quigley, Mailer, Downie, Cowley (Doan, 83’), Berry (Heath, 64’), Brown, Hall (Baird, 58’), McGale, Jarvis