University derby ends in stalemate

University of Stirling 1 – 1 Edinburgh University

By Lewis Fraser

The lowland league University Derby ended in a stalemate on Saturday, as Stirling failed to capitalise on a dominant performance.

Stirling’s first half goal was cancelled out just after the interval, and they could not find a way through a determined Edinburgh defence in the second half.

Chris Geddes was frustrated not to have taken all three points, saying:

“We dominated the game and had lots of opportunities, but Edinburgh got what they came for.

“We scored a good goal to go in the lead, so it was good to get a goal against a team who were sitting in so deep. They’re fighting for their lives at the bottom of the league, so we knew they might sit in a bit deeper.

Reaction: Manager Chris Geddes reflects on the draw.

“The first five minutes of the second half we came out sloppy, and Edinburgh scored a good goal from a counter attack. For ten minutes after that Edinburgh played well, but for the last 25 minutes we dominated again. But, really disappointed not to win it.

“It’s really disappointing, because it’s points dropped when we dominated the game. But fair play to Edinburgh, they came with a game plan and got something out of the game.”

Geddes was also upset as he feels his team were denied a clear penalty in the dying moments of the game,

“It’s a stonewall penalty. The boy’s blocked a header, it looks like it’s going in and he blocks it with his hand. The thing is, the ref has said it’s hit his hand, and he’s not given it. The linesman has said it’s hit his chest, which for me is one of the most ridiculous answers I’ve heard from a linesman in my life.”

Immediately from kick off, Stirling were on the front foot. Jason Jarvis’s delivery into the box in the first minute found Angus Mailer, however the captain could only shoot wide.

As Edinburgh sat back and absorbed the pressure from their student counterparts, a Stirling goal looked inevitable, and it came after 16 minutes.

Matty Burrows’ cross was initially met by Euan Baird. His effort was blocked and fell to Robbie McGale, who lofted his close range volley into the roof of the net to give his side a deserved lead.

For the next fifteen minutes, Stirling were on top, and should have been further ahead. A barrage of crosses found their way into Edinburgh’s box, but the ball wouldn’t fall for Stirling’s front men.

Craig Brown’s long range effort after 25 minutes looked destined for the top corner, however Connor Barnes did well to tip it over the bar.

The resultant corner led to Jason Jarvis’s cross finding Matty Burrows at the back post, but his header across goal could not find anyone in a Stirling shirt.

Despite their constant pressure, Stirling could not extend their lead before the interval.

Edinburgh came out after the break a better team, and were back on level terms after 50 minutes. A well weighted ball was played into Jordan Purves, who only had Ben Fry to beat. The ‘keeper got a hand to the ball, but still it looped into the net to level the game.

After the equaliser, Stirling regained some composure and began to search for the winning goal.

However, despite piling men forward, they could not create the clear chance that they needed.

Substitute Calum Heath was influential in creating chances from the left wing, however could not find the killer ball to trouble Connor Barnes.

After almost 90 minutes though, Stirling thought they should have had a penalty. Jamie Penker’s effort was goal bound, only to be deflected off the hand of an Edinburgh defender. Despite furious protests from the Stirling players and bench, the referee waved play on.

With only one defender left back, Stirling were always going to be vulnerable on the counter attack, and into injury time, the visitors had a golden chance to snatch their first victory since August. After a strong run from defence, Finn Daniels found himself one-on-one with Ben Fry, but his effort was needlessly rushed, and went over the bar.

Chris Geddes’s side now face a tough run of fixtures, starting on Saturday with a trip to Falkirk stadium to take on East Stirlingshire.

Stirling: Fry, Burrows, Quigley, Mailer, Downie, Berry, Brown, Jarvis, Baird (Penker, 19’), McMaster (Heath, 65’), McGale (Doan, 80’)

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