East Stirlingshire 1 – 2 University of Stirling
By Lewis Fraser
Stirling University stunned local rivals East Stirlingshire on Saturday as the students grabbed all three points at the Falkirk Stadium.
Second half goals from Callum Downie and Craig Brown seen Uni run out 2-1 winners in a fantastic performance. The result is made more impressive by the fact that the oldest member of Stirling’s starting eleven was only 21 years old.
Chris Geddes was very pleased with his side’s performance,
“I thought we were excellent for 90 minutes, and I think we deserved it, we more than matched them. East Stirlingshire at times had a lot of pressure, but Ben Fry didn’t have too many saves to make. I think Jamie Barclay in the East Stirlingshire goal had more saves to make than Ben.
“We defended excellently and scored a couple of good goals, so it was really well deserved.
“The first goal is a great ball from Liam McMaster, round the back of the defenders. Kieran Hall’s pulled it back and Callum from left back has found himself at the penalty spot. He’s bent it with his weak foot, excellent goal, really well done.
“We managed to get ourselves back in front, it’s a great ball through from Matty Burrows. To be fair, Kieran is in the area, but he never went to the ball, so for me, he wasn’t offside. Their defender is spooked by Kieran being there and he’s tried to play a back pass and Craig who ran from midfield has went round the goalie.
“We seen it out really well, like I say I think we deserved it. It’s another great performance on the road and it pushes us up the table.”
It was Stirling Uni who started on the front foot, as Connor Doan had the first shot on target after only five minutes. His free kick was well struck, but Jamie Barclay collected it without any trouble.
Despite their strong start, Uni had some defending to do later in the half, which was largely down to former Aberdeen player Nicky Low. After 24 minutes, Low was through on goal, but Uni ‘keeper Ben Fry bravely came off his line and saved the midfielder’s close range effort.
Uni had their best effort of the half in stoppage time. Connor Doan played an excellent ball to Liam McMaster on the left wing. The midfielder then squared the ball to Craig Brown, whose shot from the edge of the penalty box was just wide of Barclay’s post.
The second half started similarly to the first, with the visitors looking the more dangerous. Craig Brown was once again involved in a Uni attack, as he played Robbie McGale through on goal after 53 minutes. McGale’s shot was heading for the roof of the net, but Jamie Barclay did just enough to tip it over the bar.
At the other end, Nicky Low lined up a free kick from the edge of the penalty box, but his effort could not clear the wall.
Stirling broke the deadlock after 63 minutes. A brilliant cross from Liam McMaster found substitute Kieran Hall in the box. Hall looked like he might shoot, but the striker expertly picked out Callum Downie, who powered his right footed shot into the top corner to give his team a deserved lead.
Uni’s lead was short lived however, as the home team equalised only three minutes later. Uni could not defend a corner, and the ball fell to Reis Peggie. Ben Fry looked to have Peggie’s shot covered, but a deflection took the ball over the ‘keeper and into the back of the net.
After equalising, Shire were on the hunt for a winning goal, and they might have had it were it not for Connor Doan. Bobby Barr’s cross to the near post was met by Nicky Low. Low’s effort was headed for the bottom corner, but at full stretch, Doan managed to deflect the ball onto the post.
With eight minutes to go, the game had opened up, and both sides looked like they could snatch a late winner.
It was the students though, who scored the vital goal. A ball forward towards Kieran Hall looked dangerous. However, the striker knew he was offside and cleverly did not attempt to win the ball. An ill weighted back pass from Martin Orr was latched onto by Craig Brown, and the midfielder rounded the ‘keeper and slotted away the winning goal.
Despite Shire’s protests that Hall influenced play and should have been ruled offside, the goal stood and gave the students a slim lead into the final minutes of the game.
The youngsters showed great maturity to see the game out in the corner of the park, and recorded a famous victory over their local rivals.
University: Fry, Burrows, Quigley, Mailer, Downie, Doan, Brown, Berry, Penker (Hall 57’), McMaster (Heath 77’), McGale (Jarvis 60’)