The University of Stirling have been crowned champions of the British Universities and Colleges Premier North.
In dramatic scenes at Nottingham Trent University, midfielder Craig ‘Broony’ Brown scored an 88th-minute winner to snatch the title from the hosts.
Nottingham had started the match in top spot, with two points separating them from second-placed Stirling: only a win for the visitors could bring the league title north of the Border.
For much of the game, it looked like the two sides would play out a goalless draw – as chances came and went – but with just two minutes of the season remaining, Brown – assisted by Louis Kennedy and Kieran Hall – popped up to seal three points, and the title, for Chris Geddes’ side.
The late winner sparked scenes of elation from the Stirling players and bench.
Reacting to the result, Geddes said: “We went all-out attack – we had every attacker we had on (the field) – and thankfully Kieran’s flipped one round the corner and Craig’s put it away so I’m just really happy for the players.
“These things don’t happy very often to footballers and if you’re involved in university football this is massive.
For us to be winning the league against some of the top university teams in the north of Britain is great – and now we go with confidence into the British Championships and hopefully take the form into that.”
Captain Angus Mailer said: “It’s a brilliant feeling. Over the course of the ten games, I think the boys thoroughly deserved to win.
“Coming down here has never been easy – we’d never won here in my four years – but a bit of composure from Broony sealed it – it was a great feeling when the goal went in.
“We had to go for it. I said to the boys at half-time to be patient and we’ll get our chance and luckily we took it and it’s brilliant.”
Stirling won seven of their 10 BUCS Premier North games and lost three, giving them a final total of 21 points. Nottingham finished one point behind on 20, followed by Loughborough (18), Durham (14), Northumbria (9) and Birmingham (4). Stirling’s results from the 2019/20 BUCS Premier North:
- University of Stirling 8 – 2 Northumbria University
- University of Stirling 0 – 1 Nottingham Trent University
- University of Stirling 0 – 2 Loughborough University
- Durham University 1 – 2 University of Stirling
- University of Stirling 2 – 0 Birmingham University
- Birmingham University 1 – 4 University of Stirling
- Northumbria University 1 – 2 University of Stirling
- University of Stirling 5 – 2 Durham University
- Loughborough University 3 – 0 University of Stirling
- Nottingham Trent University 0 – 1 University of Stirling
University of Stirling will return to action at Forthbank Stadium on Saturday 15 February, when they take on BSC Glasgow in the Lowland League.