University of Stirling 2 – 4 Dalbeattie Star
Forthbank Stadium, 08/11/20, Lowland League
By Graham Fleming at Forthbank Stadium
Dalbeattie Star took all three points against the University of Stirling in a six-goal thriller at Forthbank on Saturday.
Two goals in each half for the visitors condemned the students to their second defeat on the bounce – following their bright start to the season.
Lewis Sloan gave Dalbeattie an early lead with an excellently executed free kick, before Ross Irving unleashed a thunderous long-range effort to double their advantage.
Jason Jarvis and Jamie Penker hauled Stirling back into the game, finding the net from crosses to make it two-all at the break.
However, the comeback was short-lived as Dalbeattie rallied after half time and ran out 4-2 winners with Irving and Daniel Orsi sealing victory.
University of Stirling head coach Chris Geddes said: “I am really disappointed with the result. We were hoping to bounce back after last week’s defeat.
“We went 2-0 down early in the match and managed to pull it back to 2-2 and we were the better team in the first half.
“In the second, we dominated the ball but credit where credit is due: their finishing was outstanding. They scored their two second half goals from counter attacks and we were really poor in the final third.
“Possession does not win you games. Taking chances does, and Dalbeattie did that.”
The University went into Saturday’s match having lost their previous match to Civil Service Strollers, while their opponents had yet to register a point in their league campaign.
A sliding challenge from Stirling defender Ben Quigley was penalised early in the match and Dalbeattie were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Sloan took aim at goal and delivered the ball into the net from twenty yards with a curling effort.
Stirling struggled to get into the flow of the game, as The Star remained organised and were rewarded by a second goal.
On 18 minutes, Irving collected a slack pass in midfield, turned and unleashed a ferocious shot into the top corner. The effort soared over goalkeeper Ben Fry – sending the Dalbeattie players and staff into raptures.
The goal was a wake-up call for the home side as they dusted themselves down and found a way back into the game through ex-Falkirk player Jarvis. Midfielder Calum Downie crossed for Jarvis, who unleashed a shot which was deflected into the net.
Penker levelled just a minute later, nodding in a looping cross from the left-hand side.
Robbie McGale, Penker and Jarvis all had chances to put Stirling ahead, however, it was even at the break.
Dalbeattie began the second half on the front foot and regained their lead through Irving, who latched onto a defensive mishap between Conor Doan and Quigley on the hour mark. Irving took the ball, rounded Fry and slotted home.
Stirling committed more numbers forward as they looked to carve open the visitors who sat back and protected their lead. But the students were stunned on the counterattack when substitute Calvin Cowie fizzed in a low cross from the right to Orsi who dispatched a curled finish past Fry.
The students continued to throw bodies forward in search for a goal, but could not find their way past a resilient Dalbeattie defence.
Stirling will hope to improve on their last two results when they travel to Berwick on Tuesday evening.
University of Stirling: Fry, Burrows, Quigley, Doan, Lavery (Kennedy, 65′), Downie (Baird, 74′), Brown (Heath, 74′), Berry (Bremner, 65′), Penker, Jarvis (Hall, 65′), McGale
Goals: Jarvis (23′), Penker (24′)
Dalbeattie Star: Martin, Park, Thorburn, Bell, McChesney (Douglas), Dickinson, Graham (Steele, 48′), Wells, Irving, Sloan, Orsi
Goals: Sloan (5′), Irving (16′, 61′), Orsi (70′)
All photography by George Vekic