University of Stirling 7-1 Edinburgh University
Forthbank Stadium, 3pm, 26/12/20
By Charlie Harris at Forthbank Stadium
The University of Stirling put seven goals past rivals Edinburgh University – in a wet and blustery Boxing Day clash at Forthbank.
Despite dominating possession and creating many chances from the first whistle, it took Stirling until the 34th minute to break the deadlock – but three goals in four minutes gave them a well-deserved 3-0 lead at half-time.
Defender Conor Doan got his second of the game just after the interval before all three strikers – Jamie Penker, Kieran Hall and Euan Baird – added their names to the scoresheet.
A specular long-range effort from opposition captain Matthew Dick was the only consolation for Edinburgh University, in a miserable afternoon for the visitors.
Head Coach Chris Geddes said: “We don’t often score seven goals, so we’re delighted to do it in the university derby. From start to finish we were the better side – we were excellent.
“Once we got the first goal we settled down – it came later than we would have liked – but after the first went in we got two more in three minutes and the game was over.
“We wanted to make the game wide and expansive, and I thought we did that really well. We were great going forward and I’m delighted to see all our strikers getting goals today.”
Highlights: All eight goals from the match.
Stirling lined up in a changed system, with three at the back, in an attempt to create chances against a struggling Edinburgh University side. Kieran Hall joined the starting lineup while Doan and Callum Downie slotted into more defensive roles.
The change in tactics appeared to work from kick-off, as Stirling peppered the Edinburgh defence with pressure. However, Stirling were forced into two early substitutions with Marcus Lavery – and then his replacement Calum Heath – suffering ankle and hamstring injuries, respectively.
Doan broke the deadlock on 34 minutes, firing home after a scramble in the box. Downie added a second just a minute later after battling for the ball in the box, before Jason Jarvis slotted home on 38 minutes.
By this point the result was secured, but Geddes’ side were in the mood for more goals. Doan doubled his goal tally for the game with a wonderful strike in the 53rd minute. Captain Craig Brown rolled a free kick to Doan who smashed into the top left corner from 22 yards. Just three minutes later, Penker scored his 11th league goal of the season, firing home a rebounded effort following good play with Jarvis.
Edinburgh midfielder Matthew Dick scored goal of the game on the hour mark when his long-range strike went over the head of stand-in Stirling goalkeeper Murray Bushall. However, it was no more than a consolation, as the home side continued their scoring spree with two further goals.
On 84 minutes, Hall capped off an impressive performance with a goal, seeing his deflected effort evade Edinburgh keeper Torres. Substitute Baird scored Stirling’s magnificent seventh two minutes from time with an excellent first-time volley from a Louis Kennedy cross.
Reaction: Goalscorer Jason Jarvis.
The impressive result sees Stirling move into sixth place in the Lowland League. The two sides will meet again in less than a week’s time as they play the return league fixture at East Peffermill on New Year’s Day.
Geddes said: “No two games are the same – if we don’t take our chances against Edinburgh, who are disciplined and fit, we will struggle. But the boys will be full of confidence and hopefully next week we will see more of what we saw today.”
Reaction: Head Coach Chris Geddes
University of Stirling: Bushall, Quigley (Taylor, 58’), Doan, Downie (Kennedy, 58’), Burrows, Lavery (Heath, 17’ (McGale, 26’)), Brown, Berry, Penker (Baird 58’), Jarvis, Hall
Scorers: Doan (34’, 53’), Downie (36’), Jarvis (38’), Penker (57’), Hall (84’), Baird (88’)
Edinburgh University: Torres, McGuire, Condie, Hamilton, McDonald, Dick, Kent, Maskrey, Baird, Motlan, Anderson
Scorer: Dick (59’)