By Graham Fleming at the Indodrill Stadium, Alloa
University of Stirling were denied a win at newly established Broomhill despite dominating the 90-minute encounter in Alloa on Wednesday evening.
The students took the lead through forward James Stokes who passed the ball into an empty net after getting on the end of a lofted ball in the eighth minute. They protected their lead for the majority of the match – but Gabe Skeoch grabbed a late equaliser, scoring a rebound from his unsuccessful penalty.
University of Stirling head coach Chris Geddes said: “I’m bitterly disappointed. We dominated the second half and anyone watching the game will see that. We missed a header in the first half to make it 2-0, we also missed a penalty in the first half to make it 2-0.
“Fair play to Broomhill, they kept us honest and they brought some subs on which made a
difference. The big man won a penalty but Ben Fry saves it and the rebound goes through
his legs, so it is really disappointing.
“The passing was good, the fitness was good, the energy and the intensity which I spoke about on Saturday was good – but it was just the finishing touch that cost us, it’s as simple as that.”
The opening stages of the game largely belonged to the visitors as they controlled possession and attempted to create chances. They were rewarded for this early in the match when Matthew Burrows lofted in a cross towards the Broomhill keeper, Owen Stott. He fumbled the ball onto an onrushing James Stokes who knocked the ball into an empty net to make it 1-0 for the away side.
The pressure from the students continued, as they looked to kill off the game – and they had their opportunity when the home defence gifted a pass to Jason Jarvis in their own box. He was tripped and the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty – which was hit by Conor Doan and well saved by Stott.
Chances would continue to fall to Stirling, as they searched for more goals. Calum Rae hit the post, Stokes fired wide from close range, all before the half-time whistle.
After the break, the ball was cleared off the Broomhill line as a Robbie McGale cross caused
chaos, but Rae couldn’t quite get it over the line. Substitute Jamie Penker also couldn’t
direct a free header towards the goal, and a scramble caused by a Jarvis free kick was
saved by Stott.
The frustration continued when, in the 80th minute, a challenge in the box by Burrows earned the home side a penalty – which was saved by Fry, but the effort from the rebound slipped the goalkeeper’s grasp and saw the game end 1-1.
The University will take on Celtic B at 7.45pm on Wednesday (July 28) and tickets – priced
£4-£6 – are now available from: stirlingceltic.eventbrite.co.uk. Tickets must be purchased prior to the match – pay on the gate will not be available.
University of Stirling: Fry, Burrows, Thompson, Taylor, Downie, McGale, Doan, Kennedy (Berry 72), Stokes, Rae (Penker, 53), Jarvis (Davidson 87)
Broomhill: Stott, Sinnamon, Moss (MacNair 80), Cassidy, Dunlop, Crawford, Cusick,
(Slaven 67), Gray (Skeoch 58), Evans, Monk, Hodge.