By Graham Fleming at K Park
East Kilbride ran out 4-0 winners against the University of Stirling in the Scottish Cup second round.
The visitors faced a difficult task away to East Kilbride – who defeated them heavily only two weeks ago at Forthbank – and they could not get the better of them on cup duty at K Park on Saturday.
The scoring began after 23 minutes through Daniel McManus with a deflected effort, to see his side 1-0 up going into half-time.
However, the rout began in the second half, as fixture fatigue may have taken a hold over the battling students near the end of the tie.
Ryan Blair scored an impressive long range effort, followed by a late-in-the-day brace from substitute Jack Stainrod, who settled the tie during the dying moments.
University Head Coach Chris Geddes said: “It was a poor to lose four. It was disappointing to concede three in the second half when we played a bit better and actually caused them some issues.
“We lost a sloppy goal through a deflection and they were obviously the better side in the first half – but to lose a goal like that was a bit disappointing for us.
“East Kilbride had a few bits of quality in the second half, we made a few mistakes and our finishing wasn’t good enough today.”
As Geddes said, the students were set up in the first half to frustrate the home side, setting up with three central defenders in Lavery, Taylor and Hutchison – and more or less accomplished this as East Kilbride struggled for clear cut chances, albeit while controlling the possession.
However East Kilbride’s Ryan McManus threw a spanner in the works for Stirling as industrious forward Joao Victoria drove forward and passed it into McManus’ path on the right who unleashed a shot which took a deflection past Ben Fry in the net.
The first-half goal meant that the students had to come out of their shell and take the game to the home side, which may have favoured the hosts in the end.
After the sides emerged from the half time break, East Kilbride started to hit their stride. The home side doubled their advantage not long after half-time through Ryan Blair. A lofted ball was brought down by the midfielder as he volleyed an impressive effort on the edge of the box – almost rivalling his previous strike against the students two weeks ago.
The hosts, after going 2-0 up, began to turn the screw as chances began to fall their way against a fatigued Uni side. Efforts by Erkine, Old and McManus barely missed their target before substitute Jack Stainrod made his way onto the park which would end the contest.
Jamie Stevenson fired a speculative effort from 25 yards, which Fry got a hand to but he could only parry into the path of Stainrod who bundled it into the net, and he then added a fourth when Elliot dribbled half the pitch to drill a ball for Stainrod who added gloss to an already impressive scoreline to finish the game at 4-0.
The University is back in action on Wednesday as they take on Northumbria Uni in BUCS at 3.15pm, when they will hope to get back to winning ways.
East Kilbride: Brennan, Elliot ,Wylde, Stevenson, Old, McManus, Owens, Blair, Victoria, Erskine, McLaughlin
University of Stirling: Fry, Lavery, Hutchison, Taylor, Downie, Doan, Berry, Davidson,
Burrows, Penker, Stokes