By John Turnbull at Forthbank Stadium
University of Stirling were narrowly beaten 1-0 by table-toppers Bonnyrigg Rose on Saturday.
The game was level heading into the break but the students’ hard work in the first half was soon undone when Bradley Barrett scored the eventual winner just minutes into the second period.
Clear-cut chances were rare for both sides but Stirling were far more threatening after going behind and can count themselves slightly unlucky to have left with nothing.
Head coach Chris Geddes: “Apart from the first five minutes of the second half, I thought we were excellent, considering we had a game on Wednesday and then a heavy pitch against the top of the league I think we pushed them. I wouldn’t say we deserved to win but I don’t think we deserved to lose either.
“The goal was definitely preventable; we have to clear our lines better. All credit to Bonnyrigg though, they killed us after our mistake, but I don’t think they score if we deal with the clearance better.
“You’ve got to be hard to beat against Bonnyrigg because they are full of quality. I respect Robbie’s team, they’re at the top of the league for a reason, I just thought the longer we can keep it tight, we can bring on some energy and with a heavy pitch, you never know.
“I’ll say it again though, I’m really proud of the players over the last couple of months, to win a league and go on the run we’ve been on, and then push the top of the table so close is a great achievement.”
Having retained their BUCS Premier North title midweek, Stirling faced the biggest challenge of their unbeaten run as the students welcomed Lowland League leaders Bonnyrigg Rose to Forthbank.
Neither team capitalised on the few chances created but Geddes’ side would’ve been delighted with their effort, resulting in a clean sheet as the whistle was blown for the first 45.
But on 51 minutes the away side broke the deadlock. Dean Brett cut the ball back to Barrett who found himself free on the edge of the box to guide his shot into the corner.
The Uni rallied after the setback and began to look more of a threat going forward. Long-range efforts from substitute Jason Jarvis and Conor Doan almost brought the game level, but the equaliser didn’t come.
University of Stirling: Fry, Burrows, Hutchinson, Stanger, Downie, Berry (Mirzasalimov 79’), Doan, Kennedy (McGill 65’), McArthur (Jarvis 65’), McGale, Penker
Bonnyrigg Rose: Andrews, Brett, Horne, Wilson, Martyniuk, Barrett, Stewart, Currie, Gray, Hall, McGachie