By John Turnbull at Forthbank Stadium
University of Stirling battled for a point on Saturday as the Students were held to a 0-0 draw with Cumbernauld Colts.
Both sides defended well but there was little in the way of goalscoring opportunities as the game lacked any real quality.
Head coach Chris Geddes said: “We were poor. We haven’t played that poorly in a long time, it could be the fact we played on Wednesday and some players might use that excuse, but we’re not. I think the execution and quality in the final third just wasn’t good enough.
“The quality wasn’t great; we didn’t recognise our team. With the type of players we’ve got, we always have that bit of magic but today it just wasn’t there.
“It’s disappointing from us, with the standards we have, but ultimately we never lost. We have still only lost one of our last nine in the league, but it was a game today where we thought we could get three points.”
After a 4-0 win over Nottingham Trent University on Wednesday to close the BUCS league campaign, attention was back to the lowland league as the Uni welcomed Cumbernauld Colts to Forthbank.
A slow start to the game ultimately set up what was to follow, as both sides struggled to show any promise in the final third.
Stirling eventually had a chance to take the lead on 39 minutes. A long range free-kick from Robbie McGale was parried towards Cammy McKinley but his shot was also saved.
Understandably frustrated with his side in the first half, Geddes did get a response after the break as Stirling started to get forward in numbers, but to no avail.
The students looked certain to take the lead on 58 minutes as Scott McArthur played McGale clear through on goal, only for his shot to be saved.
Stirling thought they finally had the winner in additional time. Louis Kennedy brought the ball down before rolling his shot towards the far corner, but another save, and the deadlock wouldn’t be broken.
The University will host Hurlford United in the fourth round of the South Challenge Cup on Wednesday night.
Geddes added: “Hurlford are a top West of Scotland side, an ambitious team looking to get into the Lowland League, so it’s going to be a physical game but I’ve got no doubt that after today the boys will be keen to play better.”
University of Stirling: Fry, McGale, Lavery, Burrows, Doan, Berry, Davidson, Stokes, Penker (Kennedy 78’), McKinley (Mirzasalimov 70’), McGill (McArthur 55’)