By John Turnbull at Forthbank Stadium
Stirling University booked their place in the fifth round of the South Challenge Cup after a 2-1 win over Hurlford United on Wednesday night.
Hurlford goalkeeper Martin McDonald kept the score line respectable, but the Ford number one could do nothing about first half strikes from Jamie Penker and Ben Davidson.
The two goals were enough to seal progression despite Alex Bell handing the visitors some hope as he capped off a well worked move.
Head coach Chris Geddes said: “We were excellent tonight, and if it wasn’t for their goalkeeper, it could’ve been four or five, he was outstanding.
“We started the game really well, and 2-0 at half-time was great but we knew the job wasn’t done. They came out and threw everything at us in the second half, brought another striker on, and the big man caused us problems, but I thought we played excellent.
“They’re a good side, and it was a good goal they scored, but we had enough chances to kill them off second half. We’re delighted though and it’s a great win for us.”
A place in the fifth round of the South Challenge Cup was up for grabs at Forthbank as Stirling hosted West of Scotland side Hurlford United.
Both outfits showed early desire to open the scoring but crucially it was the home side that did so. Penker calmly controlled the ball before lifting it over the on-rushing McDonald on 19 minutes.
And on the half hour mark the Uni’s lead was doubled. Penker was fouled on the edge of the box, and Davidson stepped up to curl the resulting free kick into the top corner.
Stirling had shown their class against a team playing in the division below, but United proved what they’re capable of in the second half and made a game of it.
Despite being fortunate to still be within reach of the Uni, Hurlford got one back through Alex Bell on 69 minutes.
Paul McKenzie and Lewis Morrison combined with a neat one-two before the former pulled it back for Bell to finish at the near post.
A triple-save to deny Conor Doan and Ben McIvor-Redwood wrapped up an impressive individual performance from McDonald, but Stirling had done their damage and progressed to the next round.
University of Stirling: Fry, McGale, Burrows, Taylor, Lavery, Doan, Berry, Davidson (McGill 76’), Penker (McIvor-Redwood 83’), Stokes, Kennedy (McArthur 64’)
Hurlford United: McDonald, Miller, Lidington, Magee, Robertson, McKnight, P. McKenzie, Frew, Morrison, M. McKenzie, Whittaker