By John Turnbull at Forthbank Stadium
Stirling University were convincingly swept aside on Saturday in a 4-0 defeat to Caledonian Braves.
Braves midfielder Marc Kelly opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 21 minutes before Luke Main doubled the lead just three minutes later.
The student’s afternoon only got worse as poor defending allowed Kelly to grab his hat-trick, with goals coming either side of half-time.
Head coach Chris Geddes said: “Just a really poor day, between the goals there wasn’t too much but Braves took their chances when they came. Some of our decision making, in terms of the penalties, was poor but they deserved it.
“James doesn’t need to make the tackle and Marc Kelly is a really intelligent player. The second goal was a great finish and then we had some opportunities but never troubled the goalkeeper.
“The conditions were difficult for both teams today but they handled it better. I said before the game, to win today you need good quality in the final third; they had it and we didn’t.”
Both sides were enjoying a good run of form but the visitors would’ve been especially confident after notching five wins already this year.
An even start had the teams trying to figure each other out, but a mistake from the Uni handed the Glasgow side an early advantage.
A well worked move down the right found Kelly in the box who beat James Berry to the ball and a penalty was awarded, and the opportunity taken.
Stirling’s misery was compounded when the Braves doubled their lead moments after hitting the front. The ball was rolled to Luke Main who curled the ball over Godik from outside the area.
The Uni tried to find a way back in but five minutes after Burrows saw his effort crash off the crossbar, Caledonian Braves were out of sight.
Kelly found the freedom to drive towards the Stirling box and struck low into the far corner.
Three changes were made at half-time to try and spark the home side into life, but it wasn’t long before the visitors got another.
Consecutive corners caused the students problems and eventually the Braves had their reward. Burrows tried to smash the ball clear but was beaten to it and another penalty was awarded.
Hat-trick hero Kelly again made no mistake from the spot to seal a disappointing day for Stirling.
University of Stirling: Godik, McGale, Taylor, Burrows (Thompson 73’), Lavery, Berry (Grooms 45’), Doan (Jarvis 45’), Davidson, McGill (McArthur 65’), Stokes (Kennedy 45’), Penker
Caledonian Braves: Henry, Brown, Walker, Duncan, Forrester, Main, Butterworth (Mclear 83’), Lindsay (Testa 83’), Gouvenou (Watson 71’), Kelly, Armstrong