By John Turnbull at K-Park
University of Stirling were left rueing missed chances again as the students lost 3-1 to East Kilbride on Saturday.
Despite another positive performance against one of the Lowland League’s top sides, the Uni suffered another defeat.
Conor Doan finally got the goal the Uni deserved but by this point they were 2-0 down as Cameron Elliott scored either side of half-time. With a minute of regular time left Neil McLaughlin sealed the three points for Kilby as he converted from the penalty spot.
Head coach Chris Geddes said: “We didn’t deserve to lose, on opportunities and chances we definitely deserved to win.
“We started the game okay and we were passing well for the first 12 minutes until they scored around then, but for the rest of the half we played really well. Second half we come out and again played really well but then conceded a sloppy goal.
“I’m really proud of the players though considering it was our 50th game of the season, to come up against EK who are fighting for the top two and three in the league, the boys were a credit to the University today.
“The first two games against East Kilbride, we never laid a glove on them, we had more chances in the first 20 minutes today than in both games previous. Credit to the players, they’ve been excellent today and on another day those chances go in, but there’s a lot of positives to take into the last 11 or so games.”
Goals at important times in games and taking chances have proved the downfall in Stirling’s performances of late, and it felt that Saturday’s story was one all too familiar.
A long ball forward from the hosts defence on 16 minutes was headed on by Joao Victoria, and Elliott had plenty of time to pick his spot and slide the ball home at the near post.
It’s been a long season for Stirling so far and despite going behind early, the students showed no sings of fatigue.
Geddes’ side were creating chances at will. Jason Jarvis and James Stokes both had shots miss just wide of the post before Joel Taylor was agonisingly close to finding the equaliser as the defender’s long-range effort struck the post.
Just nine minutes into the second half, Stirling were in for an uphill battle. McLaughlin picked out Elliott with a pinpoint long ball forward and the striker done well to head across Fry into the far corner.
The Uni responded again and were rewarded for their efforts when Stokes beat Jamie Stevenson and was pulled down inside the box by the full-back. Doan’s penalty was saved but parried right back out for a tap-in.
It wasn’t to be for Stirling though as a penalty was awarded at the other end and McLaughlin stepped up to get East Kilbride’s third and inflict defeat on the students for a third time this season.
University of Stirling: Fry, Thompson, Burrows, Taylor, Bainbridge, Doan (DeZoeten 90’), Berry, Jarvis, Rae (Penker 80’), McArthur (Kennedy 83’), Stokes (Navarro 90’)
East Kilbride: Brennan, Stevenson, Coll, Old, McDonald, Owens, McManus, McLaughlin, Elliot, Watt, Victoria