By John Turnbull
University of Stirling’s fortunes finally turned as Joel Taylor scored a last-minute winner to give the students a 2-1 win over Cumbernauld Colts on Sunday.
The two sides competed well and matched each other for large periods before Sean Winter put the visitors ahead on the hour mark.
A win was well overdue and Calum Rae set up the dramatic finale when he scored the equaliser 12 minutes later. With only injury time left, Taylor headed home from a corner and kept the Uni firmly in the Lowland League Cup.
Head coach Chris Geddes said: “I think a draw was probably a fair result but with the losing run we’ve been on we’ll take any win that comes and to get a last-minute winner the boys are delighted. I’m proud of the boys coming off some sore losses recently so they deserved it.
“Cumbernauld came and were battling, trying to play attacking like us and they had some chances. Yan came in today and made some good saves, but at this stage of the season with the run we were on, we don’t care how we played, I’m happy for my players because they got a win after losing six in a row.”
Both teams could be excused for a nervy start to the game after an underwhelming start to the group stage. Cumbernauld had rescued a point against Broomhill while Stirling were edged by The Shire on matchday one.
With a win for either side significantly boosting progression hopes, the teams began to have a go. Chances fell at both ends but ultimately the game was level heading into the break.
The deadlock was broken 15 minutes after the restart though as Fraser Taylor was given too much space to drive towards goal. The midfielder’s shot was saved but the rebound fell kindly to Winter who tapped in.
The Uni needed a response from somewhere and up stepped Calum Rae. Louis Kennedy found the striker inside the box who turned with the ball past two defenders and found the far corner.
Then as the students headed into injury time, Joel Taylor found space at the back post to guide his header into the net and end Stirling’s poor run in thrilling style.
Three points means Stirling could progress with a draw against Broomhill next Sunday, and Geddes added: “It’s always tough games against Broomhill, and every team can go through next week. There could be three teams on four points so it might come down to goal difference, but we’re delighted with the win today and we’ll move onto next week.”
University of Stirling: Godik, Thompson, Burrows (Service 45’), Taylor, Bainbridge, Doan, Berry, Kennedy (Mirzasalimov 78’), McArthur (Jarvis 45’), Penker, Rae (Grooms 93’)
Cumbernauld Colts: Erskine, Dickson, Home, G. Holmes, C. Holmes, Winter, Taylor, McFarlane, Ewen, Munro, Hatfield