Shire hold off Uni as spoils shared at Forthbank

By John Turnbull at Forthbank Stadium

Despite a positive second-half performance, University of Stirling were forced to settle for a point after a tight contest with East Stirlingshire finished 1-1 on Wednesday night.

The visitors were inches away from scoring after eight minutes but it was Calum Rae who grabbed the game’s opening goal to give the students an early lead.

The Shire equalised just ten minutes later through Daniel McDonald’s well-worked goal and that would be the final twist of the tale.

Head coach Chris Geddes said: “It was good to get a point, that’s four points from two league games but second half I thought we were the better team. Overall, we will take the point but are disappointed we couldn’t get the three that our play deserved.

“The Shire started better, and they should’ve been 1-0 up, but then we scored a really good goal. We’re disappointed with their goal, we have to do better there and that was a part of the first half we weren’t happy with, not winning our tackles.

“We’ve had a bad run against the Shire at home over the years, so to get a point is good. It’s always good to get the points on the board early and get as far up the league as we can.”

Stirling welcomed East Stirlingshire to Forthbank on matchday two of the Lowland League season following a 3-2 away win at Gretna last Saturday.

Again, the students were the side to take the initiative in the game, but they were lucky not to find themselves behind on eight minutes.

Sixteen-year-old Scott Honeyman caused the Uni problems down the right-hand side and he crossed for Jack Hodge who lifted his effort over an open goal from inside the six-yard box.

However, with 11 minutes on the clock, Stirling hit the front. James Berry found Euan McGill on the left before the ball was flicked round the corner to Rae. He turned away from his marker and coolly fired into the bottom corner.

The game was soon level though as Falkirk loanee Honeyman, did well to drive into the box and pick out McDonald who made no mistake from close range.

Stirling looked to be getting back on top of proceedings towards the end of the first half and certainly continued that momentum into the second period.

Substitute Ben MacIver-Redwood proved a handful for the Shire defenders on several occasions but the best chance of the half fell to new signing Ben Heal.

The midfielder was unlucky not to add to his debut winning goal on Saturday as he glided through midfield past two players but Ross Connelly was alert to the danger and saved his low effort well.

A well-fought battle between the two sides would end level and after many yellow cards the referee sent off East Stirlingshire’s Andy Kay for dissent deep into injury time.

Geddes is looking for his side to build on Wednesday’s performance as the students face Dalbeattie Star at Forthbank. He added: “Dalbeattie are transitioning with a new manager and players. We’ll respect Dalbeattie and hopefully, we can pick up three points.”

University of Stirling: Fry, Lavery, Burrows, Heal, McAninch, Berry, DeZoeten (Service 24’), Rae (Jarvis 73’), McGill (Seb 58’), Stokes (Mirzasalimov 73’), McKinley (McIvor 58’)

East Stirlingshire: Connelly, Barr, Brown, Ewing, Greene, Ritchie, Honeyman, Kay, McDonald (Trialist 75’), Hodge (Sludden 87’), Watson (Wilson 83’)

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