By John Turnbull at St Marks Park
The University of Stirling eased into the third round of the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup on Wednesday with a 3-0 win over Craigroyston.
It was a matter of time before Ben MacIver-Redwood opened his account for Stirling, and the striker got off the mark with a first-half double.
Having controlled the game, Stirling put the East of Scotland side out of sight when Buronbek Mirzasalimov sealed a comfortable win on 79 minutes.
Head coach Chris Geddes was pleased to progress to the third round. He said: “We did well last season in the cups, so we want to repeat that this season. It was a good opportunity to get other boys minutes but it shows the strength of the squad as we made eight changes from Saturday’s team.
“It was good for Ben to get his first goals of the season as he has played well in the league games, but the goal has just eluded him. That’s all our forwards got goals early in the season and hopefully, they can all get more in the games to come.”
Craigroyston set out to frustrate the students and defended well on a dry, bumpy pitch in Warriston.
It proved hard to get much going around the box for Stirling, so MacIver-Redwood opted for the ariel route when he headed in from a corner to put the University ahead on 22 minutes.
Having worked tirelessly to get off the mark in Uni colours, the striker added to his tally just 11 minutes later.
Cameron Robertson clipped a ball into the box, and the number nine had his first effort well-saved before poking home the rebound.
It was a similarly dominant second half, but Craigroyston made it hard for the Uni, and it took until 79 minutes for the game to be put to bed.
Substitute Ben Heal stole the ball in midfield and set up Mirzasalimov on the right-hand side of the box.
The forward only needed one touch before smashing a shot into the top left corner to seal a confidence-boosting win before heading back into Lowland League action.
The Uni welcome Open Goal Broomhill to Forthbank on Sunday, and Geddes admitted his players are excited about the test: “It’s going to be a tough game against a good side. They have experienced players in their team so it will be a good challenge for our young squad, but it’s one they are all looking forward to.”
University of Stirling: Godik, Robertson, Thompson, Service, Russell, Jarvis, Munro, Mirzasalimov, McKinley, MacIver-Redwood, Bainbridge