By John Turnbull at Forthbank
There was little between Stirling University and Rangers B on Saturday afternoon as the students fell to a 2-1 home defeat.
Two moments of quality from the Light Blues on either side of Jason Jarvis’ strike earned the away side all three points.
Arron Lyall put Rangers in front on the stroke of half-time before Jarvis equalised midway through the second period.
But the Uni were soon behind again, as Ross McCausland won the game for the colts on 78 minutes.
Stirling head coach Chris Geddes said: “It’s disappointing to lose the game as I thought we played pretty well, to be honest. They’re a good side, so we knew they would have a lot of the ball, but Ben didn’t have many saves to make, and I think we deserved a draw.
“We need to stay switched on and the defenders need to switch from side to side and win tackles, but I thought we did that really well. That’s why these players are at that level because they have bits of magic in them and took their chances when they came. My boys put in a really good shift against a full-time team, and I thought we more than matched the fitness levels.
“There’s definitely an improvement – we have a stronger squad than last year and the results prove that. We’ve got more options at the back and in the key areas which are really helping us.”
Stirling was back in Lowland League action as Rangers B visited the in-form students on a warm afternoon at Forthbank.
Although, there wasn’t much action in front of either goal in the first half, as the two sides figured each other out.
David McCallum’s side enjoyed possession in the opening exchanges, but Ben Fry remained untroubled in the University goal.
However, as the game headed into the break goalless, Zak Lovelace and Arron Lyall combined to give Rangers the lead.
Stirling felt seconds away from being rewarded for a solid defensive showing in the first 45, but the 16-year-old picked out Lyall in the box who fired past Fry with a well-struck finish.
The hosts’ looked up to the challenge though as the teams reappeared for the second half and started the second half livelier than the Gers.
Ben MacIver-Redwood led the line well for the students but couldn’t convert an opportunity past Lewis Budinauckas moments after the restart.
Just as the Uni began to enjoy a comfortable spell of possession, Jarvis capitalised and levelled the game on 67 minutes.
Rangers failed to clear from a Stirling corner kick, and the ball popped up nicely for the midfielder who volleyed home.
Nothing could separate the two sides as the clock ticked down until Rangers found a moment of inspiration just 11 minutes later.
Ross McCausland played a neat 1-2 with Connor Young before the Northern Irishman picked out the far corner to leave the students with nothing to show for their efforts.
University of Stirling: Fry, Heal, Lavery (Torreggiani 86’), Service, Burrows, Berry, Jarvis (Russell 75’), Rae (Mirzasalimov 86’), Stokes, McAninch (McGill 70’), MacIver-Redwood
Rangers B: Budinauckas, Harkness, Fraser, Allan, MacKinnon, Strachan, Lyall, McInally (Lindsay 45’), Lovelace (Young 65’), Ritchie-Hosler, McCausland