By John Turnbull at Forthbank
The University of Stirling has still to lose a Lowland League match against Uni rivals Edinburgh after a dominant 5-0 win.
Stirling finally took a chance after 23 minutes of creating them, as Calum Rae opened the scoring with a header. Ciaran McAninch grabbed a second before Rae doubled his tally a minute later.
Two second-half substitutes then put Edinburgh out of sight. Cammy McKinley made it four before Buronbek Mirzasalimov wrapped up the scoring on 77 minutes.
Assistant manager Sean Roycroft said: “We knew how they would play; we did our homework. We got three in the first half and it took the stuffing out of them. It was a great first-half performance, and that made it far easier in the second.
“We do a lot on the training ground, and we did a bit of finishing on Thursday night, but they were great team goals today and some proper striker goals.
“The core of the team is really strong, and we got another clean sheet. We build off a strong backline, and Ben has been brilliant in goals, so having that belief allows us to go forward at will, and we have the strikers to score goals.”
Stirling gave up next to no chances throughout the ninety minutes, but created plenty themselves from the off.
The deadlock was eventually broken midway through the first half as McAninch whipped a corner to the near post, and Rae glanced his header into the far corner.
The floodgates had opened, and chances were falling for McAninch to get in on the act himself.
Ten minutes later, he did. James Stokes was cleverly played in behind from a quick free-kick and fired the ball across goal for the midfielder to convert at the back post.
It would soon be a second goal for Rae and a second assist for Stokes, as Stirling added a third a minute later.
The 23-year-old produced more magic down the right and picked out Rae inside the box for an eighth league goal of the season.
“We knew they were going to be open, and if we got the ball wide, we would get chances, and it showed in the game as we got five goals”, said Stokes.
“You need to be confident coming into every game, and if I keep getting goals and assists then I’ll be happy.”
The winger had done his work for the day, but the scoring wasn’t over. McKinley made it consecutive games with a goal off the bench with a 68th-minute strike.
Ben Maciver-Redwood worked tirelessly and turned provider as the striker cut the ball back to his partner to poke home.
With 13 minutes left, McKinley combined with Berry before the midfielder laid the ball to substitute Mirzasalimov, who bagged a fifth to seal another three points.
University of Stirling: Fry, Heal, Burrows (Thompson 70’), Service, Lavery, Stokes (Bainbridge 80’), Berry, Jarvis (Russell 46’), McAninch, Rae (McKinley 46’), Maciver-Redwood (Mirzasalimov 70’)