By John Turnbull at Shielfield Park
Stirling University fought back from two goals down on Tuesday night as Isa Aslangolu sealed a late comeback with a goal on his debut.
Berwick’s Liam Buchanan put the hosts in front before Michael Travis doubled the lead shortly into the second half.
Cammy McKinley got the Uni back in the game ten minutes later, and under-20s defender, Aslanoglu, headed in the leveller with three minutes left.
Uni boss Chris Geddes said: “Two under-20 players started, and then we finished the game with four on the park. Not many teams in the Lowland League do that away to Berwick, so to dominate the last 35 minutes was a credit to the boys.
“All day we’ve been thinking about tomorrow. Cammy (McKinley) was actually coming off, and then he scored, so we had to sacrifice Ben (Woloszyn) in the middle, who was playing really well on his first Lowland League start.
“Then Isa (Aslanoglu) got his first senior goal, we had the under-20s captain and vice-captain out there, so I’m really happy for those boys.
“They’re all part of the first team squad, so they’re all needed, but credit to all the boys who came in tonight. Tomas Gilmour at right-back, on his first start for the club, was excellent, Mirzasalimov played well, and Euan McGill – the captain tonight – was excellent.
“We had three of our back four from the under-20s start the game with Finlay (Bainbridge) at left-back, so I’m really proud of the boys, and it was a deserved point.”
The Uni travelled to Berwick with their BUCS Premier North campaign set to kick off the following afternoon.
Geddes, therefore, made seven changes to the starting 11 from Saturday’s win, but it didn’t look like a makeshift Uni side.
Buronbek Mirzasalimov and Ben Woloszyn both had chances in the first ten minutes, but Berwick goalkeeper Calum Antell was equal to both.
The opening goal then perhaps came against the run of play, but it was a well-taken one. Liam Buchanan went by two Uni defenders before curling in low from inside the box.
And ten minutes into the second half, Stirling fell further behind. Alex Harris’ corner was met by Travis, who headed in a Rangers second.
Geddes remained hopeful that his side could find a way back into the game and up stepped McKinley to kickstart the comeback.
The striker was allowed to drive towards goal before cutting onto his right and finding the far corner on 66 minutes for a third goal in his last five games.
Stirling threw everything at Berwick, who defended their lead stoutly until an unlikely hero got the Uni their due reward.
With three minutes left on the clock, Aslanoglu got the final touch on a ball across the Berwick box, which trickled over the line to rescue a well-earned point for the travelling students.
Berwick Rangers: Antell, Nelson, Travis, Pyper, Taylor, Sabatini (Fenton 57), Sinclair, Harris, Graham, Allan, Buchanan (Baker 71)
University of Stirling: Godik, Gilmour, Service (Southern 64), Aslanoglu, Bainbridge, Russell (Torreggiani 76), Heal (Grooms 64), Woloszyn (Rae 64), Mirzasalimov (Burrows 83), McGill, McKinley