By Andrew Robson at New Countess Park
Stirling University reached the third round of the Scottish Cup with a 3-1 win over Dunbar United.
Goals from Cammy McKinlay, Ben Maciver-Redwood and Jason Jarvis sealed victory after the East of Scotland First Division side took the lead through Darren Handling. Both sides ended the game with 10 men on the park as tempers flared late in the second half.
Head coach Chris Geddes was delighted with his players as they fought hard for a place in the third round. He said: “This is a good group of players, we’ve got some standout individuals, but as a group they complement each other really well.
“It’s a busy time for us but they’re not moaning, they’re just getting on with it.
“The boys showed a lot of character, I’m proud of them
“It’s the cup, it’s about just getting through, and the boys have done that.”
The students got off to the worst possible start. Jake Service got caught on the ball inside the Stirling half, Jonny Grotlin doing enough to get it to Darren Handling who slotted the ball past the keeper giving the home side the lead with only four minutes played.
Dunbar looked dangerous on the counter in the early exchanges, but the Uni soon took control of the game. The equaliser came from Cammy McKinlay, who placed the ball past the keeper following a shot from Jason Jarvis which felt kindly to the Uni striker.
The Uni’s second came just six minutes later when Ciaran McAninch whipped a cross in from the left. The ball found Maciver-Redwood as he headed home from six yards out.
Stirling nearly added a third moments later, Berry smashing the bar with a strike from outside the box.
The second half started as the first half ended. A series of chances fell the Uni’s way, but a combination of good defending and poor finishing kept the Seasiders in the tie.
The third goal did come on minute 65 when Jason Jarvis turned in the box, his shot deflecting past Dunbar keeper Sean Brennan.
The Uni seemed to have the game wrapped up, but Dunbar were thrown a lifeline when Service conceded a penalty and was given his marching orders as the last man.
With twenty minutes left to play the game was set for a frantic finish but Darren Smith had his spot kick well saved by Ben Fry. Fry said: “I just guessed and went the right way and got a hand to it.
“I always feel like I should be getting more clean sheets but it’s nice to help out the team even if we concede.”
Fry diving to his right to tip the ball past the post.
A man up, Dunbar started to apply the pressure with six-foot-six striker Cammy Dawson the target as they looked for a way back into the tie.
However, with less than five minutes left to play, the red mist descended on Darren Smith. The Dunbar midfielder picked up two yellow cards in as many minutes as it kicked off in front of the dugouts. Smith, losing the plot entirely as his frustrations boiled over.
The red card ended any chance of a comeback as both sides finished with 10 men in front of a noisy home crowd.
Following the victory, Geddes said: “I thought we started slowly, gifted them a goal let’s be honest. A good finish from the forward but we lost the ball and gave them it.
“It took us 10 to 15 minutes to get ourselves back on track, and from then until the red card in the second half I thought we fully deserved it and were pretty dominant.
“We had lots of opportunities to score, just wasteful in the box.
“We just need to enjoy it but then focus on what we didn’t do well as well.
“I’m really happy for the boys.”
Looking ahead to the draw Fry said: “If we play well, we can challenge anybody, so bring it on, we’ll see what happens.”
The draw for the third round takes place at 4 pm on Monday.
Dunbar United: Brennan, Hare (Redpath 59’), Thomson, Whitson, McFarlane, Miller (Smith 7’), Berry, Bathgate (Goldie 79’), Gregory (Dawson 46’), Handling, Grotlin.
University of Stirling: Fry, Burrows, Service, Lavery, Stokes (Mirzasalimov 90’), Heal, Berry, Jarvis (Russel 72’), McAninach (Gilmour 84’), McKinley (Rae 84’), Maciver-Redwood (Thompson 72’).