By John Turnbull at Forthbank
Stirling University continue to exceed expectations in the Lowland League after a deserved 2-0 win over title favourites East Kilbride on Saturday.
Striker Cameron McKinley has had a prolific fortnight and extended his goalscoring run with a match-winning double.
The students started well, and McKinley opened the scoring with ten minutes on the clock before sealing an excellent home win with a well-taken 58th-minute strike.
Head coach Chris Geddes said: “Considering the number of games these boys play, to beat a really good side, playing against paid professionals, makes me proud.
“I don’t look up; we’re doing well, but we take one game at a time. The teams who spend money and whose goal is to win promotion, that’s what they do, but we’ll keep working the boys and try to make them better.
“(James Berry) was the same on Wednesday, he keeps producing, and he’s getting better; he’s getting around the park more, he’s more physical, and he controls games.
“We have real confidence in this group, whereas in previous years, we would change formations to play a team like East Kilbride.
“We back our players this season, so we know we can play our shape, and if we keep playing like that, teams won’t get an easy game against us.”
Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Nottingham Trent University filled the Stirling students with confidence ahead of a test with Kevin Rutkiewicz’s side.
After ten minutes, the Uni showed why they were the team in form as McKinley scored his first.
James Stokes went by BJ Coll with ease down the right before cutting the ball back to Maciver-Redwood, who controlled it for McKinley to strike.
The visitors began to find their feet in the game, but Stirling had the best chance to score the games second goal in the first half.
Ben Heal was set through on goal by McKinley but saw his effort across it cruelly rebound off the post.
With just four minutes played of the second period, it was East Kilbride’s turn to hit the woodwork.
Recent signing Reg McLaren got the slightest touch on the ball to knock it past Fry in the Uni goal, but it trickled back into his grasp off the same far post.
Just as the away side looked like producing a response, McKinley finished expertly to double Stirling’s lead.
Having run the away defence ragged for much of the afternoon, Stokes was allowed to drive through the pitch and lay it off to McKinley to curl in an eighth goal of the season.
He said: “I’m delighted to be scoring goals, but I can’t do it without the boys around me. I’m gelling well with Ben up top, the 3-5-2 is working, and I’m enjoying it.”
Matty Burrows would have been disappointed with his late header to add a third, but alongside Jake Service and Marcus Lavery defended superbly to see out the game and record a fifth consecutive win.
University of Stirling: Fry, Lavery, Service, Burrows, Berry, Heal (Grooms 88), Stokes, McAninch (McGill 71), Maciver-Redwood (Thompson 71), Russell, McKinley (Munro 84)
East Kilbride: Lyle, MacDonald, Coll (Munro 13), Page (Taylor 80), Bronksy, G. Miller (Morgan 45), R. Hughes, McLaren (Victoria 61), McGuire, McLaughlin, Docherty