By Andrew Robson at the Forthbank
The University of Stirling’s exceptional season continued on Wednesday night as they triumphed against Celtic B 2-1 at the Forthbank.
First-half strikes from Jason Jarvis and James Stokes gave the students a deserved two-goal lead at the break, but the away side pulled one back just minutes into the second half through Daniel Cummings.
Despite increasing Celtic pressure, the Uni held out for all three points, taking them above their opponents in the table.
After the game head coach Chris Geddes was quick to praise a dogged performance in the second half. He said: “We defended for our lives. The boys were excellent. Some of the tackles and blocks.
“They threw everything at us and had us pegged in, but we still looked dangerous on the break.
“We had to work really hard today to get those three points.”
The Uni started on the front foot and forced Celtic B into errors at the back. First Jarvis tested Joe Morrison from range, while Stokes caused the away side all sorts of problems down the left-hand side.
However, despite the Uni pressure, Celtic thought they had taken the lead through Joey Dawson but the linesman quickly raised his flag.
Moments later Jarvis opened the scoring following some neat play around the Celtic box. Captain James Berry turned and slipped the ball through to Ben MacIver-Redwood who set the ball back for Jarvis. The midfielder’s strike into the bottom corner gave Morrison little chance.
The students continued to cause Celtic problems. MacIver-Redwood led the line extremely well, while the backline struggled to cope with Jarvis and Stokes’ linkup play.
On minute 38 the home side doubled their lead. A deep cross from Matty Burrows dropped to Jarvis in the box who played it back to the overlapping Stokes. His left-footed strike was too powerful for Morrison who only managed to help the ball into the back of the net.
The Uni looked to carry the forward momentum into the second half. A deep Stokes cross required the keeper to tip the ball onto the bar and away for a corner.
But it was the away side who scored just minutes after the restart as they looked to spark a comeback. Winning the ball high up it came to Cummings after some quick interplay. The substitute coolly slotted the ball past Fry.
The early goal changed the game as Celtic increasingly applied pressure to find an equaliser.
However, despite their push, they created few clear-cut chances. The defence held firm, limiting Celtic to strikes from range. The closest they came was a long strike that deflected and looped towards goal, but Ben Fry saved well at full stretch.
Still dangerous on the counterattack, the hosts could have extended their lead late on, first McGill tested Morrison before substitute McKinley smashed the post.
The Uni weathered the Celtic B storm, holding on for a well-earned three points. Following victory Geddes said: “Our guys showed plenty of heart, courage and desire this evening.
“This result will give us real good confidence going into the last two months of the season.”
University of Stirling: Fry, Lavery, Burrows, Service, Berry, Russell, Jarvis (McAninch 76’), Heal (McGill 76’), Stokes, Rae (Gilmour 68’), MacIver-Redwood (McKinley 53’)
Celtic B: Morrison, Dede, Mackenzie, Corr, Robertson, Ure, Davison, Carse, Dawson, Letsosa, Quinn