By John Turnbull at Broadwood Stadium
A goal either side of half-time from Ben Maciver-Redwood and James Stokes earned the University of Stirling a fifth consecutive win on Saturday.
The 2-0 win over Open Goal Broomhill gave Stirling a first clean sheet in seven games, but equally as impressive was the fluidity of the attacking football on display.
On another day, it might’ve been a wider margin victory, but the three points take the Uni up to third in the Lowland League table.
After a ‘fully deserved’ win, head coach Chris Geddes said: “they couldn’t live with us today with the press we put on them – we let them off the hook.
“We kept them to minimal shots at goal, they got into good areas, but from our perspective, what a performance. The second goal just knocked the stuffing out of them, and it was all us again after that.
“The boys are fighting for each other and working hard as a unit. Everyone is on the same page, and they know what we expect and want to do.
“The intensity and energy today were unbelievable. Fair play to Broomhill who tried to pass out, but they didn’t get through us many times. We got a lot of chances through that, and thankfully, we took them.
“You always want a clean sheet. The forwards take the credit for going up the other end, and I’ve been critical of them this season at times for not killing teams off, but I thought our defenders were excellent today – Ben, Jake, Matty, and Tomas.
“It was a proper team performance… but James Berry was excellent. He kept everything ticking over and always seemed to be around the ball.”
Geddes was delighted with his skipper’s midfield partners too, as ‘unsung hero’ James Russell quietly went about his business while Jason Jarvis linked defence with the attack.
And, Jarvis was almost the catalyst for an early Stirling goal. He set Cammy McKinley down the left for a two against-one with Russell waiting in the centre but for the cross to be cut out.
For all the chances the Uni created, a goal was deserved, and Ben Maciver-Redwood was rewarded for his relentless hold-up play.
Berry combined neatly with Jarvis before crossing right onto Maciver-Redwood’s head, and the striker nodded home a 16th goal of the season.
The hosts’ only real spell of possession came just after the restart, and Evan Maley had two great chances to find an equaliser.
On 55 minutes, the forward had an effort tipped over by Ben Fry following a swift counterattack before sliding a shot wide from close range a few minutes later.
But, on the hour mark, Stirling sealed a well-worked move to grab a nerve-settling second goal.
After driving through midfield, McKinley found his strike partner, who teed up Stokes on the overlap for his 10th goal in all competitions, and a ninth Lowland League goal this season.
At this point, Stirling could’ve put Simon Ferry’s side to the sword, but despite passing up chances late on, it would be a comfortable league double over Open Goal Broomhill.
The Uni welcome Cumbernauld Colts to Forthbank next Saturday, and Geddes added: “we have loads of games to play, so at the moment, we’ll enjoy this one and get back in next week.”
Open Goal Broomhill: Wilson, Grant, Broadfoot, McDonald (Tierney 46), Fraser, J. Semple, Watson (McCaw 69), Maley (Gemmell 69), Conroy, Moy, K. Semple (McLaughlin 28)
University of Stirling: Fry, Service, Burrows, Gilmour (Munro 91), Berry, Heal, Russell, Jarvis (McGill 80), Stokes, Maciver-Redwood (McAninch 70), McKinley (Rae 80)