By Andrew Robson at the Forthbank
Goals from MacIver-Redwood and Rae secured victory for the University of Stirling against the Cumbernauld Colts at the Forthbank on Saturday.
In a game full of chances, the Uni have keeper Ben Fry to thank for their clean sheet as he twice denied the Colts one-on-one. But, an authoritative second-half performance from the students keeps them just four points behind leaders Rangers B in the Lowland League.
Head coach Chris Geddes said: “I’m not going to lie, some of them got a kick up the backside at half time, they all did as a team because I thought we had fallen below the standards we’ve set here.
“But I guess that is a testament to the players that we are one-nil up at halftime against a good team and I am giving them stick.
“The first 25 minutes of the second half showed how good we are, and we are delighted with three points and a clean sheet.”
Opportunities were abundant for both sides in a frantic first half. First MacIver-Redwood and McKinley had chances for the home side before Mortimer found himself one-on-one with Fry, who produced a fine save with his left foot.
Moments later McIntyre cut inside from the edge of the box, but his tame shot was straight at the keeper.
However, despite the increasing pressure from the away side, it was Stirling who took the lead. A short corner caught Cumbernauld off guard as James Berry’s inswinging cross was met by Ben MacIver-Redwood. The striker rose high and headed into an empty net with keeper Ryan Adamson stuck in no man’s land.
The end-to-end nature of the first half was summed up in one move. From a Colts corner, the Uni broke away but a heavy touch from Rae presented the ball to Adamson in goal, who quickly played the ball forward. Hatfield then also found himself one-on-one but he was superbly denied by Fry who kept his side leading at the break.
From the restart the Uni took control. Captain James Berry was outstanding as the Colts struggled to break as they did in the first 45.
Following a strong spell of possession, the students grabbed their second midway through the half.
Much like the first, the second came from an inswinging Berry cross. The midfielder found Matty Burrows at the back post who knocked it back across for Calum Rae to force the ball over the line.
The Colts did push late on by Fry was equal to their efforts.
Following victory Geddes praised his goalkeeper for an outstanding performance between the sticks. He said: “Listen he was excellent, the game got summed up in one sequence, we went clean through, Cal Rae took a bad touch, they counterattacked and then Ben made a save when the forward was clean through.
“Both goalies made good saves today.
“But Ben has come on leaps and bounds in his time with us and whoever is lucky enough to have him after us will have a very good goalkeeper.”
The Uni are back in action on Wednesday when they face Nottingham Trent University at the Gannochy. Kick-off is 3:15 pm.
University of Stirling: Fry, Lavery, Service, Burrows, Berry, Russel, Rae (Thompson 77’), MacIver-Redwood (McGill 77’), Stokes, Heal (Munro 87’), McKinley (McAninch 87’)
Cumbernauld Colts: Adamson, McIntyre, Home, Holmes, Hunter, MacPherson, Mortimer, Munro, McKnight, Ewen, Hatfield