Strollers hold off Uni in goalless draw

By John Turnbull at Christie Gillies Park

It wasn’t to be a fourth consecutive win for the University of Stirling on Saturday, but a 0-0 draw with Civil Service Strollers ensured the unbeaten run stretched to 12 matches.

Stirling had the better chances in a tight game but couldn’t grab a winner in the second half, despite seeing two efforts crash off the post.

Head coach Chris Geddes said: “for 35 minutes of that second half, we were on top, and we should’ve won.

“Ben [Maciver-Redwood] and Matty [Burrows] hit the post, and we had some other good opportunities, but fair play to Civil – they defended really well.

“Some might say both teams deserved a point, but we had the best chances, so we are disappointed we didn’t take them.

“We can take positives from today, in the sense that we made six changes, and we played against a team in the top half of the league and kept a clean sheet.

“The six that came in did well, and it shows the strength of our squad that we can bring these boys in, and they can produce a good performance.

“It would be impossible today to play everyone and do the same on Tuesday and again next weekend, because they are all key games.

“We are taking every game as it comes, but we do realise the significance of each game, but I’m really happy with the boys who came in.

“It was still a really good point today, considering the opposition and the pitch, but also the number of changes we made, so we are happy.”

With a bustling fixture schedule, Geddes changed the majority of the lineup that reached the final of the BUCS National Championships on Wednesday.

Jack Docherty was one of six players to come in and almost put the Uni in front on 32 minutes.

From a Civil corner, Ben Heal flashed forward on the counter and picked out Docherty waiting on the penalty spot, but his shot was saved well by Mac Whyte.

In the opposite goal, Ben Fry had to stay alert as Harry Girdwood took aim on a few occasions, but Fry was far from troubled.

As Stirling upped the intensity in the second half, Burrows was the first to strike the woodwork.

On 53 minutes, the defender jumped highest at the back post, and his header was denied by the frame of the goal.

Just 15 minutes later, the Uni came inches away from leading again.

Substitute Maciver-Redwood latched on to an awkwardly-bouncing ball over the Civil defence, but his left-footed effort came back into play off of the woodwork.

Forced to settle for a draw, but Stirling would pick up a third clean sheet from the last four Lowland League games.

Another point on the board also cut the gap to Tuesday’s opponents, the Spartans, to just three points, with six games to play.

Civil Service Strollers: Whyte, Irving, Balatoni, Clarke, Duffy, Shaw, Cunningham, Sandford, Girdwood, Lawson, L. Kennedy

University of Stirling: Fry, Thompson, Burrows, Service, Bainbridge, Heal, Berry (Russell 79), Docherty (Jarvis 60), Munro (Lavery 79), Mirzasalimov (McAninch 35), McGill (Maciver-Redwood 60)

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