By Andrew Robson at the Forthbank
The University of Stirling hit Tranent Juniors for five at the Forthbank on Wednesday evening as they continued to push at the top end of the Lowland League.
Despite an early setback, the Uni took control and dominated the game, ultimately emerging victorious with a 5-2 scoreline.
After seeing his side put in a stellar performance, head coach Chris Geddes said: “Tranent came out really fast the first ten minutes but then after that, I thought we were excellent.
“It was a tough game for a while in the middle of the first half, but then we showed our class today.
“In the second half, I thought that we were outstanding, and we limited Tranent to very little.”
Tranent would take an early lead through Aiden Walsh after early pressure from the away side. Stirling came close to an equaliser through Calum Rae’s free header, but it sailed wide of the post and minutes later Fry saved well from a similar Tranent effort.
Two quick-fire goals on the half-hour mark flipped the game. First Jarvis stole the ball high up the pitch, slipping the ball into Ben Maciver-Redwood who found the bottom corner.
Then, following brilliant work from James Russell, Maciver-Redwood raced down the right-hand side and whipped in an excellent cross for Calum Rae who smashed it into the roof of the net from close range.
With all the momentum now with the hosts they pushed for a third before halftime. Ciaran McAninch went close from the edge of the box, and then the winger delivered a series of corners that caused Kelby Mason and the Tranent defence problems.
That pressure would pay off on the stroke of half-time. A free-kick towards the back post was met by Jake Service, who cut it back for the captain James Berry to score his first of the evening.
Stirling started the second half as they ended the first, pinning Tranent in their half.
Maciver-Redwood’s grabbed his second when Jarvis passed him the ball with his back to goal. The striker, who caused the Tranent backline problems all game, quickly spun around and scored clinically with his left foot.
Tranent pulled a goal back against the run of play on the hour mark through Daryl Healy. But, any hopes of a Tranent comeback were dashed soon after.
Maciver-Redwood was awarded a penalty, which Berry struck towards the centre of the goal. Despite Mason’s effort to get a glove on it, the ball ultimately ended up in the net.
Stirling nearly made it six when Jason Jarvis struck the inside of the post from 30 yards out.
With less than 15 to play Service was cautioned for a foul on the edge of the box, although much of the travelling support called for more.
Adam McGowan hit the bar direct from a corner late on, which would prove to be Tranent’s only real opportunity for a third as the game came to a conclusion.
The result puts the Uni four points behind leaders Spartans with three games left to play in the Lowland League. The tricky run of fixtures continues on Saturday with an away trip to Rangers B.
University of Stirling FC: Fry, Service, Lavery, Heal, Russell, Berry, Jarvis (Munro 82’), McAninch (McGill 82’), Stokes, Rae (McKinley 58’), Maciver-Redwood (Thompson 68’).
Tranent Juniors: Mason, Donaldson, Somerville, Barr, Bauld, O’Connor, Reid, Murphy, Healy, Miller, Walsh.