By John Turnbull at Islecroft Stadium
The University of Stirling will play at least 70 games this season, after progressing into the quarter-finals of the Lowland League Cup on Saturday.
Goals from Jason Jarvis, Matty Burrows, and Calum Rae gave the Uni a three-goal lead at half-time before both sides took turns adding to the scoresheet.
Euan McGill extended the visiting lead while Rae grabbed a second, and Marcus Lavery capped the 6-2 scoreline with Dalbeattie goals in between the Stirling strikes.
Head coach Chris Geddes said: “It was the same down here last time; boys are scrapping, and they [Dalbeattie] gave it a good shot, but we had that quality, same as Coldstream away on Tuesday night.
“We were in control, and we knew that if we didn’t give them anything, the goals would come. We should have had more… but we’re delighted to be into the next round, and that’s all that mattered.
“We have 22 goals [Berry] at home, 19 goals [Maciver-Redwood] at home, and 18 goals [McKinley] sitting on the bench, to still score six is pretty impressive for our squad.
“It was great to end the game with three under-20s players coming on, and I thought they did well for the 15 minutes they were on.
“It’s always good to see them come up, and there is already a handful of players who came through the under-20s, so it shows we are willing to use these boys.”
Despite the fixtures still piling up, Geddes named a strong lineup to face basement club Dalbeattie Star, and it was his most experienced players who were involved early on.
Fourth-year student Euan McGill shot over from close range before Jamie Thompson drove forward with the ball and was inches away from finding him with a neatly threaded pass between the lines.
It felt like a matter of time before the opener, though, and on 20 minutes Jarvis received the ball on the half-turn and fired his shot in at the near post.
Then, on 36 minutes Matty Burrows, in his fifth year at Stirling, scored his 10th goal for the club with a perfectly placed free kick into the top right corner.
On the stroke of half-time, Stirling made it three, as Ciaran McAninch could hardly have placed his corner any better, and Rae headed in his first of the afternoon.
The Uni dominance continued into the second half when McGill tucked away a fourth as he beat the offside trap and tucked the ball away.
Dalbeattie remained competitive in the tie, though, and Jay Reilly got a consolation goal two minutes later with a sweet strike past Ben Fry into the top corner.
Stirling’s four-goal lead was restored five minutes later when Rae latched onto a ball over the Star defense and slotted in his second, but was again cut shortly after, as Steven Logan headed in another.
With little injury time to be played in a tie that had long been over, Marcus Lavery wrapped up a convincing display with a long-range effort which crept into the far corner.
The result sets up a quarter-final tie with Cowdenbeath at Central Park next Saturday, but up first for Stirling is an East of Scotland Qualifying Cup clash with Dundonald Bluebell on Wednesday night.
University of Stirling: Fry, Burrows, Service (Southern 75), Thompson (Lavery 65), McAninch, Russell, Jarvis (Woloszyn 75), Stokes (Kohring 75), Rae, McGill (Munro 65), Mirzasalimov