By Nathan Hassett
The University of Stirling men’s first football team picked up their first point of the Lowland League season, drawing 1-1 with East Kilbride at Forthbank.
Cameron McKinley opened the scoring for the Uni but an Andrew Stirling strike earned a point for the visitors.
Head Coach Chris Geddes said: “To get a point against the favourites for the league, we’re delighted with that.”
“They had a lot of the ball and we had to fight for it but in the first half, we had a lot of opportunities. [In the] Second half we had to sit in good shape and we did that really, really well.”
The match began at an electric tempo with both sides playing quick football without creating chances. Liam Brown had the first chance at goal but his low drive was claimed by Yan Gromov Godik for Stirling.
Ben Maciver Redwood then raced up the other end to get past Chris McGowan but his strike was tipped wide of the near post.
The first half continued in an end-to-end fashion until the 36th minute when East Kilbride striker Ally Roy was shown a straight red card after an altercation with Marcus Lavery.
Stirling were able to capitalise on this numerical advantage on the stroke of half-time. Good pressure by Ciaran McAnich won the ball on the edge of the box, he then found McKinley who finished low into the far corner for his second goal of the season.
Controversial Decisions Frustrate Uni
Despite taking both a goal and player advantage into the second half, the Uni knew they would need to defend for long periods against one of the favourites for the league title.
East Kilbride piled the pressure on and found their equaliser after 63 minutes. Andrew Stirling received the ball on the right wing and after cutting inside, he released an unstoppable strike into the far corner from 25 yards out.
Just two minutes later the Uni were unfortunate not to win a penalty after a foul on Maciver Redwood. More impressive pressing saw the Uni win the ball, Maciver Redwood was then tackled strongly in the box but the referee waved play on.
Controversy would strike again with just five minutes left as the Uni were denied what they felt was a legitimate goal. James Stokes drove down the line and played the ball into the East Kilbride box, the ball cannoned around the area until McKinley seemingly bundled the ball over the line. The referee however disagreed and declared no goal to the disbelief of the Uni players and bench.
A late Gromov Godik save from Brown’s strike after a corner was the last action of an entertaining game. The Uni will be pleased with the result but perhaps disappointed in the second-half controversies that could’ve seen them claim all three points.
Stirling will look to build on this positive performance when they welcome Livingston U20s to Forthbank on Wednesday in the SPFL Challenge Cup.
University of Stirling: Gromov Godik, Southern, Aslanoglu, Morris, Scally (Malcolm 69), Russell (Munro 82), Stokes, McAninch (Woloszyn 82), Maciver Redwood (Jeanes 69) , McKinley
Featured Image Credit: East Kilbride FC