The University of Stirling men’s first football team earned their first win of the Lowland League season, deservedly beating Caledonian Braves 1-0.
Cameron Mckinley continued his strong early-season form to score the game’s only goal at Forthbank.
Head Coach Chris Geddes said: “We’re pleased with the result, disappointed with the amount of chances we created but 3 points and the first win of the season really gets us looking forward.”
“People probably think ‘he says that every week this guy!’ but we did have a lot of chances, all credit of course to their defenders and their goalie who made two or three good saves but we think we should be picking the better options.”
Stirling started on the front foot and got their reward after 6 minutes. James Russell won the ball high up the pitch. He played in Ben Maciver-Redwood, who cut the ball back from the right side of the box for Mckinley to finish.
The Uni remained relentless after the opener and could’ve had a second through Maciver-Redwood. The forward was released by Mckinley. However, his low shot was denied by the leg of Bernie White in the Braves goal.
White’s save signalled a spell of pressure for the Braves as they penned the Uni back in their own half. Daniel Martins came the closest to an equaliser, heading wide from 6 yards after a recycled set piece.
The Uni had enough chances to be more comfortable going into the break. However, the second half saw them have enough to produce a statement result.
First up was Maciver-Redwood, who fired at White from a tight angle after good work from James Stokes.
Maciver-Redwood then produced an exceptional save from White, who would outdo himself from the following corner by somehow tipping Isa Aslanoglu’s point-blank header over the bar.
Again, Stokes was involved. He kept another corner alive and played the ball across an open goal but nobody in green could capitalise.
Mckinley was next up to test White, firing from a Maciver-Redwood cutback but the American saved again.
Perhaps the most miraculous piece of goalkeeping from the Braves man came with 5 minutes left to play. Mckinley did excellently to keep hold of the ball on halfway and send Maciver-Redwood through. His shot was blocked but it fell kindly for Mckinkey who fired at goal from 5 yards. Unluckily, his shot was saved by the face of White.
The Uni saw out the final few minutes professionally to see out the 1-0 victory. The only negative was that they didn’t score the goals that their performance deserved.
Stirling will hope to carry this high-level performance into Wednesday’s exciting trip to League 2 Clyde FC in the second round of the SPFL Trust Trophy.
University of Stirling: Gromov Godik, Lavery, Aslanoglu, Service, Scally (Woloszyn 87), Russell, Stokes, Jeanes, McAninch (Malcolm 69), McKinley (Southern 90), Maciver-Redwood
See the full gallery from the match on the George Vekic Photography website.