The University of Stirling men’s first team have toppled league opposition to score another famous cup upset, beating Clyde FC 3-1 in the SPFL Trust Trophy.
Cameron McKinley opened the scoring before an own goal and an excellent James Stokes finish secured a memorable victory at New Douglas Park.
Head coach Chris Geddes said: “I’m pretty lost for words right now and I like a chat! Before the game we were telling the boys to enjoy it and that it was almost a free hit!”
“We were outstanding, they couldn’t get near us at times when we were passing it past them. We had a really tough 15-20 minutes in the second half but we came back into it and were excellent.”
The game began tightly as the Uni matched their League 2 hosts both for energy and quality. Peter Grant headed wide from six yards in what was the best chance of an even first 30 minutes.
Stirling would find the breakthrough just three minutes later as the Clyde defence allowed the ball to bounce in their half, leaving McKinley the opportunity to race through on goal and slot past Jack Leighfield.
Goalscorer McKinley said: “The boys are buzzing! Each to a man working hard there’s no better feeling in football, it’s brilliant!”
“I scored one similar against Spartans last year when you get that break of the ball. You just run and hope you can slot it past the keeper, I’m delighted.”
The Uni would’ve been disappointed not to go in at half-time with a two-goal lead as Ciaran McAninch found space in the box, but could only slice his shot wide of the left post.
Clyde started the second half on the front foot as they looked for an equaliser with Fraser Malcolm heading over from a Cameron Mulvanny cross.
The hosts would only have to wait five more minutes though as Conor Scullion found the leveller. Scullion picked up the ball in midfield and drove at Marcus Lavery, who unfortunately slipped allowing the Clyde man the space to coolly chip over Yan Gromov Godik.
Clyde’s equaliser did not dishearten Geddes’ side though as the Uni regained control of the ball. Substitutes James Malcolm and Ben Woloszyn especially gave the visitors extra energy in the midfield battle.
This energy was pivotal as the Uni retook the lead. McKinley saw his shot blocked in the box but was able to keep hold of the ball and play it hard across the area, cannoning off Clyde defender Erik Sula and into the roof of the net.
Persistency was again key as Stirling secured the victory in the dying moments. Stokes fought tirelessly for the ball on halfway, eventually breaking through and producing a wonderful chip to ensure a special victory for the Uni.
Stirling will now wait to find out their reward as the next round of the SPFL Trust Trophy will be drawn at 1 pm on Thursday.
University of Stirling: Gromov Godik, Jeanes, Aslanoglu, Lavery, Morris (Southern 75), Scally (Woloszyn 80), Russell, Munro (Malcolm 60), McKinley, McAninch, Stokes
Featured image credit: Jonathan Boomer