Uni edge out Gartcairn in penalty victory

The University of Stirling men’s first team have progressed into the second round of the South Challenge Cup, beating Gartcairn FC in a penalty shootout.

Kamil Krol opened the scoring with an outrageous strike from distance, but an equally audacious finish from captain Marcus Lavery saw the match level after 120 minutes.

The Uni were able to dispatch their visitors 3-0 in the shootout, bringing to an end a heated and highly competitive cup match.

Head Coach Chris Geddes said: “I’m really happy. We had a slow start but after 30 minutes I thought we dominated. Gartcairn made us fight for it but thankfully we came through on penalties.”

“Looking back it’s been a really good week and all credit goes to the boys for two deserved cup wins in the space of three days.”

After Saving a penalty in the shootout, Yan Gromov Godik said: “It’s good to help the boys. We went into the shootout confident because we practice a lot and I’m confident in my abilities.”

Gartcairn started the game with real intensity and almost took the lead inside a minute. A cross from the left found Reegan Aitken in space, he had time to place his strike but dragged wide of the far corner.

The visitors took the lead after 16 minutes. Krol was awarded space on the left wing to cut inside and take aim from 25 yards, finding the top right corner of Gromov Godik’s goal.

The Uni mounted pressure on their opponents and found their equaliser on the hour. An attack down the left was recycled back to Marcus Lavery, he drove into the space left and produced an identical strike to Krol’s opener, flying into the top right corner off the post.

Continuing to dominate, Stirling had chances to win the game in regulation time. Alex Jeanes first headed wide at close range from a corner then saw Liam Russell comfortably save his shot from 10 yards.

Gartcairn manager Michael Dunlop was sent to the stands for improper conduct on the sideline as the game entered extra time. The visitor’s physio would also see red in the moments before the penalty shootout.

Extra time saw The Uni continue to go forward but found chances hard to come by. Early substitute Abel Manomey combined well with Maciver-Redwood in the box but his tame finish was comfortable for the keeper.

The tie seemed destined for a shootout until James Malcolm was bundled over in the box, giving Stirling an opportunity to take the lead with five minutes to play. 

Manomey stepped up confidently but placed his penalty wide of the right post, sending the game to a shootout for a place in the second round.

Ben Heal, Maciver-Redwood and Archie Munro dispatched their spot kicks for Stirling whilst Gartcairn failed to convert any of their three, meaning the hosts booked their place in the next round.

The Uni will now face Thorniewood United on the 16th September at Robertson Park for a place in the third round.

See the full gallery for the match on the George Vekic Photography website.

University of Stirling: Gromov Godik, Lavery, Morris (Jeanes 45), Aslanoglu, Southern (Navarro 107), Malcolm, Woloszyn (Munro 58), Russell (Heal 58), McAninch (Torreggiani 102), Maciver-Redwood, Stokes (Manomey 31)

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