Uni prevail in back-and-forth battle with East Stirlingshire

McAninch celebrates his brilliant free-kick against East Stirlingshire

The University of Stirling men’s first football team took all three points at Falkirk Stadium, beating East Stirlingshire 3-2 in the Lowland League.

Ben Maciver-Redwood, Cameron McKinley and Ciaran McAninch were on target to earn The Uni the win an entertaining encounter.

Head Coach Chris Geddes said: “On chances alone, I think we deserved the win. East Stirlingshire had a lot of the ball but we created a lot more so we’re delighted to get the win.”

“It was a bit of an edgy finish from us but I was really happy with the goals and the quality we showed at times.”

Stirling made the ideal start, taking the lead after just two minutes. A James Russell corner from the left reached Maciver-Redwood at the back post to head in from three yards.

This early setback didn’t deter East Stirlingshire who were able to control possession in the first half. Shaun Brown drove down the left and picked out former Uni forward Jamie Penker, who headed over the host’s first chance.

Penker was involved again 15 minutes later as The Shire were unlucky not to equalise. Jack Hodge crossed for Penker who flicked a header onto the crossbar. The ball then remarkably rolled along the crossbar, falling kindly to a Uni man to clear.

The Shire went close again before half-time through Hodge. The ball was worked neatly on the edge of the box allowing Hodge to drive low, missing just wide after a deflection.

Stirling returned for the second half with more urgency and had chances to double their lead. Russell dragged a shot wide after good work from Alex Jeanes.

The second goal would come just before the hour mark. Intense pressing saw The Uni win the ball back in the final third, allowing McKinley to drive into the box and unleash an unstoppable strike into the bottom left corner.

East Stirlingshire again responded well to the goal but this time managed to find a goal themselves. Matt Flynn beat the offside trap to race in on Yan Gromov Godik, cooly taking the ball around the Stirling keeper and finishing into the empty net.

Just three minutes later though The Uni restored their two-goal advantage. Russell was fouled on the edge of the box and McAninch stepped up to curl a brilliant free-kick into the top left corner.

The Shire refused to give up and cut the lead in half again with 15 minutes left to play. A deep free-kick found Sam Young at the back post who looped his header over Gromov Godik and into the far corner.

Discipline was required for The Uni to see the result out and they managed to limit the hosts to few opportunities. A shot that sailed over the bar and some good tracking back from Russell to intercept a dangerous position in the box was enough to seal the victory for Stirling.

The Uni will now take their eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions into Sunday’s Lowland League clash with Tranent at Forthbank.

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

University of Stirling: Gromov Godik, Lavery, Aslanoglu, Southern (Morris 75), Scally (Navarro 87), Russell, Heal (Malcolm 67), McAninch, Jeanes, Maciver-Redwood (Tallen 87), McKinley

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