Stirling Uni continue league struggles after defeat to Gala

By Edwin Finsterbusch at Netherdale

The University of Stirling men’s team continued their staggered start to their Lowland League campaign by losing to Gala Fairydean Rovers 2-0 at Netherdale.

Gala striker Jamie Semple proved to be the difference, scoring the first goal, and assisting substitute Gospel Ocholi for the second late on.

Uni Head coach Chris Geddes said: “Really disappointing for us. We’re doing well at stages but we’re not keeping the goals out and not scoring many.

As a coach I need to look at myself, we all do as well because it’s not enough, we don’t look like a team that’s going to win games right now after having an eight-game unbeaten run. Last couple we haven’t played well enough.”

This game began eerily like last week’s game. Uni started on the front foot, pressing high, winning midfield battles, and controlling the game.

It was Gala who would have the first big chance in the game. After some good work off the left flank, 20-year-old Kyle Reid had a pot shot rattle off the bar.

While Gala started to control proceedings, the students came forward with a chance of their own. A first touch ball round the corner from Redwood found Ben Heal bursting forward on the left.

The ball moved from left to right finding Alex James who looked destined to score but had his shot deflected by a last-ditch tackle.

This proved to be the wake-up call Gala needed. Just five minutes later, a long-lofted ball straight through the middle found Jamie Semple, who held off two defenders and finished cooly past the keeper.

Alex James would come close twice to equalise. First in the 26th minute, dragging a shot just wide of the mark from a tight angle, and again two minutes before the break.

Ben Southern’s effort forced a save from Jay Cantlay, which he parried straight towards James, who was denied again by an outstretched leg.

Clinical edge missing as Gala makes Stirling Uni pay

A minute after the restart Cammy Mckinley latched onto a through ball from Ben Heal, and beat his man with ease on the outside, but his shot across goal was saved well by Cantlay.

In the 53rd minute, a whipped corner from Ciaran McAninch was met by Maciver Redwood whose header strayed agonizingly over the bar.

Stirling was getting into good positions but was just lacking the cutting edge to unlock the resilient Gala defence.

But again, Gala rode out the pressure and was back in the flow of things.

Yan Gromov made a big save to prevent Jamie Semple’s second on the hour mark. Two more chances would go begging for Gala a couple of minutes later.

As Stirling began to open, Gala sealed the game in the 88th minute. After some great individual work, Semple cut the ball back to Gospel Ocholi who rolled the ball into the empty net.

Gala should have had a third in additional time, rattling the post twice from close range.

It proved to be another disappointing afternoon for the students in the league.  

Stirling Uni head back to Forthbank on Wednesday night, facing up against Albion Rovers in the Lowland League.

University of Stirling: Gromov Godik, Southern (Woloszyn 71), Aslanoglu (Mirzasalimov 76), Lavery, Scally, Russell (Morris 71), Heal (Torregiani 76), James, McKinlay, Maciver Redwood (Manomey 57), McAninch

Feature image credit: Thomas Brown

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