by Peter Lynch
Stirling University Men’s Football 2nd XI made it three wins from three in their BUCS Scottish 1A league as they overcame Edinburgh Napier 1st XI 3-2 in a thrilling match last Wednesday.
Stirling started the brightest in this intense affair as they kept the ball for long periods. However, the crucial final ball was lacking in the final third. Both sides then went in search for the first goal and as tackles came flying in, Napier pounced on a loose ball and generated a dangerous attack.
A threatening cross managed to sneak into the six-yard box as the Stirling defence seemingly switched off, which proved costly as the ball landed at the opposition striker’s feet. The frontman found the back of the net with one touch to make it 1-0, and moments later his strike partner smashed an unstoppable shot which flew into the net to double their lead.
Much against the run of play, Stirling found themselves in major need of a goal. It eventually arrived deep into the first half, as a flowing team move led the ball to the feet of Burgess just inside the box. However, a deserved penalty was awarded as the opposing defender fouled the in-form striker prior to shooting. Burgess brushed himself off to take and score with a fantastic penalty, leaving the keeper helpless.
Stirling now had all the momentum, as Mitchell drove through the midfield with a powerful run before sliding in Burgess, who found the back of the net with ease for his second of the game.
The second half started as the first finished; all square and with the home side pushing for the win. This almost arrived on the hour mark when Gilbert turned his man and fired a fizzing shot on his weaker foot which came agonisingly close. Seconds later, in a surging run from left back, he set up Burgess for what was seemingly his easiest chance of the game, but his effort rolled inches wide.
Midway through the second half, however, saw the crucial winning goal arrive. A magnificent whipped cross from Dey landed on the head of Burgess, who couldn’t miss with a simple header.
The fantastic comeback, inspired by a perfect hat-trick from Burgess, leaves the team top of the league after three consecutive victories.