Champion students out in semi-finals after title defence

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University of Stirling’s strong run in the BUCS National Championships came to an end on Wednesday as the students lost 3-0 against Loughborough University.

First half goals from Tope Fadahunsi and Ethan O’Toole gave the long travelling visitors a comfortable lead going into half-time.

Stirling were a lot more positive in the second half and had chances to get back in the game before Matty Bowman’s goal put the students out of sight.

Head coach Chris Geddes said: “It was poor defending for the goals from us, which is something we have been really good at this BUCS season but today we got punished.

“Second half I thought we were better but we couldn’t get a goal to make the game interesting.

“I’m really proud of the boys for winning back-to-back BUCS Premier League North titles, and we still have lots to play for in the remaining games this season.”

Stirling had a golden chance to open the scoring after 16 minutes when Jamie Penker was fouled and a penalty awarded, but the referee soon overturned his own decision.

The away side seemed to get a lift from the decision, and the goal looked like it was coming. Fadahunsi was unmarked on the penalty spot, and guided his header into the far corner on 28 minutes.

The lead was doubled just eight minutes later when O’Toole was played through on goal before sliding the ball past Fry in the Stirling goal.

It was an inspired first half performance from a Loughborough side who looked a completely different proposition from the team beaten 5-0 and 2-0 by the Uni during the league campaign.

Geddes did get a response from his students in the second half. Penker and Jason Jarvis both had shots at goal, as Stirling tried to find a way back into the game.

Ten minutes after the restart Stirling missed a glaring opportunity to half the deficit. Jarvis done well to get his shot off and the ball rebounded to Joel Taylor who was free to head in at the back post, but the defender was unable to stretch enough to nod the ball down into the goal.

Stirling were punished again on 71 minutes when Bowman gave the students too high a mountain to climb as he nipped in at the back post to convert a square pass across the box.

University of Stirling: Fry, Lavery, Taylor (DeZoeten 71’), Burrows, McGale, Doan, Berry, Davidson (McArthur 61’), Jarvis, Kennedy (Rae 61’), Penker

Featured Image Credit: John Turnbull

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