The University of Stirling men’s first football team have bowed out of the Scottish Cup, losing to visitors Albion Rovers in front of the BBC Scotland cameras.
Shea Scally levelled the game after Bright Prince opened the scoring, but goals from Joe Bevan and Niyah Joseph saw the visitors triumph 3-1 at Forthbank.
Head Coach Chris Geddes said: “we’re really disappointed to lose, we didn’t play badly at times but when you defend like we did at the start of the second half the game could’ve been out of sight.”
“We got in good areas but made the wrong choices at times, we’ve got such talented players in the forward areas but we need to be creating more chances for them.”
It was a cagey opening to the tie with chances at a premium. James Stokes found Cameron McKinley in the box who produced a strong low save from Ross Connelly in the game’s first chance.
The first half then sparked into life as Rovers took the lead. The University switched off at a corner which allowed Rovers to clip a ball into the box. Yan Gromov Godik dealt with the initial header but, after a goal-line scramble, Bright Prince was able to fire home.
Stirling almost found their equaliser before the break as Ciaran McAninch curled an excellent free-kick onto the crossbar with Connelly in goal beaten.
Scally strike not enough for Uni
The University would only take five minutes to equalise in the second half. McKinley and Marcus Lavery both had shots blocked from the left side, allowing the ball to fall perfectly for Scally to fire an unstoppable strike into the far corner.
Despite the setback, Rovers began to create good chances and should’ve retaken the lead just three minutes after losing it. A low cross from the right flashed across the goal but Prince’s attempted flick trickled harmlessly away.
The visitors would have their lead before the hour mark through a piece of brilliance from Joe Bevan. The forward took the ball on the halfway line and drove down the right wing, before drifting inside and unleashing a powerful strike into the top right corner.
A third goal would come after 64 minutes. Prince showed his strength down the right to create space for a cross, which picked out Niyah Joseph to finish comfortably.
Stirling pressed forward to find a way back into the game and went very close through substitute Vonk. The striker’s shot was deflected and seemed destined for the top corner, only for Connelly to produce a stunning save to tip the ball around the post.
Vonk would see a header saved by Connelly with two minutes to spare as the Uni were unable to find a way back into the game. Geddes’ side will now return their focus to the Lowland League when they face Celtic B on Saturday.
University of Stirling: Gromov Godik, Heal, Jeanes, Aslanoglu, Lavery, Russell (Vonk 65), Scally (Malcolm 72), McAninch, Maciver-Redwood (Docherty 72), McKinley (Manomey 76), Stokes (Woloszyn 76).
Featured image credit: Jeff Holmes