The University of Stirling have progressed to the next stage of the South Challenge cup after overcoming Whitehill Welfare 1-0 in the North and East third round.
The game got off to a slow start but when the first chance of the game arrived it called for a great save from Stirling goalkeeper Kevin Walker. The opportunity came after Aaron Somerville burst down the left wing and released a cross goal effort which looked destined for the bottom corner before Walker’s impressive intervention.
With the University ending most of their periods of possession with a high ball into the box, the opposition defence were happy enough to continually header out to prevent Stirling creating any real chances. The men in green then looked as if they may go a goal down when Whitehill winger Moffatt pinged a shot after cutting in from the left wing, but the drill was seen narrowly wide by Walker. Several similar efforts followed for Whitehill, but with the away side unable to convert, the match remained goalless after 45 minutes.
Whitehill quickly picked up where the left off, and the created their first chance of the new half after 60 minutes. After winger Steven Manson played a dangerous ball into the Stirling area, it required only a touch to send it goal wards and force Walker to tip the effort onto the post before the solid home defence cleared. Shortly after the heroic Kevin Walker saved Stirling again, after opposition striker Wayne MacIntosh was played into the box for a one on one. The attacker aimed for the bottom right corner, but Walker’s touch was enough to see the ball tipped wide for a corner that would come to nothing.
Stirling looked to get back into the match, and a period of possession allowed several dangerous crosses but it was substitute Chris McKee that came closest for the University with a 30 yard thump that narrowly missed the top corner. The home side’s persistence paid off however, and they miraculously snatched the winning goal five minutes from time.
After McKee played a deep cross to the right side of the box, the ball was cut back to centre goal by Blair McWhirter where the prolific Chris Geddes was waiting to turn and fire his side into the next round of the South Challenge cup with a one goal win.
Head Coach Ian Ross commented, “It was a hard fought victory, and we’ve had to change it about again with some more guys getting injured, but what a result that is, what a commitment from the players, and it is fantastic. Playing against your Spartans or Whitehills, to come out victors it is tremendous for all involved.”
“We take every game as it comes and we’ll need to patch some of the boys up for Wednesday, but I’m sure the momentum from today will help us for Wednesday and then of course we’ve got the cup final next Sunday which we’re really looking forward too.”
The University next face Manchester University away on the 16th November in the BUCS league.
University of Stirling: Walker, Nixon, Sheridan, Drummond, Atkins, McCaffrey, Pearson, Robertson, Parr-Gallagher, Geddes, Pentland
Subs: Hoyle, McWhirter, Dines, McKee, Harkness