Ball time pays dividends for Stirling in League Cup

Kelso United vs Peebles. Damian McNulty for Kelso.
Kelso United vs Peebles. Damian McNulty for Kelso.
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United made their exit from the League Cup on Saturday when going down to a well-drilled University side at Gannochy Sports Centre.

Two goals within a minute early in the first half proved a body blow for the Tweedsiders and to compound the result the home side added to their tally seven minutes into the second half.

“Errors at the back and lack of potency up front,” was the summary from manager Prof Blaikie, who added: “We cannot expect to beat teams like these if you give them time on the ball.

“We were always chasing the game once we went behind.”

United were first to have a shot on goal when a 20-yard free kick from Grant Gass saw University keeper Ed Tierney diving at the near post to turn the ball round the post for a corner.

The students nearly took the lead after 11 minutes when lively striker Ryan Millar ran on to a through ball, with only Elliott Turnbull to beat, however, the United No 1 was equal to the challenge and stuck out a leg to block the front man’s effort.

Turnbull was beaten three minutes later when the University opened the scoring. A sweeping move down the left hand flank saw winger Danny McBride beat a couple of defenders before slipping the ball inside to on-running full back Sheldon Jacobs, who coolly slotted home.

A minute later and United were two down as McBride picked up the ball on the left and swung a cross into the box. Damien McNulty seemed to have the danger covered, but the ball slipped past him to student Dai Polvara, who fired into the bottom corner of the net.

Midway through the half, Gass produced a good ball from midfield to Jamie Milner, whose shot hit the keeper at close range and was diverted away from danger.

Turnbull was then called into action again saving a right foot free kick at the near post from Calum Reid and then was at full stretch to stop a Polvara free kick from 20 yards.

United started well in the second period and a Liam Wallace header was cleared off the line by Jacobs from a Gass free kick.

The University went further in front in the 53rd minute. A cross from the right by defender Oliver Moungle found fellow defender Keith Glendinning unmarked in the box and the big centre half made no mistake with his header from eight yards out.

United tried manfully to retrieve something from the game, but it was the Students who finished the stronger with substitute Steven Forbes producing a reverse pass into Millar, but somehow the striker dragged the ball wide. Millar was almost on the scoresheet again in the last five minutes of the game and only a Darren Bowie header off the line prevented his shot from going in.