United fought back to earn a deserved draw against a speedy University side at Woodside Park in this East of Scotland Qualifying League Cup clash.
The home team were two goals down with 15 minutes to play but a great piece of individual skill by teenager Ben Herdman and an own goal by Stirling defender Kieren Bullen earned the Tweedsiders a point.
Kelso got off to the worst possible start and were a goal down after four minutes when they lost the ball in midfield. Stirling right winger Christopher Martin didn’t need a second invitation and, having picked the ball up, crossed to the far post for Jack Malley to knock home from close range.
United should have equalised in the 11th minute as a great cross field ball from Sean Angus was headed across goal by Herdman to striker Kyle Auld, but somehow the home number nine managed to put it over the bar from three yards out.
Kelso racked up the pressure after the half hour mark and Shane Bonnington came close with a powerful header which whistled past the post.
United got the equaliser a minute later when Bonnington took off down the left and fed Owen Benzies. The Berwick youngster took a touch before unleashing an unstoppable 35-yard shot into the top corner of the net.
United started well in the second period and after good work by Herdman down the right the teenager crossed, only for Bonnington to fire over.
The students went in front again on the hour when the United defence were caught napping at a short corner. Edward Tierney took the corner and found defender Daniel Shields who laid the ball into the path of Lewis Green who drove home past diving United keeper John Patterson.
Ten minutes later the University made it three when a ball from midfield saw Martin out strip the defence and place the ball past the advancing Patterson.
United got their second goal with 15 minutes of the game remaining. Liam Hill received the ball down the left and passed inside to Herdman who waltzed through five tackles before shooting into the bottom corner of the net from 18 yards.
The home side had their tails up and after a great deal of pressure eventually got their reward with five minutes left when Johnny Waugh swung in a corner from the left and Kieren Bullen, trying to clear, headed past his own keeper.