|21st September 2016||19:45||Ferrari Packaging Lowland League||2016-17|
|Stirling University Football Club||1||Loss|
Shire put the disappointment of a weekend defeat at Selkirk out of mind and recorded a comprehensive victory over Stirling University at Ochilview on Wednesday evening.
Coach John Sludden made two changes from the Selkirk match, giving a place at right-back to Adam Murray and handing teenager Simon White his first-ever start for the senior team.
A slow start had been costly in their last game and Shire were not about to make the same mistake again. Straight from the kick-off Kris Faulds found himself with space for a shot from inside the box which was blocked for a corner and then Andy Rodgers cracked a 20 yarder just wide.
But the visitors had not come just to make up the numbers; they fought for their share of possession and passed the ball to good effect, posing a number of problems for Shire, especially with the pace of their wide men.
However, they were slightly let down by their final ball.
A great Derek Ure free-kick at the other end was just missed by Connor Greene as he shaped up for what might have been a net-bursting header and on 16 minutes Rodgers came close from inside the box.
After 20 minutes, though, Shire did take the lead. Some nice play set up Kris Faulds for a cross from wide on the right and he delivered with laser-like precision for Rodgers to head into the back of the net from just six yards.
But barely two minutes later the visitors were level when Shire failed to deal properly with a cross from the right and Ross Kellock, unmarked at the back post, looped a shot into the net.
However the response to that setback was almost instant. Right from the re-start the ball was worked to White, whose pass in behind the defence set David Grant clear. The striker had his legs taken from him by the visiting keeper as he rounded the prone goalie and Rodgers restored the advantage from the resulting penalty kick.
Shire were now a bit more at ease. Marshall in the visiting goal became much busier, beating away a Rodgers shot at full stretch, denying David Grant a certain goal with an outstretched leg and then acrobatically tipping over a Jamie Glasgow effort.
A minute before the break Shire notched a third goal when Rodgers’ flick played in Glasgow who scored with a lovely curling effort from 20 yards out.
Four minutes after the half-time interval it was 4-1 as Faulds’ cross from the right was back-heeled across the face of goal for David Grant to shoot home his eleventh league goal of the season.
Stirling University made some personnel and tactical changes and the substitutions certainly helped them have more of an influence on the game although they were rarely able to test Jamie Barclay in the Shire goal.
The home team grew content to preserve energy and retain possession for long stretches without creating a great deal in attack themselves. As the game wore on Rodgers and Glasgow were allowed to put their feet up early and were replaced by Dylan McGuigan and Lewis Peddie, and their task was helped in 70 minutes when Stirling University’s Angus Mailer was sent-off for a late challenge on White.
Shire finished with a flourish. David Grant fired in a cracking shot which the keeper did brilliantly to save and Peddie headed just over at the near post.
SHIRE : Barclay, Murray, Ramsay, A.Grant,Greene, White(MacGregor 75), Rodgers(Peddie 80), Ure, Faulds, D. Grant, Glasgow (McGuigan 66).
STIRLING UNIVERSITY : Marshall, Mailer, Cuff, Nixon, Tuohy(Fitzpatrick 53), Bonar(Byrne 56), Moyes, Gillen, Jones, McCafferty, Kellock.
|East Stirlingshire Home Ground|
|55 Gladstone Rd, Stenhousemuir, Larbert FK5, UK|