A back and forth game held spectators at Forthbank in bated breath but it’s BSC Glasgow who came away with the victory.
There were only a few changes to the squad that couldn’t break through Grenta on Tuesday; goalkeeper Stephen Barr got his first start of the season owing to Ryan Marshall’s broken finger, John Mitchell returned after his strange suspension, replacing Ross Smith who was recovering from a knock (or six) received at Gretna on Tuesday night. Tam Orr and Adam Strachan replaced the duo of Stevie Murray and Martin Grehan who were both out with injuries.
Only a minute into the game, Ross McMillan went forward with a hard tackle on Blair Lyons after a decent run which had University of Stirling boss Chris Geddes shouting for a booking. This however, only spurred on a refreshed BSC side as on the eighth minute Adam Strachan tore up the left flank and got a good low cross in to Declan Hughes who managed to put the ball down the middle beyond John Allen.
Amongst this opening fifteen minutes, Stephen Barr proved his worth with a few good recoveries that could’ve been equalisers. 18 minutes in, a fantastic run from Carlo Pignatiello, in only his second game, broke through the back line of Stirling and he played an fantastic pass under pressure to Tam Orr who struck a sweet low shot into the bottom left corner. The University side obviously felt the threat as they got a goal back seven minutes later when they capitalised on a defensive mix up from BSC and the ball landed at the feet of Thomas Cowley who turned smashed the ball in the left corner from outside the box.
Swifty’s squad were prepared to show that this wasn’t going to be a game they’d easily lose the lead when only two minutes later a great corner from Hughes met the head of skipper Ross McMillan who connected with a beautiful header to make it 3-1. The first half went out 50/50 with the referee strangely stopping the play on the 44th when Lewis Hunter went down with a calf injury despite BSC in the middle of a decent opportunity.
HALF TIME | STIRLING UNIVERSITY 1 – 3 BSC GLASGOW
The second half began much more back and forth than the first and the majority of Stirling’s chances were cut out by a masterful performance from skipper Ross McMillan. To maintain the performance levels, Callum McKenzie came on for Robbie Duncan who continued his return to fitness with a strong display.
In the 62nd minute, Stephen Barr had a worrying moment as Rory MacEwan’s shot from outside the box squirmed through Barr’s legs and toward the goal line; however a quick recovery ensured that Uni’s shouts for a goal were waved away by the referee.
As the second half progressed, the game appeared to have hit a brick wall, Bryan Prunty came on for David Winters and Ross Lindsay came on after Callum McKenzie sustained an injury after being on the pitch twenty minutes. A big thank you from everyone at BSC goes to University of Stirling physio Lucinda Milne who took excellent care of Callum in the absence of our own physio Lynn Glen.
University of Stirling dominated the last ten minutes and grabbed a well-deserved goal when Robbie McGale hit a low shot into the left corner that had seemed destined to go wide. If not for Ross McMillan’s spectacular defensive display and a game-saving tackle from John Mitchell in the last minute to deny an impressive Stirling offence, BSC might have left with only a point.
Manager Stephen Swift on a nervy finish:
“It’s similar to Edusport, absolute great performance first half. We go 3-1 up, should’ve been 4-1 or 5-1… we need to learn to hit shots because we’re trying to walk it in. We can’t concede goals the way we have been.”
On new signing Carlo Pignatiello:
“He’s given us a massive injection of energy, not only that but his quality. He can play – the boy’s obviously got good ground on him.”
FULL TIME | STIRLING UNIVERSITY 2 – 3 BSC GLASGOW
MAN OF THE MATCH | ROSS McMILLAN
To cap off a good, if difficult, day at the office for BSC Glasgow’s players we then went into the William Hill Scottish Cup First Round draw and were lucky enough to draw the bye which means that, by default (who doesn’t love default?), BSC Glasgow are through to the Second Round!