Stirling UNIVERSITY lifted their second piece of silverware in the same week they beat Spartans in the final of the King Cup, meaning Spartans are left empty-handed this season in terms of silverware.
The students won the Premier League last Monday and after their latest success, manager Gordon Dick said “This is a great achievement today for the boys. They had to dig in deep to get the result. Spartans are a really good side but the two goals we scored were worthy of winning any cup final.
“I think for 70 minutes we controlled the game, when Spartans got their goal it became a battle and we defended very well. In the last twenty minutes all the boys did great to defend the lead. Myself and Alan Taylor are delighted with the boys, we took over at Christmas time and the boys have responded really well to us.”
Spartans had a chance to take the lead early on when a corner was whipped in and Ali MacKinnon got on the end of it, but his powerful header went just over the bar.
Danny Denholm then had a chance to put Stirling in front when he went on a terrific run down the wing and his powerful shot was saved well by Chris Flockhart.
Stirling did however break the deadlock just before the interval when Liam Corr went on a superb attacking run g and he squared to Paul Sludden, who smashed the ball home from close range.
Shortly after the interval Corr doubled Stirling advantage with a goal worthy of winning any game. He was played in with a terrific 40-yard pass from Denholm and Corr looked up and placed the ball in the top corner of the net from a full 25 yards out.
Spartans did pull one back when Donal Henretty crossed the ball to Omar Kader, who prodded the ball home from close range. After the game, goal hero Corr said: “It was a very hard match, Spartans a real good team and made it hard for us. With the schedule of games we have had this season its been difficult.
“The new management team have done brilliant since taking over at Christmas and we have all worked hard to win the league and win today. I was proud of the goal, I enjoyed it. As soon as I got the ball I knew I was going for the shot and was delighted when the ball ended up in the top corner.”
Spartans manager Mike Lawson said “I thought Stirling were the better side over the 90 minutes. When you have one bit of action around their box with six shots and they block them all you know its not going to be your day. It would have been interesting if we had got an equaliser as we were on the front foot.
“They did score two excellent goals, we gave them a fright in the last half hour and on a different day we would have got the game into extra time.
“We didn’t get the ball in the right areas enough and they have got some excellent players. We could have done better to defend for the second goal as the ball travelled fifty yards. At the end of the day the better team beat us on the day. Our guys showed great effort and commitment and I couldn’t ask for any more from them.”
Stirling: McCulloch, Nixon, Sheridan, Atkins, Robertson, Pearson, Sludden, Corr, Denholm, Drummond, Dinnes subs: Walker, Glendinning, McWhirter, Hughes, Jacobs
Spartans: Flockhart, O’Donnell, Hoskins, Sivewright, MacKinnon, Grant, Beesley, Manson, Finnie, McLeod, Anderson subs: Henretty, McTurk, Kader, Malin, Donnelly