Whitehill Welfare returned to winning ways in the Ferrari Packaging Lowland League with a 2-1 victory over second-placed Stirling University at Ferguson Park.
A heavy shower just prior to kick-off almost put paid to any football, with the officials concerned about an area in the right channel. However, a covering of sand allayed the referee’s fears and it was game on.
Bryan Young was the first of the two keepers to be tested just after the quarter hour. Stirling’s Chris Geddes latched on to Jeff Duah-Kessie’s pass, and Young showed strong wrists to parry the experienced striker’s first-time effort.
A wonderful dummy from Duah-Kessie took him past John Williams and in on goal, but he wanted too much time and his shot trundled wide despite Paul McCafferty’s attempt to turn it home at the back post.
Welfare went ahead on 25 minutes when Craig Anderson met Stevie Manson’s corner and glanced the ball past Tim Hughes.
Manson went from provider to scorer two minutes later, finishing the rebound after Hughes had blocked Andy Martin’s initial shot.
Jamie Devlin should have made it 3-0 just before the hour but he fluffed his shot when he might have rolled in Manson for a tap-in.
Duah-Kessie then shot against the bar, and Whitehill’s failure to clear allowed Sludden to pull one back with a smart finish.
A short pass back from Connor McGregor almost allowed Duah-Kessie to level with just more than 15 minutes to go, but Young stood up well.
Andy Martin hailed Welfare’s second-half rearguard action to claim there points. “It was a good result,” he said. “I think we put so much in to the game, we started to tire last ten but it was a good defensive performance.”
Whitehill Welfare: Young, McGregor, Nisbet, Williams, O’Hara, Connolly (Keane 87), McGlashan, Anderson (Jardine 84), Manson, Martin, Devlin (Flynn 84).
Stirling University: Hughes, Jones, Ashe, Cuff, Leigh, Gillen, Faulds, Duah-Kessie, Geddes (Pahlevan 81), McCafferty, Sludden.