Stirling University 3-2 Spartans Scottish Sun Lowland League By Zoe Birbeck at Forthbank Stadium A brace from Khan Williams-Mitchell and a peach from Paul Sludden were enough as Stirling University struck late in a riveting match at Forthbank Stadium.

It was a date in the diary which some might have predicted could be a title decider, but whilst it was first versus second, Spartans had been crowned champions weeks ago.

However, matches between the two sides are always exciting affairs and Stirling can take confidence into next season in the Lowland League – with the winners given a chance to reach the Scottish Professional Football Leagues.

Spartans took control of the game in the early stages, but it was the home side who struck first, in-form striker Paul Sludden hitting a rocket from 25 yards which flew into the net.

Stirling midfielder Tomos Jones had a great chance to extend Stirling’s lead, but his chip went over the bar after Chris Geddes had rounded the keeper.

The student side continued to create chances, but were left to rue these missed opportunities as Spartans found the equaliser on 24 minutes. A corner kick driven in by Chris Anderson found Willie Bremner, who powered a header past a helpless Marshall.

The goal seemed to take some of the air out of Stirling’s sails, and less than ten minutes later, Spartans took the lead as Anderson again picked out Bremner and his half volley found the top corner of the Stirling net.

Spartans could have made it three a few minutes later, but Stirling stopper Ryan Marshall did well to save the driven shot.

Despite the opportunities created by the visiting team, Stirling’s defence had done well throughout the half. Next season’s captain Calum Burns (pictured right)was pivotal in the fight to hold back the Edinburgh attacks.

Stirling finished off the half well, with a shot from Sludden going wide before Geddes was played through on goal. The striker was unlucky to have not scored, a brilliant save by goalkeeper Murray Jackson maintaining his side’s advantage into the break.

The students started the second half well, with an early opportunity from midfielder Creag Robertson flying just wide of the goal. Spartans refused to lie down, however, forcing a fabulous save from goalkeeper Marshall.

A minute later, Head Coach Eddie May introduced Williams-Mitchell for George Leigh. And with ten minutes to go, this decision paid dividends. Williams-Mitchell drove down the right and beat the covering defender Danny Main before slotting the ball under Jackson to even the affair.

Five minutes later, the substitute struck again, scoring what proved to be the winning goal. After Geddes raced to the goal line, he cut the ball back to Williams-Mitchell at the penalty spot and he calmly slotted the ball home. Sludden looked to seal the match a couple minutes later, but was unlucky to see his curving shot bend just wide of the far post.

Assistant Coach Mark Spalding said: “It’s been a great season, really enjoyable. The game was very competitive and while neither team wanted to lose, we are delighted to get the win. I would like to wish the graduating players all the best in the future.” Stirling University: Marshall, Burns, Sutherland, Nixon, Sheridan, Jones, Robertson, Leigh (Williams-Mitchell), McKee (Atkins), Geddes, Sludden. Subs not used: Hughes, Donaghue-Kelly, Cuff.