Stirling University were unable to cause an upset against last season’s Scottish Cup quarter-finalists, as Albion Rovers ran out 4-1 winners at Forthbank Stadium.

Despite striker Chris Geddes scoring a 30 yard shot worthy of winning most matches, the home side fell short as they were outplayed by the talented League Two side.

Entering the game as the underdogs, Stirling found themselves looking at an uphill climb as Albion took the lead after playing just over five minutes.

Positive attacking play down the left side of the park by Ally Love found Mark McGuigan. The strikers shot was blocked smartly by keeper Ryan Marshall, but midfielder Marc McKenzie finished off the rebound.

On the restart, Albion continued to pressure Stirling, as the home side struggled to find any possession of the ball. Defensively, the students did well to minimise the opportunities Rovers were given. Marshall continued to do well in back, while outside defenders Ben Cuff and Creag Robertson kept watch over the Albion midfielders.

Stirling’s defensive shift paid off just nine minutes later as Stirling snatched the equaliser against the run of play.

Striker Chris Geddes, who had scored in Stirling’s prevous five matches, did well as the lone striker to press Albion as much as possible. Forcing an error by Liam Cusack, the striker chipped the ball from 30 yards over goalkeeper Neil Parry.

Albion continued to press the students, as centre defenders Calum Burns and newest signing James Drummond were called upon consistently. Midfielders Matt Sheridan and Charles Docherty did their best to help, but despite their best efforts the visitors took the lead in the 23rd minute.

After what looked to be a brilliant defensive header by Cuff, midfielder Darren Young produced a peach of a goal, as his first time volley found the bottom corner of the net.

The second half seemed much a different story, as the students restarted the match looking rejuvenated and intent on scoring. Carving out chances as Jones and Gillen looked to take advantage of the wide pitch, head coach Shelley Kerr brought on offensive pair Owen Kelly and Gary Crooks in the hopes to settle the midfield while bolstering her sides attacking strength.

Unfortunately for Stirling, Albion Rovers showed their offensive power as the side from Coatbridge found their third in the 61st minute. After a Young free kick resulted in pandemonium inside the Stirling box, Ciaran Donnelly found the back of the net, taking the game out of Stirling’s reach.

Rovers had the match done and dusted with 12 minutes to player after Scott Chaplain scored his sides fourth on the day, finishing well from a Kyle Turnbull corner.

“We were well beaten,” stated Kerr after the match. “Albion Rovers were by far the better team, I think the biggest disappointment is that we didn’t play at our best.” This Saturday, the Stirling First XI will return to Lowland League action as they welcome Whitehill Welfare to Forthbank, kick-off 3pm. The Second XI, who are still in search of their first league win travel to Coldstream in the Central Taxis Premier Division, kick-off 2.30pm. The Stirling Third and Fourth teams are also in action this weekend in the Stirling & District League.

Stirling XI: Marshall, Burns, Cuff, Drummond, Robertson, Leigh, Jones, Docherty, Geddes (Kessie), Sheridan (Kelly), Gillen (Crooks).