Mar 6 2013 By Graeme Crawford
Stirling University 3 Gretna 2008 0
Stirling University laid down a marker for their Image Printers Cup final on March 24 with a comfortable league win over their final opponents.
The students took the lead early on, with Paul Sludden finishing neatly inside the area to put the pressure immediately on their relegation-threatened opponents.
After just 17 minutes full back Jack Nixon fired home the second. After breaking up an attack he found Jacob Arnold-Smith down the right side and continued his run. The former Gillingham frontman’s cross set up Nixon perfectly.
It was 3-0 before half-time as Sludden added his second of the game with a well struck free-kick.
Chris McKee’s driven pass was taken on by Arnold-Smith, who was fouled on the edge of the area.
Sludden’s shot beat the goalkeeper at the near post as the game looked to be sewn up.
Gretna belatedly began to gain some possession but they failed to break down the Stirling defence and when Walker was finally beaten James Drummond was on hand to clear off the line and keep the clean sheet intact.
The game was closed out with Gretna having the red mist descend and after yet another foul on Arnold Smith the man in the middle had had enough.
Two Gretna players were sent off for foul and abusive language as the game took a nasty turn, with the two-man advantage allowing Stirling to see the game out comfortably.
Stirling University: Walker, Nixon, Sutherland, Atkins, Drummond, Nichol, McKee, Pearson (Dale), Mason, Sludden (McWhirter), Arnold-Smith.