THE high-flying Brandanes came plummeting back to earth with a thump on Saturday afternoon after a dismal display which saw Stirling University romp to victory – and brought the islanders’ unbeaten league run to a shuddering halt, writes Nino Robertson.
The visitors raced out of the traps and set out to control the game, creating numerous chances and forcing Danes keeper James Dunn into a couple of good reaction saves, while they also hit the woodwork.
Stirling deservedly took the lead three minutes from the interval when their number 11 skipped past Alan Poole unopposed down the right, and laid the ball on a plate for his team-mate in the number nine jersey to tap home.
Stirling’s striker had an easy job to double the lead on 52 minutes after the Danes defence failed to deal with a breakaway, leaving Dunn, on his return to Bute on army leave, to pick the ball out of the net for a second time.
The visitors added a third after an hour, breaking through the midfield with ease before being floated in from the left, where a Stirling midfielder had the straightforward job of flicking the ball over the on-rushing Dunn and into the net.
Stuart Brady came on for the isolated Chris Donnelly for the final half-hour, and following the switch the Danes at last began to inject some urgency into their play; Pattison’s cross fell at the feet of McBride, but his volley towards goal was blocked by the Stirling keeper.
In the dying embers of the game the Danes’ misery was compounded when Stirling’s number 14 evaded the home defence, spotted Dunn off his line and rounded off his team’s fine away day with an audacious lob into the net.
* This Saturday, November 19, the Brandanes travel to Lochwinnoch for a Caledonian League fixture against Viewfield Rovers, kicking off at 2pm.