Date : 18th May 2024

Opposition : Stirling University

Venue : Home

Scorers : Craig Bell, Ross Aitchison

Booked : Rhys Dixon

Sent Off : None

Attendance : 110

Referee : Sean Simpson


Team Lineup :

Ryan Dunn
Tommy Malcolm
Rhys Dixon (c)
Craig Heath
Evan Smith
Christian Temple
Riley Lightfoot
Ross Aitchison
Cameron Howden
Craig Bell
Sam Straughan


Subs :

Jake Gibson
Leighton Robertson
Jack Forster on for Cammy Howden 79 mins
Gary Robertson on for Christian Temple 69 mins
Niall Richards (Trialist)


Match Report :

For the second time this season Tweedmouth beat Stirling Uni. 2-0. More importantly, this result coupled with Armadale’s win at Burntisland, meant Rangers leapfrogged the Shipyard to finish above the bottom four in the final East of Scotland Second Division table for 2023-24.

The students almost scored from their opening attack but the home side soon settled, going on to control the first half. In the 7th minute, Craig Bell headed the ball into the net after Stirling’s captain-goalkeeper Andrew Rowan spilled a Riley Lightfoot shot but it didn’t count as the ‘scorer’ was offside.

Bell had to wait another six minutes to claim a legitimate goal from a move Rangers worked on the left which drew to a close when Ross Aitchison sent the ball on to Christian Temple to feed Bell for a great finish.

Another Temple cross led to Cammy Howden’s scissors kick ending up a foot too high. In the 36th minute, another high ball resulted in a second goal. When Sam Straughan was fouled near the right touchline, Rhys Dixon launched the free kick upwards. Aitchison’s header rose above Rowan hitting the net about a foot below the bar to give the hosts a 2-0 interval lead.

The second half was ‘drawn’, a fair reflection of a more even forty five minutes. The students’ inclination to keep the ball on the ground nearly paid off when Ben Woloszyn worked his way inside only for Ryan Lennon to hit the side netting.

There were three goalkeeping saves of note in the second period. Rowan’s was the most obvious, diving to turn away an on target shot from Bell for a corner just before the hour was up. Ryan Dunn’s pair were more subtle. Barely tested during the opening half, he went on to snatch Lennon’s goal bound effort out of the air and then with the slightest of touches tipped another one on to his bar.

The University didn’t get many more chances with Rangers’ defence, reinforced as necessary by players coming back, limiting the visitors’ options. Craig Heath was impeccable in the home rearguard though the returning Jack Forster got the biggest cheer of the afternoon for a no nonsense sliding tackle near the halfway line.

Late on, slack marking helped Aitchison get his head to another Dixon free kick but this time the ball ended wide of the post meaning there would be no third goal to round off a good afternoon.