Dalkeith Thistle 1-2 Stirling Uni: Thistle exit Challenge Cup

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Dalkeith Thistle exited the South Region Challenge Cup after a 2-1 defeat to Lowland League outfit Stirling University.

Thistle, who were missing eight first-team regulars, put in a tireless performance though earned nothing for their efforts.

Dalkeith were hoping to bounce back from their 6-0 defeat to Bonnyrigg the week before and narrowly lost out in this match, courtesy of a stunning free kick from Rory MacEwan.

Thistle knew they had a challenging cup tie on their hands right from the first whistle as they started on the back foot. Kieran Hall headed over with a glaring opportunity before a free kick fizzed wide of the Thistle goal.

Dalkeith survived the early onslaught and gradually came more into the game.

They saw a rare sight of goal when Duncan Muir fired straight at keeper Allan. Tansey attempted to work his magic but was crowded out before another Tansey chance was blocked by the keeper, as the sides went in level at the break.

Under 20s Thistle’s McBeth came on for the start of the second half but only in time to see Stirling open the scoring, as Hall finished off a counter attacking move and set Thistle a real challenge.

It was a challenge they rose to as the deserved equaliser came in the 56th minute, when Michael Wojtowitz swung a free kick in from the right into a crowded penalty area and Blake Wales put the finishing touch on the move to level the scores.

Dalkeith substituted Under 20s Mickey Bennett on for Apicella and, straight away, the youngster had a great chance with only Allan to beat, but the keeper pushed his effort wide.

There were just some 10 minutes left for play when Stirling finally got the winner.

It was from another free kick conceded by Smith, as MacEwan’s stunning shot flew into the Jags’ net to seal their place in the next round.