Stirling Uni 2nds 6-0 Coldstream

Coldstream manager Stevie Gibbard said he takes the blame for the first three goals.

Coldstream manager Stevie Gibbard said he takes the blame for the first three goals.

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Manager Stevie Gibbard had to play himself at centre-back as a depleted Coldstream team suffered their biggest defeat of the season.

With no fewer than eight players missing due to suspension, injury and work commitments, the visitors were always going to be up against it.

Gibbard, 39, is a former striker. But with both regular centre-backs missing and other options also unavailable he had to play at the heart of defence in front of teenage second-choice goalkeeper Jordan Clowes.

Stirling scored in the first minute and raced into a three-goal lead before half time.

Coldstream improved in the second half, Luke Strangeways, Kris O’Neil and John Crawford all having going close.

But Stirling scored a fourth and then closed the game out with two goals in the closing minutes.

The result means the Streamers remain bottom of the East of Scotland Premier Division and trail third-bottom Stirling by seven points.

Gibbard said: “I take the blame for the first three goals. But I can’t fault the guys for effort in difficult circumstances. They showed character to fight back in the second half and the two goals right at the end made the scoreline look worse than it was.

“We should have almost everyone back for this week. It is just one of these things.

“There are still plenty of points to play for. When we have everyone back I think we have enough quality to start picking up points.”

Coldstream: Clowes, R McLeod, Graham, Gibbard (Oliver 45), Dixon, Rutherford (Cornish 78), Heugh, Hebdon, Crawford, O’Neil, Strangeways.