28 Raith Rovers W

TOP scorer Ryan Wallace, Danny Stoney and Tom Lang are all set to leave Stranraer.

Financial issues have been the main subject of discussions over the last seven days for the Blues.

Tomorrow (Saturday) might see a return to the football but finances are set to play a big part as well, with a transfer fee having been agreed for Wallace.

The manager said: "Ryan has agreed a deal with Arbroath and leaves and will not be in contention tomorrow.

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"Tom Lang has agreed a deal with Clyde and Danny Stoney has agreed a deal with BSC Glasgow and will not be in contention.

"We have seen the reports and the most important thing for the football club  is to remain financially viable.

"If that means, as a manager, we have got to make difficult decisions from a football point of view and change our pathway, I'm working closely with the club.

"We have got the same aim - to be financially viable and sort it out as early as we can."

It is undoubtedly a big blow for the Blues, who are very unlikely to be able to bring in replacements for the departing trio.

Instead, Stuart Wild and David MacGregor's under 20s squad are likely to play an increasingly big role.

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Cameron Elliott, David Gray and Christopher McGowan have all featured for the first team as well as the under 20s squad this season.

Farrell added: "There is going to be five under 20s team members involved tomorrow.

"There will be those five, plus Angus Beith is 21 and Kyle Turner is 20; that is seven players in the 18-man squad.

"When you consider Morgyn Neill is 21 as well, that is the way the club has to go."

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Usually, travelling to Kirkcaldy would be difficult for Stranraer at any time of the season.

The Blues have not won a Stark's Park since 1997 in the League Challenge Cup when Gordon Young's goal gave them victory.

Throw in the fact that Barry Smith's men have not tasted defeat in the league since February when Greenock Morton were 1-0 winners and it suggests a tough task.

Farrell said: "They have not been beaten at home - they have not even dropped a point.

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"They have got a phenomenal record but that is the challenge: we can be the first team to win there.

"They are favourites for the league and they are favourites to win tomorrow.

"We go into every game and believe that if we play the way that we can, then we can win.

"If we did not believe we could win, then there would be no use getting on the bus and going."

The departures of Wallace, Stoney and Lang have stretched the Stranraer squad, with David Barron also missing tomorrow's game through injury.

However, Scott Agnew does return to give the Blues a welcome boost.

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The fixture comes in the middle of three tough games, with Ayr United visiting Stair Park on Tuesday and Stranraer narrowly losing out to Alloa Athletic last time out.

Farrell felt his side were unlucky not to come away with at least a point at the Indodrill Stadium, with Ross Stewart's debut goal the only thing separating the two sides.

The Stranraer boss said: "Players know themselves how they have performed.

"They will tell you before you speak to them if they have played well, badly or indifferently.

"They thought they deserved something from the game."


Last meeting
Raith Rovers 3-0 Stranraer
12 August 2017

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IF tomorrow's (Saturday) game goes the full distance, it will be the second time this season the two sides have contested a game which will go into the record books.

Stranraer and Raith Rovers faced off in October and, with the scores level at 1-1, the game was called off by referee Gavin Ross due to the soaking wet pitch. So, the last official meeting between the two sides actually took place towards the beginning of the league season.

Stranraer had won on the opening day against East Fife but it was Raith, the favourites for the title, who emerged victorious on weekend two. Lewis Vaughan scored two minutes before the break and Greig Spence ensured the points would stay in Kirkcaldy just after the hour mark. Red-hot Vaughan, who has 18 goals for the season, wrapped up the points just three minutes later.

Liam Dick came close late on but it would have been nothing more than a consolation.

Raith Rovers: Lennox, Thomson, McHattie, Callachan, Murray, Benedictus, Spence, Robertson (Berry 89), Buchanan (Matthews 73), Vaughan (Osei-Opoku 89), Barr.
Not used: McKay, Bell, Court and Brian.

Stranraer: Belford, Robertson, Dick, Barron, Neill, Hamill (Agnew 71), Bell, Anderson (Woods 70), Turner, Thomson (Okoh 71), Wallace.
Not used: Lang, McKinlay, Stoney and Currie.

Last five meetings

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- 3-0 (Vaughan x2 and Spence) at Stark's Park on August 12, 2017
- 0-3 (Williamson, Sloan and Hislop) at Stair Park on April 4, 2009
- 2-1 (Weir and Wilson; Mullen) at Stark's Park on January 17, 2009
- 0-2 (Wales and Smith) at Stair Park on October 25, 2008
- 2-1 (Campbell and Smith; Tadé) at Stark's Park on August 23, 2008

Stranraer's last five games

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LOSS v Alloa Athletic (A): 1-0
DRAW v Albion Rovers (H): 2-2 (Wallace (Pen x2))
WIN v Forfar Athletic (H): 3-0 (Wallace (Pen) and Beith x2)
DRAW v East Fife (A): 1-1 (Wallace)
WIN v Arbroath (A): 1-2 (Turner and Beith)

Raith Rovers' last five games


WIN v Arbroath (A): 1-2 (Spence and Buchanan)
DRAW v Airdrieonians (A): 2-2 (Spence and Court)
WIN v Alloa Athletic (H): 2-1 (Spence and Buchanan)
WIN v Queen's Park (H): 2-0 (Zanatta and Spence)
LOSS v Peterhead (A): 3-0

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Alloa Atletic: Belford, Robertson, Dick, Neill, Hamill, Woods (Turner 75), Bell, Anderson (Stoney 88), Beith, Wallace, Thomson (Okoh 68).
Not used: McGowan, Elliott, Gray and McLaren.

Raith Rovers lineup v Arbroath: Smith, Thomson, Murray, McKay, Robertson, Matthews, Davidson, Spence, Buchanan (Barr 78), Vaughan, Zanatta.

Referee

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Experienced referee Craig Charleston is yet to take charge of game involving Raith Rovers this season.

However, they were victorious the last time he made the trip to Kirkcaldy. He visited in March when Craig Barr and a certain Ryan Hardie were on target in a 2-1 win over Dundee United. Simon Murray scored for the Tannadice team.

The whistler has taken charge of a Stranraer game this campaign though. He was the man in the middle at Stair Park in August when Ayr United visited.

Ryan Wallace put the Blues in front on that occasion before Declan McDaid, Craig Moore and Michael Moffat put the visitors in control. A quickfire Ryan Thomson double seemed to have rescued a point before Paddy Boyle wrapped up the win for Ian McCall's side with five minutes left.

Admission

Starks Park Turnbull Hutton

Set your sat nav for KY1 1SA. Entry prices available below:

http://www.raithrovers.net/prices

Coverage

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Follow the Blues on Twitter at @StranraerFC for live updates throughout the afternoon.

Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish.

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Arbroath 9 21
2 Raith Rovers 9 17
3 East Fife 9 16
4 Brechin City 9 13
5 Stranraer 9 12
6 Airdrieonians 9 10
7 Stenhousemuir 9 9
8 Forfar Athletic 9
9
9 Dumbarton 9 8
10 Montrose 9 8


Fixtures

2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Daniel Higgins (DEF)

3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andy McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
9 - Isaac Layne (STR)

10 - Luke Donnelly (STR)
11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
16 - Max Ashmore (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
19 - Ciaran Diver (STR)
20 - PJ Crossan (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)