30 Queens Park W

STEVIE Farrell is keeping his mind firmly on the present after club captain Steven Bell left Stranraer.

The midfielder ended a near five-year spell with the Blues when he put pen to paper with Ayr United earlier today (Friday).

He became the fifth player - alongside Danny Stoney, Tom Lang, Ryan Wallace and Liam Dick - to leave the club during the transfer window.

Farrell's side head to Queen's Park tomorrow (Saturday) looking to get back to winning ways after three defeats in a row.

The manager wished 32 year old Bell well at Somerset Park but equally stressed his focus was on those still with the club.

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He said: "He is an experienced player and goes with our best wishes.

"He has been a fantastic servant to the club and the young players will miss him.

"He is an influential player but football moves on.

"Stranraer came before any player in the past and will do in the future.

"I need to focus on the players at the club."

Bell is not the only absentee though, with Scott Agnew and David Barron also set to miss tomorrow's trip to Hampden through injury.

That could mean a chance for youngsters like Christopher McGowan, Cameron Elliott, Stephen Okoh and David Gray - who all featured against Ayr United - to cement a place in the starting lineup.

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The Spiders come into the tie with only one defeat - to league leaders Ayr United - in their last six games.

Farrell said it would be a difficult tie, regardless of finances, but said the team went into the game feeling confident.

He said: "They trained well last night (Thursday).

"There is no feeling sorry for ourselves and there are no chins on chests.

"Everybody has got their heads up."

The manager, in his first full season of management in the senior game, has been getting in touch with friends within the game for advice .

He said: "In the last week, I have spoken to Jimmy Bone, who was my manager at St Mirren, and Jim Duffy.

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"These are guys that have been over the course and distance.

"I have spoken to managers in the past week and taken up bits of advice and counsel.

"That is the learning curve and that is where I think I am open to all sorts of advice and suggestions.

"Hopefully, all that and my own thoughts can ensure that the club survive in League One and come through the other side."

On top of that, he has been working alongside Stuart Millar, Stranraer's head of player recruitment and scouting, who he also worked with at Dumbarton last season.

stuart millar

He is still looking at the possibility of strengthening the squad, with the five players having departed.

Farrell said: "I have spoken to Stuart, who has spoken to managers.

"We are trying to sell the coaching environment and training field and giving players competitive games."

He has already identified a couple of targets, with one set to arrive before tomorrow's game.

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One player who has impressed since coming in is Angus Beith.

The on-loan Hearts man has been a success story in the midfield, with his loan deal set to end later this month.

Negotiations are ongoing to see the 21 year old remain with the Blues until the end of the campaign.

Going the other way, the manager confirmed that both Sam Lidington and Max Currie would spend the second half of the season away from Stair Park.

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20 year old Lidington, who joined from Kilmarnock, has spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Hurlford United.

The original plan was to bring him back this month but he will remain alongside at Allan Jenkins at Blair Park.

Jenkins, who is the head of youth development at Stranraer, is feeding back reports on Lidington's progress and Farrell said the youngster very much still had a future at the club.

Meanwhile, there is a clause in the loan deal with Currie which means the goalkeeper can be recalled at any point.

Last meeting
Stranraer 3-0 Queen's Park
4 November 2017

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TWO first half headers helped Stranraer on their way to three points against Queen's Park.

Stevie Farrell made three changes from the side that had lost to Ayr with Scott Robertson missing through suspension and Kyle Turner and Morgyn Neill only on the bench. That meant recalls for Liam Dick, David Barron and Danny Stoney, with Steven Bell remaining in the team after his red card against the Honest Men was overturned.

The Blues started well and got their rewards when Grant Anderson got on the end of Jamie Hamill's cross to open the scoring. That would just about be Anderson's last involvement though as he was taken off with a head knock shortly afterwards, with Neill stepping off the bench.

It looked as though there would only be one goal in it at half time but Bell rose highest to mark his 150th appearance for the club with the second goal of the game.

The visitors were an improved side after the break but Stranraer would have the final say with four minutes left. Substitute Stephen Okoh did well to release Wallace, who hassled Ross Millen into a mistake before rounding goalkeeper William Muir and slotting the ball home.

Stranraer: Belford, Dick, Barron, Hamill, Woods (Turner 75), Bell, Wallace, Agnew, Anderson (Neill 21), Thomson, Stoney (Okoh 75).
Not used: Lang, McGowan, Gray and Currie.

Queen's Park: Muir, Millen, Summers (Brady 20), Iredale, Cummins, Gibson, McVey, Fotheringham, Donnelly (Orr 66), Docherty (Duff 55), Burns.
Not used: Whelan, McGhee and White.

Last five meetings

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- 3-0 (Anderson, Bell and Wallace) at Stair Park on November 4, 2017
- 2-2 (Wallace and Anderson; Brady and OG) at Hampden Park on August 26, 2017
- 1-1 (Malcolm; Millen (Pen)) at Stair Park on March 11, 2017
- 0-1 (Gibson) at Hampden Park on December 31, 2016
- 0-2 (Zanatta and Brady) at Stair Park on November 5, 2016

Stranraer's last five games

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LOSS v Ayr United (H): 1-5 (Turner)
LOSS v Raith Rovers (A): 3-0
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)

Queen's Park's last five games

DRAW v Alloa Athletic (A): 2-2 (Donnelly and Cummins (Pen))
DRAW v Albion Rovers (H): 2-2 (Iredale and Cummins)
WIN v Forfar Athletic (A): 0-3 (Cummins, Leitch and Docherty)
DRAW v Airdrieonians (H): 1-1 (Cummins)
LOSS v Ayr United (A): 3-2 (McVey and OG)

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Ayr United: Belford, Robertson (Elliott 55), Neill (Gray 57), Woods (Okoh 55), Bell, Anderson, McGowan, Turner, Beith, Hamill, Thomson.
Not used: Agnew, Scott, McKinlay and McLaren.

Queen's Park lineup v Alloa Athletic: White, McVey, Summers, Green, Cummins, Fotheringham, Leitch, Galt, Mortimer (Orr 89), Donnelly (Brady 82), Burns.
Not used: Docherty, McGhee, MacLennan, McGorry and Muir.


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Gavin Duncan is no stranger to Stranraer and took charge of the cup clash with Airdrieonians earlier in the season.

The hosts were victorious on that day, with Cameron Russell scoring either side of Andy Ryan's penalty. Cameron Belford was shown red on the day, with Scott Robertson on the scoresheet for the Blues. David Barron's red card four minutes from time rounded off a miserable night for Stevie Farrell's men.

Just over three weeks later and Mr Duncan was taking charge of his only Queen's Park game of the campaign. He took charge of the Spiders clash with Arbroath, with Danny Denholm and Blair Yule on target for the Angus side.

You have to go back to September 2016 for his last trip to Hampden. On that occasion, Adam Cummins and David Galt scored either side of the half time interval to secure a 2-0 win over Greenock Morton.


Hampden Panorama

Set your sat nav for G44 4QG. Parking is available in the car park at the stadium.

Entry prices at Hampden are as follows:

Adult £14, Over 65s £5, Student/Unemployed £3, Under 16s £3.


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

And finally...

stair park dressing room

Our South of Scotland League side are in cup action on Saturday at Stair Park against St Cuthbert Wanderers.

Admission is £4 for adults, £2 for senior citizens (65+) and secondary pupils, and free for primary school kids and Stranraer season ticket holders.

Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish, SPFL.

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Arbroath 21 52
2 Raith Rovers 21 39
3 East Fife 21 35
4 Forfar Athletic 21 33
5 Airdrieonians 21 30
6 Montrose 21 28
7 Stranraer 20 23
8 Dumbarton 21
9 Brechin City 20 19
10 Stenhousemuir 21 16


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)
11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
20 - PJ Crossan (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)
34 - Conor O'Keefe (MID)