37 Alloa W

STRANRAER face a selection headache ahead of today's visit by Alloa Athletic.

David Barron limped off against Arbroath during the week, while goalscoring midfielder Angus Beith is also out.

The on-loan Hearts man will make a trip to London next week for a scan and fellow loan star Cameron MacPherson is a doubt.

Manager Stevie Farrell said: "David is probably going to be out for a few weeks.

"Angus unfortunately pulled up in training and felt sore after Tuesday's game.

albion 20180127 beith 1

"It never rains but it pours!

"It is a previous injury."

MacPherson, who scored his first senior goal in the midweek 4-1 defeat, will face a late fitness test, although the Blues are boosted by the return of Kyle Turner, who missed the defeat to Arbroath.

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Despite those absences, and three consecutive defeats, Farrell said the team remained confident.

The Blues were 2-0 winners the last time Alloa made the trip to Stair Park, with Ryan Wallace and Jamie Hamill on target.

He said: "We go into every game confident.

"I know and believe in the squad we have.

"We have got to continue to stay positive.

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"Training was great on Thursday and we are upbeat and the lads are not feeling sorry for themselves."

The manager has spoken about his first aim - getting to 40 points - in recent weeks.

The Blues are five points short of that total, with 30 points still to play for.

He added: "At the end of the day, we need to remain balanced.

"We will get five points and we will be safe.

"We will be League One next season - I don't have any doubt about that."

Stranraer had taken the lead against Arbroath through MacPherson, who came to the club as a right back.

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However, the injury to Barron saw the Blues forced into a defensive reshuffle with Morgyn Neill stepping off the bench.

The visitors would finish the game stronger and ensure all three points went back to Gayfield.

Farrell said it was difficult for any central defender to come into the game and get immediately up to speed.


Last meeting
Alloa Athletic 1-0 Stranraer
23 December 2017

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DEBUTANT Ross Stewart helped Alloa leapfrog Stranraer into third spot in the League One Table in a closely contested game..

It was a game of margins, with Angus Beith scoring after just 11 minutes, only for the offside flag to deny him a goal. It was a tight decision but not one that dampened Stranraer's spirits as they continued to push for the breakthrough.

Unfortunately, Alloa upped their performance after the break and they found the only goal of the game just before the hour mark. Iain Flannigan's free- kick deceived Cameron Belford, who could only push the effort onto the crossbar. Stewart was then on hand to nod over from close range.

Stranraer attempted to find an equaliser but in truth Belford pulled off a couple of stunning saves to keep the score at 1-0. Perhaps Stranraer's best chances came in the final few minutes with Stephen Okoh inches away from heading home and then Morgyn Neill smashing a fierce drive straight at Neil Parry from the edge of the box.

Alloa Athletic: Parry, Taggart, Crane, Graham, Fleming, J Robertson, Stewart, Hetherington, Renton (Malcolm 77), Crossan (Martin 82), Flannigan.
Not used: Hoggan, Monaghan, Cunningham and Wilson.

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

Last five meetings

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- 1-0 (Stewart) at Indodrill Stadium on December 23, 2017
- 2-0 (Wallace and Hamill) at Stair Park on October 14, 2017
- 1-0 (Cawley) at Indodrill Stadium on April 29, 2017
- 1-2 (C Thomson; Flannigan and J Robertson) at Stair Park on January 7, 2017
- 2-2 (Kirkpatrick and Spence; Agnew and Gibson) at Indodrill Stadium on December 13, 2016

Stranraer's last five games

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LOSS v Arbroath (H): 1-4 (MacPherson)
LOSS v Forfar Athletic (A): 5-1 (Woods)
LOSS v East Fife (H): 0-2
WIN v Albion Rovers (A): 1-3 (Beith x2 and Robertson)
WIN v Raith Rovers (H): 1-0 (Beith)

Alloa's last five games


DRAW v Arbroath (A): 0-0
WIN v Forfar Athletic (H): 1-0 (Graham)
WIN v Ayr United (A): 1-2 (McCart and Stewart)
DRAW v Raith Rovers (H): 0-0
LOSS v Dundee United (H): 0-2

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Arbroath: Currie, Robertson, Barron (Neill 26), McGowan, Hamill, MacPherson, Agnew, Anderson (64), Beith, Woods (Okoh 58), Thomson.
Not used: McLaren, Hawkshaw, Elliott, Dykes.

Alloa Athletic lineup v Arbroath: Parry, Taggart, Crane, Graham, Robertson, Fleming, Smith, Crossan, Renton, Kirkpatrick, Flannigan.
Not used: McKeown, Goodwin and Wilson.

Referee

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Home fans should be pleased to see Steven Reid in the middle today, if recent history is anything to go on.

The referee has taken charge of two games at Stair Park this season, with Stranraer scoring five, conceding zero and winning both. The most recent of those ties came nine days before Christmas when Forfar visited Dumfries and Galloway.

It was an eventful tie, with Jamie Hamill missing a first half penalty and Grant Anderson controversially having a goal chopped off. In the end, that counted for little with Ryan Wallace netting from the penalty spot and Angus Beith scoring a late double to wrap up the win.

Similarly, Alloa fans can be optimistic. Mr Reid has been in the middle for one of their games this campaign - and they won that and kept a clean sheet too. Iain Flannigan scored early doors against Albion Rovers and, with time ticking away, Kris Renton wrapped up the win with a last minute strike.

Programme

36 Alloa ad W

In Saturday's Beyond the Bandstand, featuring a jubilant Scott Robertson on the cover:

- Rob Mason talks VAR
- Eric Phillips discusses "shaddap you face", Gérard Butler and Elvis
- Dean Hawkshaw speaks about confidence

All that and more, available at the turnstiles for the bargain price of just £2.

Admission

stair park 4

Entry prices are as follows:

Adults £15, Concessions (65+) £10, Secondary £5, Primary FREE.

Information for away fans

Coverage

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Follow the action and share your reactions on Twitter at @StranraerFC.

And finally...

We return to Stair Park again for back to back home games against Albion Rovers and Queen's Park on 10 and 17 March.

Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish.

betfred1

 Pos  Team  Pld   Pts 
1 Clyde 0 0
2 Edinburgh City
0 0
3 Motherwell 0 0
4 QOS 0 0
5 Stranraer 0 0

Fixtures


2018/19

IN:
Grant Anderson, Kyle Turner, Jamie Hamill, Chris McGowan, Andrew McDonald (St Mirren), Max Currie, Lyle Avci (Ayr United), Cameron Elliott, Sam Lidington, Mark Lamont (East Fife), David Brownlie (Airdrieonians), David Smith (Dumbarton), Connor McManus (East Fife), Luke Donnelly (Queen's Park), Adam Cummins (Queen's Park), Max Ashmore (Ross County).

OUT: Angus Beith (end of loan), Dylan Dykes (end of loan), Dean Hawkshaw (end of loan), Ross Lyon (end of loan), Cameron MacPherson (end of loan), David Barron, Stephen Okoh, Paul Woods (East Kilbride), Scott Robertson (Airdrieonians), Ryan Thomson, Morgyn Neill (Stenhousemuir), Scott Agnew (East Fife), Gavin Scott (scholarship, USA).

View squad