L12 Stenny W

IT HAS been little over six months since Stranraer tasted victory on the road.

A 3-2 triumph on the final day of last season against East Fife was the last away win, with the Blues keen to end that run tomorrow (Saturday).

Stranraer travel to Stenhousemuir as the only team in League One without an away win.

Stevie Farrell was keen to change that an unwanted statistic and felt his side were in good form.

He said: “We are aware of that statistic.

farrell 2018 02

“We are not worried about it but are aware of it and will get reminded until it is off our backs.

“There is always something somewhere and that is the monkey on our back.

“We need to get it off our back and the next game is the most important game because it is the next one.

“The next one is Stenhousemuir away from home and we will go all out to try to win the game and get the monkey off our back.”

The Blues have lost their last two games by a single goal having taken on the top two – Arbroath and Raith Rovers.

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Despite those defeats, the manager was happy with how his side were playing and the number of chances they have been creating.

Now, he is hoping the players will start taking those chances and pick up three points.

He said: “It is something we have worked hard in training on.

“We have focused on finishing and taking chances.

“We have worked on a number of drills and are working on creating a chance and converting it.

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“We worked tirelessly on all sorts of finishing and penalty box drills, hoping to get into the habit of hitting the back of the net.

“I am delighted with the way we are playing.

“If we continue to play the way we are playing, with the same spirit, with the same intensity; results will come.”

The manager acknowledged there was not an “out and out goalscorer” in the squad but was happy with the various options at his disposal.

He added: “We have got Grant Anderson, Luke Donnelly, PJ Crossan and Kyle Turner.

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“We have got centre backs coming up for set pieces and people chipping in with goals.

“We need to create chances and get people in the box.

“The more people in the box, the more opportunity to score a goal.

“Stranraer have been fortunate in recent years.

“Jamie Longworth, Craig Malcolm, Martin Grehan – they are all 20 goals a season strikers.”

Grehan 1

Farrell will again be without the services of striker Isaac Layne, who goes for a scan on his injured knee on Sunday, and Connor McManus, who is recovering from a calf knock.

However, Chris McGowan does come back into contention after a virus.

The trip to Ochilview is Farrell’s first as Stranraer manager.

However, that is not to say they are unfamiliar surroundings.

Farrell played more than 30 times during a single season with the Warriors and was assistant to Stevie Aitken when the Blues stayed up on the last day of the season in 2013, through Craig Malcolm’s first half double.

stranraer staying up 2013

He added: “I was there the year we stayed up on the last day.

“A repeat of that day, that scoreline and that feeling will do me quite nicely.”

Last meeting
Stranraer 2-0 Stenhousemuir
15 September 2018

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STRIKES from Kyle Turner and debutant Innes Cameron made it back-to-back 2-0 wins at Stair Park for Stranraer.


The Blues had already defeated Montrose by the same scoreline and matched that with victory over newly-promoted Stenhousemuir.

The hosts had the best chance of the first half when Morgyn Neill and Alan Reid got in each other’s way. That allowed Isaac Layne to run through on goal but Graeme Smith got a hand to the goalbound shot and pushed it to safety.

It was not until two minutes before the half time whistle that the deadlock was broken. Turner linked up well with Luke Donnelly before curling a low shot around the exposed Smith.

The visitors pushed to get back into the game after the break but were undone by a long ball. Cameron, who had only been on the field for five minutes, collected Turner’s ball up field and beat Smith at the second attempt.

Stranraer: Currie, McGowan, Brownlie, D Smith, Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Turner, Donnelly (Higgins 74), Anderson (Diver 85), Layne (Cameron 60).
Not used: Elliott, Lamont, I Smith and Avci.

Stenhousemuir: G Smith, Reid (Cook 71), Donaldson, Neill, Tena, Gibbons (Paton 57), Ross, Dickson, Duthie, O’Hara, Vaughan (McMenamin 80).
Not used: Ferry, Halleran, McBrearty and McMinn.
 
Last five meetings

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Stranraer 2 Stenhousemuir 0 (Turner and Cameron) at Stair Park on September 15, 2018
Stranraer 3 Stenhousemuir 0 (Agnew, Thomson and Kassarate) at Stair Park on April 1, 2017
Stenhousemuir 1 Stranraer 0 (Millar) at Ochilview on January 14, 2017
Stranraer 3 Stenhousemuir 1 (Bell, Thomson and Nuttall; Roy) at Stair Park on November 19, 2016
Stenhousemuir 0 Stranraer 5 (Gibson, Turner, Malcolm x2 and Nade) at Ochilview on October 15, 2016

Last five games

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Stranraer

LOSS v Arbroath (H): 0-1
LOSS v Raith Rovers (A): 2-1 (Donnelly)
WIN v Dumbarton (H): 3-2 (Anderson, Brownlie and Crossan)
DRAW v Brechin (A): 1-1 (Donnelly)
LOSS v East Fife (H): 0-2

Stenhousemuir

WIN v Airdrionians (A): 0-1 (McGuigan)
LOSS v Forfar Athletic (H): 1-2 (Neill)
WIN v Montrose (H): 3-2 (Cook, McMenamin and McGuigan)
LOSS v East Fife (A): 2-0
LOSS v Arbroath (H): 1-2 (McGuigan)

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Arbroath: Currie, McDonald (Lamont 65), Brownlie, D Smith, Hamill, Cummins, Higgins, Turner, Anderson (Diver 65), Crossan, Donnelly (I Smith 76).
Not used: Ashmore, Cameron and Avci.

Stenhousemuir lineup v Airdrieonians: G Smith, Donaldson, Neill, Ferry, Gibbons (Paton 65), Dickson, McBrearty, McGuigan (McMenamin 89), Duthie (Reid 83), Cook, O’Hara.
Not used: Tena, Ross, Vaughan and McMinn.

Referee

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STRANRAER will be hoping for a better time than the last occasion Gavin Ross took charge of one of their games.

The referee, who was also in charge of the abandoned clash with Raith Rovers last term, was in the middle when Stranraer travelled to Forfar in February. If fans were stuck in traffic on their way to Station Park they were, arguably, lucky. 
 
Forfar were two goals up within six minutes and four goals up before the half hour had passed. Dylan Easton would add another after the break before Paul Woods scored at the end.

Fans of the Warriors do not have to go back too far for the last time Mr Ross took charge of one of their games. The final tie of September saw Stenhousemuir at Bayview Stadium. The Fifers would emerge victorious that day with Craig Watson scoring before the break and Rory Currie stepping off the bench to find the net in the last minute.
 
Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish

We return home next weekend for a clash with Ian Murray's Airdrieonians.

Normal league entry prices apply.

L13 Airdireonians W

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Arbroath 13 33
2 Raith Rovers 13 23
3 East Fife 13 22
4 Forfar Athletic 13 18
5 Brechin City 13 16
6 Airdrieonians 13 16
7 Stranraer 13 15
8 Dumbarton 13
14
9 Montrose 13 14
10 Stenhousemuir 13 12


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)