L22 East Fife W

GOOD things come to those who wait and Stevie Farrell is confident that will be the case with Joao Victoria.

The striker put pen to paper last night (Thursday) on a deal until the end of the season.

Stevie Farrell said: “We have been working hard behind the scenes.

“He is somebody I thought we had in the summer and he was due to sign.

“We had done a deal but Airdrie came in at the last minute and financially they were in a better position.”

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With eight goals already this campaign, including one against the Blues at the beginning of September, he is the Diamonds' third top scorer this season.

Now, Stranraer fans will be hoping he can bring that form down the A77.

Farrell said: “He is not a young lad.

“He is 29 and he has got good league experience.

“He has got goals in this division and is somebody a wee different to what we have been signing.

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“We have been signing young players with hunger and desire.

“Joao is in the middle of his career and is proven in League One and he has scored goals.”

Victoria will be part of the squad tomorrow (Saturday) when they welcome East Fife for the second time this season.

However, Mark Lamont and Ian Smith will both miss out.

Lamont will not face his former club after his troublesome ankle injury flared up in training while Smith is not over a knee injury.

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The transfer window remains open for another week or so but Farrell suspected the Blues were unlikely to delve into the transfer market again.

He said: “I am happy with the squad.

“You never know what will happen – never say never – but we are probably done.”

The Blues will be looking to get back to winning ways after four defeats on the spin.

Only once this campaign have Stranraer opened the scoring and not gone on to claim something from the game – an opening day defeat to Queen of the South.

140718 29 Stranraer score first with a header

Farrell was keen to see his side start on the front foot and said: “I think the first goal in this league is crucial.

“It is such a competitive league and the teams are evenly matched so it is important in this league to get that first goal.”

Tomorrow also marks two years since Farrell first took charge of a Stranraer game – coincidentally against East Fife.

The Blues are a much changed outfit from the side that drew 0-0 at Bayview Stadium on 28 January 2017.

The manager said: “It’s been a long two years!

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“A lot has happened in two years, some challenging times and some great times.

“It has been a really, really good two years.

“It has been my first time as a manager in senior football.

“My first two years, most managers would say I have had a lot to deal with, a lot of challenges but it has been good.”

Farrell left Dumbarton, where he was assistant manager to Stevie Aitken, to take over at rock bottom Stranraer in January 2017.

He added: “This is a club close to my heart.

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“I had a great fondness when I was here with Stevie Aitken and they are the only club that could have convinced me to come away from the partnership with Stevie.

“I don’t have one regret.”
Last meeting
East Fife 3-3 Stranraer
8 December 2018

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ONE of the most exciting games of the campaign saw Stranraer come from three goals down to secure a draw.

Aaron Dunsmore fired the home side in front with a shot from the edge of the box before Daryll Meggatt made it 2-0 just four minutes later.

Craig Watson made it three nine minutes after the restart before the comeback started just after the hour mark.

Innes Cameron came off the bench and was brought down in the box. Adam Cummins smashed home from the spot before Cameron’s header narrowed the gap further.

Things took a further twist when Meggatt was sent off for hauling down Cameron and Chris McGowan curled home the free-kick.

In the celebrations, Cummins was shown a red card to ensure the scores and number of players on each team finished level.

East Fife: McDowall, Dunsmore, Docherty, Dunlop, Watson, Meggatt, Agnew (Dowds 88), McBride, Davidson, Bell (Slattery 75), K Smith (Court 60).
Not used: Linton, Watt, Currie and Long.

Stranraer: Currie, McDonald (McGowan 65), Brownlie, Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Turner, Lamont, Donnelly, I Smith (Anderson 46), Crossan (Cameron 60).
Not used: Higgins, D Smith, Diver and Avci.
 
Last five meetings

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East Fife 3 Stranraer 3 (Dunsmore, Meggatt and Watson; Cummins (P), Cameron and McGowan) at Bayview Stadium on December 8, 2018
Stranraer 0 East Fife 2 (Watson and Currie) at Stair Park on September 22, 2018
East Fife 2 Stranraer 3 (Watson and Page; Agnew and Anderson x2) at Bayview Stadium on April 28, 2018
Stranraer 0 East Fife 2 (Linton (P) and Lamont) at Stair Park on February 3, 2018
East Fife 1 Stranraer 1 (Duggan; Wallace) at Bayview Stadium on December 9, 2017

Last five games

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Stranraer

LOSS v Partick Thistle (A): 4-1 (Crossan)
LOSS v Forfar Athletic (A): 2-1 (Cameron)
LOSS v Montrose (H): 1-2 (Cameron)
LOSS v Airdrie (A): 3-0
WIN v Dumbarton (A): 0-1 (Turner)

East Fife

WIN v Greenock Morton (H): 2-1 (Dowds and Watson)
WIN v Montrose (A): 0-2 (Watt x2)
LOSS v Airdrieonians (H): 1-2 (Dowds)
WIN v Raith Rovers (A): 1-2 (Dunsmore and Currie)
WIN v Forfar Athletic (H): 1-0 (Agnew)

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Partick Thistle: Currie, Brownlie, D Smith, Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Turner, Cameron, O’Keefe (Elliott 78), Lamont (Anderson 70), Crossan.
Not used: McGowan, McDonald and Avci.

East Fife lineup v Greenock Morton: Long, Docherty (Currie 74), Dunlop, Watson, Meggatt, Linton, Slattery, Agnew (Kane 84), Watt, Davidson, Dowds (K Smith 64).
Not used: Dunsmore, Bell, Court and Couser.

Referee

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FOR the first time this season, Mike Roncone takes charge of a Stranraer match.

The last time he visited Stair Park was March last year. Aidan Keena had Queen's Park two goals up before Scott Robertson pulled one back. Sean Burns sealed the win for the visitors though, with Scott Agnew’s last minute penalty nothing more than a consolation.

Mr Roncone was in charge of East Fife v Montrose at the beginning of December. Strikes from Euan Henderson and Martin Rennie gave Montrose all three points at Bayview Stadium.

You need to go back to October 2017 for the last time the referee took charge of an away tie involving East Fife. On that occasion, Alloa were 4-1 winners, despite Kyle Wilkie scoring early for the Fifers. Goals from PJ Crossan, Steven Hetherington, Andy Graham and Iain Flannigan gave Alloa the victory.
 
Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish, Airdrieonians FC, Queen of the South FC

New signing Joao Victoria is now available to sponsor in home, away or 3rd colours - along with a limited number of the existing squad.

Sponsor now

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SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Falkirk 3 7
2 Raith Rovers 3 6
3 Forfar Athletic 2 6
4 Airdrieonians 3 6
5 Stranraer 3 4
6 Dumbarton 3 3
7 East Fife 2 2
8 Peterhead 3 2
9 Montrose 3 1
10 Clyde 3 1


Fixtures

2019/20 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Scott Robertson (DEF)
3 - Jordan Allan (DEF)
4 - Adam Cummins (DEF)
5 - Lee Hamilton (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - James Hilton (MID)
8 - Grant Gallagher (MID)
9 - Mark Stewart (STR)
10 - Leon Murphy (MID)
11 - Ian Smith (MID)
12 - Carlo Pignatiello (MID)
14 - Cameron Elliott (STR)
15 - Robert Jones (STR)

17 - David Smith (DEF)
18 - David Dangana (STR)
21 - Dale Burgess (GK)
22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Ryan Thomson (MID)