Airdrie 20170304 b 002THERE is an old saying in football: "Goals win games, defence wins championships."

Goalkeeper Cameron Belford certainly played just as big a part as goalscorers Craig Malcolm and Ryan Thomson in Stranraer's three points against Airdrie on Saturday.

Malcolm had put the Blues 1-0 up before Thomson doubled the advantaged but sandwiched in between was Belford's penalty save from Iain Russell.

The Stranraer number one said: "My record at saving penalties was really good until I came up to Scotland.

"That is the first I have saved since being up here but overall my record from England was very good.
Airdrie 20170304 Belford save 3
"I've got a good ratio at saving them - so that was long overdue."

The goalkeeper, who previously saved a penalty after replacing his brother, Tyrell, at Swindon Town, played a key role in that victory at the Excelsior Stadium.

His reaction to the save and the three points was plain to see as the goalkeeper celebrated with team-mates, including Scott Robertson.
Airdrie 20170304 a 004Belford said: "I probably look at it like an outfield player scoring a goal.

"If you look at it properly, the chances of a keeper saving the ball from a free shot at goal from 12 yards, you should score every time."

However, the former Wrexham man is not content with just saving penalties...

Mark McGuigan is the only man to have scored from the penalty spot for Stranraer this season after netting in the 7-1 win over Spartans back in August.

That was the first spot kick since the penalty shoot-out against Ayr United in the play-off final when Willie Gibson was the only one of four Stranraer players to score from the spot.

Belford said: "I was down for the fifth penalty in the shootout because I don't think there was an abundance of the lads wanted to take one.
Ayr playoffs Belford
"I'm more than happy to take one - I wanted to take the first one but that got thrown out the window.

"I was down to take one of the five - I would take one in a game if it was up to me."

The 28 year old made the permanent switch north of the border last summer and has been a regular fixture between the posts at Stair Park this term.

It was a slow start to the season for the Blues but things have started looking up since Stevie Farrell returned to the club.

Stranraer are currently six games unbeaten and moved up to seventh in the league after Saturday's three points.
Airdrie 20170304 b 001
The Blues are back at home this Saturday and another game undefeated could help them to once again move further away from the bottom of the table.

At the same time, the Blues are just three points behind this weekend's opponents, Queen's Park, and one more point off the play-off places.

He said: "I think, you look at the league and the same happened last year.

"The likes of Airdrie dropped out and we picked up points from January onwards.

"We've left it a bit later this year but it has coincided with other teams dropping points.

"It is a bit all over the place with teams having games in hand but when it evens itself out we will be in a similar position to last year."

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Arbroath 25 59
2 Raith Rovers 25 43
3 Forfar Athletic 26 43
4 East Fife 23 38
5 Montrose 26 35
6 Airdrieonians 26 31
7 Dumbarton 25 27
8 Stranraer 24 27
9 Brechin City 24 25
10 Stenhousemuir 24 22


2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
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 - Joao Victoria (STR)
10 - Ali McCann (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)
24 - Conor O'Keefe (MID)