37 Queens Park W"WE ARE in as much of a relegation battle as we are in a promotion battle," according to Stranraer manager Stevie Farrell.

The manager's return to the club has coincided with an impressive turn of form, which has resulted in 12 points from a possible 18.

However, it has come at the same time as a number of clubs towards the bottom of Scottish League One have picked up form.

It means while the Blues sit four points off the promotion play-offs, they also sit just three points off the bottom of the table.

The manager said: "We are in as much of a relegation battle as we are in a promotion battle.
Faz 3
"In terms of where we are, we have as much chance of achieving the promotion playoffs as we do the relegation playoffs.

"With that in mind, we will be positive and look above us and continue to aspire to get as high up the table as we can but we will never ever be complacent."

The Blues face a defensive reshuffle tomorrow (Saturday) with Queen's Park visiting Stair Park for the second time this season.

Liam Dick misses out having picked up six yellow cards in the league, while the club failed in a bid to overturn the red card issued to Morgyn Neill last weekend against Airdrie.
Airdrie 20170304 a 002
Farrell, who has a full squad to choose from other than the suspended defensive duo, said: "That is why we have got a squad.

"It gives an opportunity for two players who have not started in recent weeks.

"Whoever comes into the team, it does not matter their age or experience, if they come in and do well I will show trust in them.

"I've said that since I came in and will continue to do that."

That could mean a recall for defender Craig Pettigrew, who has missed the last two games through injury, as well as potentially a spot in the midfield.

Last weekend's 2-1 victory at the Excelsior Stadium was just Stranraer's second ever win away to Airdrie.
Airdrie 20170304 a 003
It was enough to see the Blues close the gap on their opponents to just four points and lift them to seventh in the table.

Farrell was unhappy with his side's first half performance but was delighted to see the team improve after the break and pick up a deserved three points, despite Neill's unfortunate red card.

Cameron Belford denied Iain Russell a leveller from the penalty spot after Craig Malcolm had opened the scoring and Ryan Thomson sealed the win from close range just a few minutes later.

Farrell revealed: "I shouted at Ryan to get in the box.

"If you watch the video, he was actually standing outside the box and I was screaming at him to get in the box.

"He is a goal threat and having played as a striker before, when you play there, you have a natural instinct and so I wanted him in the box."
QP5xBRIAN Reid's final win as Stranraer boss came on the last day of 2016 at a rain-soaked Hampden Park.

It was far from a classic with Willie Gibson's goal on the hour-mark all that separated the two sides at full time. David Barron and Steven Bell came into the team in place of the injured duo of Ryan Thomson and Frank McKeown.

Chances were few and far between in the opening 45 minutes but the Blues improved after the break. Gibson beat two men before feeding Scott Agnew, who, unfortunately, could only scoop his shot over the bar.

However, the three points would be heading to Wigtownshire with Gibson grabbing the match-winning goal a few minutes later when he blasted home from the edge of the box.
Last meetings

- 0-1 (Gibson) at Hampden Park 31/12/16
- 0-2 (Zanatta and Brady) at Stair Park 5/11/16
- 0-2 (Dick and Malcolm) at Hampden Park 24/9/16
- 0-4 (Winter x3 and Aitken) at Hampden Park 10/11/12
- 1-1 (Malcolm; Anderson) at Stair Park 3/11/12

Stranraer's last five games

Airdrieonians (A): 1-2 (Malcolm and Thomson)
Brechin City (H): 2-0 (Gibson and Malcolm)
Peterhead (H): 3-3 (Gibson x2 and Thomson)
Livingston (A): 0-0
Albion Rovers (H): 3-0 (Malcolm x2 and Bell)
Airdrie 20170304 a 001
Queen's Park's last five games

Livingston (H): 1-1 (Zanatta)
Brechin City (A): 3-1(Wharton)
Alloa Athletic (H): 0-2
Stenhousemuir (A): 0-2 (Zanatta and Brady)
East Fife (H): 2-2 (Zanatta and Brady)

Last time out

Stranraer lineup v Airdrieonians: Belford, Robertson, Dick, Barron, Neill, Bell, Thomson, Agnew, Donald (Wilson 84), Gibson, Malcolm (Kassarate 78).
Not used: Pettigrew, Turner, McGuigan, Kemp and Currie.

Queen's Park lineup v Livingston: Muir, Millen, Wharton, McKernon, McGeever, Cummins, Brady, McVey, Zanatta, Orsi (Galt 67), Burns.
Not used: Docherty, Brown, Mitchell, Mortimer and McIlduff


The match official for the visit of Queen's Park is Gavin Ross, who also refereed our home defeats to Alloa (2-5), Queen's Park (0-2), and Airdrie (1-2) this season.

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Arbroath 17 45
2 Raith Rovers 17 32
3 East Fife 17 26
4 Forfar Athletic 17 24
5 Montrose 17 21
6 Airdrieonians 17 20
7 Stranraer 16 20
8 Dumbarton 17
9 Brechin City 16 16
10 Stenhousemuir 17 15


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)
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)