43 Brechin City WGLEBE Park hasn't been the happiest of hunting grounds for Stranraer in recent years.

In fact, the Blues failed to register a single point at the hedged venue during Brian Reid's tenure, with our last win in Brechin coming on 2 May 2015.

Stevie Farrell was alongside Stevie Aitken in the dugout that day, as a crisp Stephen Stirling strike and a brace of penalties from Willie Gibson earned the Blues all three points.

But despite the result, Stranraer narrowly missed out on promotion.
Brechin 2 May 2015 001
Two years on from his last visit, Farrell leads Stranraer to Angus tomorrow with the primary goal of staying in this division.

The manager said: "We had a decent record against Brechin up there, and a decent record around about that time.

"A repeat of that tomorrow would do us just fine".

Stranraer have lost just twice since Farrell came in, but still sit just 3 points clear of the relegation playoff spot.

sfarrell1617Last weekend, the Blues bounced back from a disappointing defeat to Albion Rovers to overcome their Coatbridge neighbours Airdrieonians.

With captain Steven Bell and fellow combative midfielder Ryan Thomson unavailable, the boss had a difficult team selection, and opted to drop Craig Malcolm into midfield and recall Kyle Turner to the starting eleven.

It paid off, as goals from lone striker Mark McGuigan and Turner secured a 2-1 win.

Farrell said: "They were changes that were forced on us, but thankfully they worked.

"I've seen (Malky) play there a number of times with Ayr United against us when myself and Stephen (Aitken) were last at Stranraer, so I knew Craig could go in there and do a job - and so it proved.

"We've asked Kyle to come in, and I thought he was magnificent.

"He's had a lack of chances under myself, and it's not Kyle's fault, it's just because the people who've been playing in those positions have done well in recent weeks.
Airdrie 15 April 2017 011
"After the Albion Rovers game there was an opportunity for Kyle, and he grabbed it with both hands.

"He'll be looking to build on that in the next couple of weeks".

Although Bell is back in training after suffering an ankle injury a fortnight ago, Farrell warned tomorrow's game will likely come too soon for the captain, but the manager is pleased to see fellow midfielder Thomson back in contention.

Last week's 6-1 drubbing away to Alloa was a major setback for Brechin, who saw goalkeeper Graeme Smith dismissed.
Brechin 20161217 008
Backup keeper Patrick O'Neil is expected to deputise, as he did when Smith went off injured in the Blues' last trip to Glebe Park.

Despite suffering 3 straight defeats, Darren Dods' men are still right in the promotion playoff mix, just one point shy of Queen's Park and Airdrieonians in 5th.

A promotion playoff finish for Stranraer is unlikely, although not yet mathematically out of reach, and relegation playoffs would appear to be the immediate concern.

But for Farrell, it's a case of taking one game at a time.

"I don't look either way in the league, I just know that we need to get enough points.

"First of all, to stay in the league, because we're not safe from relegation.

"We've got ourselves in a better position, but we need to continue that momentum, and ensure that we stay in the league, first and foremost.

"And then, you never know".

Brechin 25 Feb 2017 025Last meeting
Stranraer 2-0 Brechin City (Gibson, Malcolm)
25 February 2017

STRIKES in either half from Willie Gibson and Craig Malcolm ensured Stranraer's promising start under Stevie Farrell continued against Brechin at Stair Park. Morgyn Neill returned to the heart of the defence, with Scott Robertson slotting in at right back in place of the injured Craig Pettigrew.

It was a first half which took its time to come to life and did so on 22 minutes. There seemed little on for Gibson but his deflected strike from fully 30 yards left Graeme Smith helpless.

Brechin were improved after the break and the turning point came when Cameron Belford denied Ally Love and Andy Jackson in quick succession. That double save proved vital when Gibson turned provider, with his free-kick perfect for top scorer Malcolm to head home his 100th goal for the club.

The victory made it five games unbeaten for the Blues under their new manager.
Brechin 20161217 007
Last five meetings

- 2-0 (Gibson and Malcolm) at Stair Park on 25/2/17
- 2-0 (Love and McLennan) at Glebe Park on 17/12/16
- 0-1 (Jackson) at Stair Park on 1/10/16
- 1-0 (Robson) at Glebe Park on 23/4/16
- 2-0 (Stirling and Gibson) at Stair Park 30/1/16
Airdrie 15 April 2017 006
Stranraer's last five games

Airdrieonians (H): 2-1 (McGuigan and Turner)
Albion Rovers (A) 3-0
Stenhousemuir (H): 3-0 (Agnew, Thomson and Kassarate)
Peterhead (A): 2-2 (Malcolm and Robertson)
Livingston (H): 0-1

Brechin City's last five games

Alloa Athletic (A): 6-1 (Jackson)
Airdrieonians (A): 3-1 (Own Goal - Leitch)
Livingston (H): 0-2
East Fife (H): 2-1 (Watt and Jackson)
Alloa Athletic (H): 1-2 (Jackson)
Airdrie 15 April 2017 018
Last time out

Stranraer lineup v Airdrieonians: Belford, Pettigrew, Dick, Neill, Robertson, Barron, Malcolm, Agnew, Turner, Gibson (Wilson 83), McGuigan (Kassarate 74). Not used: Morena, Donald, Kemp and Currie.

Brechin City lineup v Alloa Athletic: Smith, McLean, Lynas, C O'Neil (McCormack 41), Hill, Dale, Watt, Graham (P O'Neil 65), Jackson, Caldwell (Trouten 67), Love. Not used: Dyer, Ford, Dods and Fusco


Gavin Ross will take charge of his 5th Stranraer game this season.

The Blues are without a win in any of the four home games Ross has officiated this term, including a 5-2 defeat to Alloa last August, 2-0 loss to Queen's Park in November, 2-1 Christmas Eve defeat to Airdrie and the 1-1 draw wth Queen's Park just one month ago.

Ross was also the match official for one Brechin game this season - their 4-1 IRN-BRU Cup victory over Highland League side Cove Rangers in August last year.
Glebe Park
Getting there

Glebe Park is around 4 hours' drive from Stranraer. On-street parking is available nearby. Set your sat nav for DD9 6BJ.


If you can't make it to the game, you can follow live updates from Glebe Park throughout the afternoon on Twitter at @StranraerFC.

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Arbroath 16 42
2 Raith Rovers 16 29
3 East Fife 16 23
4 Montrose 16 21
5 Forfar Athletic 16 21
6 Airdrieonians 16 20
7 Stranraer 16 20
8 Dumbarton 16
9 Brechin City 16 16
10 Stenhousemuir 16 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)