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IRN-BRU Cup, Petrofac Training Cup, Ramsdens Challenge Cup - whatever you want to call it, Stranraer have had an interesting history in the competition in recent years.

Lowland League opposition, thrilling comeback victories and penalty shootouts have all been part of memorable cup journeys.

History will continue to be made on Friday evening as Stranraer welcome an under 20s side to Stair Park in a competitive tie for the first time.

Partick Thistle Colts make the trip down the A77 as one of five young Premiership sides still in the cup, and will be hoping to make it through.

In anticipation of the contest, we take a look back at our recent endeavours in a competition the Blues memorably won back in 1996.

2016/17
First round: 7-1 Spartans (Malcolm x4, McGuigan (P), Gibson and Turner)
Second round: 1-0 Dumbarton (McGuigan)
Third round: 0-1 Dundee United

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A RUN of four early season defeats in a row, including two five-goal defeats, was brought to an end in spectacular fashion against Lowland League Spartans.

The scores were goalless beyond the halfway point of the first half before the floodgates opened. Craig Malcolm scored a 16-minute hat-trick to have the Blues well on top at the break. Mark McGuigan added a penalty before Malcolm notched his fourth of the evening. Willie Gibson made it six and substitute Kyle Turner smashed home a cracker before Eddie Malone grabbed a consolation for the Edinburgh side with four minutes to go.

The reward was another home tie, this time against regular cup foes Dumbarton. There would be no flurry of goals this time round though, McGuigan's strike six minutes from time all that separated the two sides.

Mark McGuigan scores for Stranraer

Dumbarton would have a host of familiar faces in their team, with Craig Pettigrew, Mark Docherty, Grant Gallagher and Andy Stirling all starting, while future Blue Amadou Kassarate was an unused substitute.

Victory meant a home tie with newly-relegated Dundee United, but the Tannadice side would prove too strong, with on-loan frontman Tony Andreu scoring the only goal of a tight contest.

Stranraer v Dundee United

Stranraer lineup v Dundee United: Belford, Robertson, Dick, Barron, Bell, Morena (R Thomson 81), Turner (McKeown 88), Gibson, Malcolm, C Thomson (Nadé 70), McGuigan.
Not used: Agnew and Currie.

2015/16
First round: 0-2 Queen of the South

Queen of the South 2-0 Stranraer

EX-QUEEN of the South defender Brian Reid returned to Palmerston in the away dugout for his first match as Stranraer manager.

The close season had seen plenty of comings and goings with Conor Brennan, Dale Keenan, Paul Cairney, Ryan Thomson and Mark McGuigan all making their first appearances for the Blues. In the end though, there would be no derby day delight for the DG9 side.

Derek Lyle's goal in the first half seemed to be all that would separate the two sides, but Ryan Conroy's free-kick right at the end ensured it was the Doonhamers making it through to the second round.

QOS 2-0 Stranraer

Stranraer v Queen of the South: Brennan, Robertson, Pettigrew, Rumsby, Keenan, Cairney (Longworth 53), Bell, Stirling, Thomson, Malcolm (Trialist 79), McGuigan.
Not used: Mair, Aitken, McCloskey, Trialist and Currie.

2014/15
First round: 3-2 Dumbarton (McKeown x2 and Winter)
Second round: 2-1 Albion Rovers (Malcolm and Rumsby)
Third round: 1-0 Falkirk (Marenghi)
Fourth round 1-1 (4-5 pens) Livingston (Longworth)

Sean1

SEAN Winter loves a goal in the Challenge Cup.

Ask him for his favourite goal in a Stranraer shirt, and his strike against Dumbarton in July 2014 would likely be up there. Stranraer's best run in recent years would start in unsteady fashion as they conjured up a spectacular comeback against the Sons.

Stevie Aitken's Blues side were behind after just four minutes when Jordan Kirkpatrick's whipped in cross deceived everyone and crept in at the back post. Then, on half time, Frank McKeown's attempted clearance hit Mark Gilhaney, who powered through the defence to fire beyond David Mitchell.

The second half saw a change in momentum though as McKeown exchanged passes with debutant Jackson Longridge before firing home. It was officially game on and McKeown grabbed an equaliser when he had all the time in the world to nod home Stephen Stirling's free-kick.

Victory was promptly secured at the very end when Anthony Marenghi and fellow substitute Adam Forde combined to cross the ball into Winter, who scored with an acrobatic scorpion kick.

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The result meant a home tie with Albion Rovers. This time, Stranraer would do their talking in the first half with Craig Malcolm - back after a season at Ayr United - scoring before Scott Rumsby doubled the advantage. Future Stranraer man Mark McGuigan suffered a serious injury early in the second half before John Gemmell pulled one back for the Coatbridge side.

A third home tie in a row presented a big challenge in the shape of Falkirk, who visited Stair Park for the first time since 1999 - strangely enough also in the Challenge Cup (Stranraer won that one on a penalty shootout).

On this occasion, Marenghi was the hero as he scored the only goal of the game. Stirling would open up the visiting defence with a ball down the line for Malcolm. He cut the ball back to Marenghi whose shot squirmed beyond the reach of Jamie MacDonald.

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Victory over the Bairns meant the Blues were in the semi-final of the competition and up against Livingston. The last meeting had seen Livingston thump Stranraer 8-0 at Stair Park but it was a much closer affair in West Lothian.

It was a great effort from the Blues, who took the lead through Jamie Longworth before the half time whistle.

Still, Livi improved after the break and levelled things up through substitute Gary Glen. Both sides had chances in extra time but it would be penalty shootout heartache for the Blues, with Darren Jamieson saving Mareghi's spot kick.

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Stranraer v Livingston: Mitchell, Gallagher, Longridge (Russell 105), Rumsby, McKeown, Aitken, Winter, Stirling (Stoney 80), Malcolm, Longworth, Gibson (Marenghi 70).
Not used: Forde, McCloskey and Tobin.

2013/14
First round: 4-2 Dumbarton (Winter, Grehan and Aitken x2 (Pen x1)
Second round: 2-3 Annan Athletic (Aitken (Pen) and Grehan)

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A TOPSY-TURVY start to the campaign saw the Blues in front against Dumbarton, before trailing at the break.

Stranraer had survived an early scare before Ryan Borris set up Sean Winter to score in the first round for the second year in a row. The Blues were only in front for 15 minutes. Kevin Smith lobbed a stranded David Mitchell and when his shot came back of the post, Garry Fleming had the easy task of tapping the ball home. The Sons then got their noses in front through Smith, whose shot looped up off Frank McKeown and beyond Mitchell.

After the break, Winter turned provider as he set up Martin Grehan to level the tie. As time ticked down, Stranraer scored twice in the last seven minutes with substitutes Mark Corcoran and David McKenna combining to set up Chris Aitken. Two minutes from time, Aitken sealed victory from the spot after McKeown's header was handled in the box.

The second round brought another home tie, but a nightmare first half saw the Blues losing out.

Kenny MacKay scored on 19 minutes and followed that up with his second nine minutes before the break. Aitken netted his second penalty of the cup journey four minutes before the break to give Stranraer hope and the comeback looked complete when Grehan found the net.

Unfortunately, David Hopkirk went up the park to score and ended the cup journey for another year.

Stranraer v Annan Athletic: Mitchell, Docherty (Winter 46), Robertson, McGregor, McKeown, Corcoran (Grehan 46), Aitken, Stirling, Gallagher, McKenna, Longworth.
Not used: Wood, Kinnaird and Fahey.

2012/13
First round: 1-2 Stenhousemuir (Winter)

sean winter 2013

SEAN Winter's goalscoring run in the Challenge Cup started with a home tie against Stenhousemuir. Three years in a row, he would find the net in the first round of the competition.

Similarly, Stenhousemuir manager Brown Ferguson could be relied upon for a goal or two during his playing career. The midfielder proved the difference with a strike four minutes from time to end Stranraer's League Challenge Cup journey at the first stage.

Stenhousemuir had taken the lead through debutant John Gemmell. The frontman muscled his way through the Stranraer defence to nod home the opener before the break, but Winter ensured his own header had levelled the tie.

In the end, Ferguson bundled the ball home from close range to ensure Martyn Corrigan enjoyed victory in his first game in charge.

Stranraer v Stenhousemuir: Mitchell, Kinnaird, Dunlop, Staunton, McKeown, Aitken, Winter, Gallagher, Malcolm (Moore 68), Love, Borris.
Not used: Agnew, Rafferty, Forde and Cadwell.
Reduced entry prices apply for Friday night's IRN-BRU Cup tie against Partick Thistle Colts:

Adults £10, Concession (65+) £5, Secondary School £3, Primary School FREE

10 Partick Thistle Colts W

SPFL 3L1 6474

 Pos  Team  Pld   Pts 
1 Ayr United 12 26
2 Raith Rovers 11 26
3 Alloa Athletic 13 21
4 Arbroath 13 20
5 East Fife 13 18
6 STRANRAER 12 17
7 Albion Rovers 13 16
8 Airdrieonians 13 15
9 Forfar Athletic 13 12
10 Queen's Park 13 8

Fixtures


00 Stranraer FC 2015 Logo
3 Number Lotto
Sunday 12 November 2017

Numbers: 11, 13, 14
1 winner at £1000

Congratulations to:
N. Henry, Belmont Rd, Stranraer