17 Raith W

LEAGUE leaders Raith Rovers make the trip to Stair Park tomorrow (Saturday) for the first time in eight years.

The Kirkcaldy side sit top of League One with an impressive 22 points from a possible 27.

Stair Park boss Stevie Farrell felt Raith were there on merit and would likely be the team to beat for anyone looking to be crowned champions.

He said: "I think they are the best side we have come up against.

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"In Lewis Vaughan, they have the best player in the league and I worked with him at Dumbarton last season.

"I watched Raith against St Mirren two or three weeks ago and he was a real difference in the second half.

"It will be a tough game tomorrow and they have some really good players at the club.

"They are favourites to win the league."

Raith won the opening encounter between the two sides back in August and Vaughan played a starring role in that victory - scoring two and setting up the other.

Stranraer will have to keep the 21-year-old quiet if they are to emerge with anything from the match.

Farrell said: "At the end of the day, we have had them watched the last two weeks and prepared accordingly.

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"We are giving them every respect but it is about us - both in terms of with and without the ball.

"We need to pass the ball with a purpose and when we lose the ball we need to be secure in our shape."

Stranraer's shape impressed Farrell last week as they switched from a back four to a back three for the first time this season.

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The result was a 2-0 victory over Alloa Athletic, with Ryan Wallace and Jamie Hamill on the scoresheet.

The victory saw the Blues finish the first quarter on 14 points - good enough for sixth place in the league and one point off the play-off spots.

The manager was not too fussed about the league table and stressed no champions or promotions were clinched in October.

He added: "The league table does not concern me.

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"There has never been a league won in October and two years ago Stranraer came from bottom in December to finish in the playoff places.

"We need to keep working hard and take each game at a time."

One change ahead of tomorrow's game could see Liam Dick missing out.

The full back has been struggling with a knock for the last few weeks and Farrell felt the ex-Falkirk man may have come back too early and could miss tomorrow's tie.


Last meeting
Raith Rovers 3-0 Stranraer
12 August 2017

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A GOAL just before half time ultimately set pacesetters Raith Rovers on their way to three points at Starks Park in August.

Stranraer had matched their opponents for much of the first half and Kyle Turner was denied by a great save from Aaron Lennox. However, it would be the hosts who opened the scoring through Lewis Vaughan, who took advantage of a split second of hesitation in the Stranraer defence to beat Cameron Belford.

It was a goal which gave the Kirkcaldy side further confidence and they managed to step it up a gear after the break.

Vaughan turned provider in flicking the ball over Belford for Greig Spence to roll the ball into an empty net and just three minutes later Bobby Barr teed up Vaughan for another tap in.

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Kyle Benedictus cleared another Turner effort off the line and Liam Dick blazed over but Rovers were worth their win.

Raith Rovers: Lennox, Thomson, McHattie, Callachan, Murray, Benedictus, Spence, Robertson (Berry 89), Buchanan (Matthews 73), Vaughan (Osei-Opoku 89), Barr.
Not used: McKay, Bell, Court and Brian.

Stranraer: Belford, Robertson, Dick, Barron, Neill, Hamill (Agnew 71), Bell, Anderson (Woods 70), Turner, Thomson (Okoh 71), Wallace.
Not used: Lang, McKinlay, Stoney and Currie.

Last five meetings

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- 3-0 (Vaughan x2 and Spence) at Starks Park on August 12, 2017
- 0-3 (Williamson, Sloan and Hislop) at Stair Park on April 4, 2009
- 2-1 (Weir and Wilson; Mullen) at Starks Park on January 17, 2009
- 0-2 (Wales and Smith) at Stair Park on October 25, 2008
- 2-1 (Campbell and Smith; Tadé) at Starks Park on August 23, 2008

Stranraer's last five games

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WIN v Alloa Athletic (H): 2-0 (Wallace and Hamill)
LOSS v Dumbarton (A): 2-1 (Okoh)
DRAW v Forfar Athletic (A): 1-1 (Stoney)
LOSS v Arbroath (H): 2-6 (Thomson and Agnew)
WIN v Albion Rovers (A): 0-4 (Agnew x3 (Px2) and Woods)

Raith's last five games

WIN v Arbroath (H): 2-0 (Vaughan and Thomson)
WIN v St Mirren (A): 1-3 (Vaughan, Spence and Barr)
LOSS v Albion Rovers (A): 2-1 (Spence)
WIN v Airdrieonians (H): 2-0 (Thomson and Zanatta)
WIN v Queen's Park (A): 0-5 (Buchanan, Vaughan, Zanatta, Barr and Thomson)

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Alloa: Belford, Robertson, Dick, Neill, Hamill, Woods (Elliott 88), Bell, Anderson (Agnew 61), Turner, Thomson, Wallace (Stoney 81).
Not used: Lang, McGowan, Okoh and Currie.

Raith Rovers lineup v Arbroath: Smith, Thomson, Watson (McKay 89), Herron, Murray, Robertson, Spence (Buchanan 75), Barr, Vaughan, Matthews, Davidson.
Not used: Berry, Osei-Opoku, Court, Zanatta and Brian

Referee

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It was not that long ago that Gavin Ross last stepped out on to the Stair Park pitch. In fact, it was just last month when Stranraer hosted Airdrie.

Grant Anderson's double - either side of a Scott Agnew penalty - was enough to wrap up all three points but only after Willis Furtado had equalised for the visitors. Scott Robertson was then sent off with just under 20 minutes left but Stevie Farrell's men held on for the win.

Seven days earlier, the referee was the man in the middle at Starks Park.

Raith Rovers welcomed Ross County's under-20s in the IRN-BRU Cup and it was the hosts who ran out comfortable winners. Lewis Vaughan scored twice and Bobby Barr and Liam Buchanan were all on target within the opening half an hour.

Admission

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Entry prices at Stair Park are as follows:

Adult £15, Concessions (65+) £10, Secondary School £5, Primary School FREE.

Coverage

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Follow the Blues on Twitter at @StranraerFC for live updates throughout the afternoon.

Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish

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