27 Alloa W

FOURTH welcomes third tomorrow (Saturday) at the Indodrill Stadium when Alloa Athletic host Stranraer.

A single point separates the two teams, with both on the same goal difference and both coming into the tie in decent form.

Stranraer boss Stevie Farrell said: "It is a good game to look forward to.

"We are looking forward to it, as are Alloa, and, as I say every week, this league is so competitive.

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"Every game is a game, there are no easy games in this league.

"It does not matter who plays who and I'm sure even Ayr United and Raith Rovers would say the same.

"We cannot ask for better than that - you want games to be competitive week in, week out."

It is going to be a different Stranraer team from the side which drew 2-2 with Albion Rovers on Tuesday night.

Captain Steven Bell and David Barron both limped off during the match, where Ryan Wallace took his goal tally to ten for the season.

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Farrell said: "Scott Agnew and David Barron are both out tomorrow but Steven Bell might make it.

"Scott has broken down in training once or twice but we are hopeful he will be back next Saturday.

"David Barron, it is his hamstring and we are looking at three to four weeks out.

"Steven hurt his knee but hopefully came off at the right time and hopefully could be fit for tomorrow."

The January transfer window opens in just over a week's time with changes expected in squads up and down the country.

The Stranraer squad is no different, with Tom Lang linked with a move away.

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Farrell has already stressed that incomings are doubtful but added Lang was unlikely to be the only one leaving Stair Park.

A poor league performance last season, coupled with an early exit in the Scottish Cup and attendance figures dropping to around 300, has done little to boost the club's coffers.

Tuesday evening's point with Albion Rovers was enough to edge the Blues into a clear third in the table.

It was a game where Stranraer were not at their best but still emerged with a point after a pair of Wallace penalties.

Farrell said: "I think it was a fair result.

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"We looked at the statistics after the game and we had 60 per cent possession, ten corners, penalties for both teams.

"Albion Rovers will feel themselves unfortunate and they had better chances and with better finishing could have been out of sight but, overall, we deserved a draw.

"We were not at our best but were behind twice and showed character to come back twice.

"That side of the team really, really pleased me.

"When I signed Ryan, I knew what I would get and that he could get into double figures, which he has done halfway through the season."


Last meeting
Stranraer 2-0 Alloa Athletic
14 October 2017

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TWO second half goals helped Stranraer to emerge victorious in the season's first encounter between the Blues and the Wasps.

Neither team was overly threatening during the first half with Paul Woods testing Neil Parry while Kevin Cawley blazed over Cameron Belford's crossbar at the other end.

Things came to life after the break though with the Blues opening the scoring through top goalscorer Ryan Wallace. Parry's goal kick was returned with interest and Wallace ran on to the loose ball before smashing it beyond the helpless goalkeeper.

It was a goal which opened up the game and that space allowed Stranraer to find the vital second goal in the final ten minutes. Woods and substitute Danny Stoney linked up well before the ball was played through to Jamie Hamill who made no mistake in beating the Alloa number one.

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

Alloa Athletic: Parry, Taggart, Crane (Martin 76), Graham, Meggatt, J Robertson, Cawley (Fleming 81), Flannigan, Renton, Crossan, Cook (Malcolm 67).
Not used: Hetherington, Goodwin and Wilson.

Last five meetings

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- 2-0 (Wallace and Hamill) at Stair Park on October 14, 2017
- 1-0 (Cawley) at Indodrill Stadium on April 29, 2017
- 1-2 (C Thomson; Flannigan and J Robertson) at Stair Park on January 7, 2017
- 2-2 (Kirkpatrick and Spence; Agnew and Gibson) at Indodrill Stadium on December 13, 2016
- 2-5 (Malcolm x2; Spence x2, Flannigan and Kirkpatrick x2) at Stair Park on August 13, 2016

Stranraer's last five games

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DRAW v Albion Rovers (H): 2-2 (Wallace (Pen x2))
WIN v Forfar Athletic (H): 3-0 (Wallace (Pen) and Beith x2)
DRAW v East Fife (A): 1-1 (Wallace)
WIN v Arbroath (A): 1-2 (Turner and Beith)
LOSS v Brora Rangers (H): 0-1

Alloa Athletic's last five games


WIN v Forfar Athletic (A): 0-2 (Renton x2)
LOSS v Raith Rovers (A): 2-1 (Cawley)
LOSS v Ayr United (H): 1-2 (Taggart)
WIN v Stenhousemuir (A): 1-2 (Malcolm x2)
WIN v Albion Rovers (A): 0-2 (Flannigan and Renton)

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Albion Rovers: Belford, Robertson, Barron (McGowan 63), Neill (Dick 62), Hamill, Bell (Woods 35), Anderson, Beith, Thomson, Wallace, Turner.
Not used: McLaren, Okoh, Elliott, Stoney.

Alloa lineup v Forfar Athletic: Parry, Taggart, Crane, Graham, Fleming, Robertson, Cawley (Martin 89), Hetherington, Malcolm (Hoggan 88), Crossan, Renton.
Not used: Monaghan, Cunningham, Goodwin and Wilson.

Referee

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The referee for tomorrow's (Saturday) clash is no stranger to Alloa fans having taken charge of a game already this season involving the Wasps.

Jim Goodwin's men came out on the wrong side of a 2-0 defeat against Airdrie back in August, with Ryan Conroy opening the scoring from the penalty spot. The Wasps were right in it until two minutes from time when Jake Hastie made the points safe.

Mr Finnie's last trip to the Indodrill Stadium came in July 2016 in the Scottish League Cup. The home side emerged victorious against Ross County, with Jordan Kirkpatrick and Jon Robertson putting the lower league side 2-0 up. Brian Graham and Alex Schalk levelled things up but Calum Waters popped up with a second half winner.

Mr Finnie is yet to take charge of a Stranraer game this campaign but was in the middle during a game in April. Mark McGuigan and Kyle Turner scored either side of half time against Airdrie and, despite Andy Ryan's goal, it was Stevie Farrell's men who picked up three points.

Admission

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Set your sat nav for FK10 1RY. Entry prices are as follows:

Adults £16, Senior Citizens (over 65) £8, Under 16s £4.

Coverage

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

And finally...

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Our South of Scotland League side are in action at home to St Cuthbert Wanderers.

Admission is £4 for adults, £2 for senior citizens (65+) and secondary pupils, and free for primary school kids and Stranraer season ticket holders.

Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish.

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POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Raith Rovers 35 74
2 Ayr United 34 73
3 Arbroath 35 59
4 Alloa Athletic 34 56
5 Stranraer 35 50
6 East Fife 35 42
7 Airdrieonians 35 41
8 Forfar Athletic 35
35
9 Albion Rovers 35 30
10 Queen's Park 35 28

Updated 21/4/18 at 5pm

Fixtures