29 Ayr United W2

A RALLYING call has been issued for Stranraer fans to turn out and support their team.

The club's financial issues have been well-documented in recent weeks, which has seen four members of Stevie Farrell's first team squad departing.

The Blues take on Ayr United tomorrow (Tuesday, 3pm) in their first game of 2018, with Farrell hoping for a bumper crowd.

He said: "The reality is our regular supporters, they will always come out to Stair Park.

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"Their support is greatly appreciated by myself, the management team, the players and the club.

"We are asking for the local community, those that think about coming along, to come along and bring their kids and anyone else.

"We want as many through the gates as we can."

Liam Dick is the latest departure and joins Ryan Wallace, Danny Stoney and Tom Lang in leaving the club.

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The full-back has swapped Stevie Farrell and Stranraer for Stevie Aitken and Dumbarton.

Dick featured 94 times for the Blues after initially joining the club on loan from Falkirk.

During that time, he scored two goals, including a vital strike in the play-off semi-final victory over Livingston.

Farrell described the defender's departure as "a blow".

He said: "He is a good player and we wish him well.

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"He is away to a good management team.

"Ideally, we would not lose him at this time of the year and would have kept him until the end of the season but the circumstances dictate otherwise.

"Dumbarton knew the situation and made their enquiries.

"Liam and Ryan were first team starters and they played 98 or 99 per cent of the games.

"The only time they didn't play was when injured or suspended but the reality is they have gone and it gives a chance for others to become first team starters."

It remains unclear if more players are likely to leave the club during the transfer window but one player who could benefit from the departures is Christopher McGowan.

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The defender only turned 19 at the beginning of last month but will be looking to grab his chance with both hands.

Ian McCall's Ayr United are the latest visitors, with the injured David Barron the only other absentee for the Blues.

The Honest Men sit top of the table after an impressive season, which has seen them score 52 goals in 19 league games.

Meanwhile, Stranraer remain in fourth place despite Saturday's 3-0 loss to Raith Rovers.


Last meeting
Ayr United 2-0 Stranraer
28 October 2017

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TWO red cards for Stranraer but two goals and three points for Ayr United tells the story of the last encounter between the two sides.

Paddy Boyle had clipped the crossbar for the hosts while Cameron Belford denied Lawrence Shankland in a first half which saw Stranraer with plenty of the ball but lacking a cutting edge. If Stranraer matched their hosts in the first period, they were far from their best after the break.

Regular Stranraer foe Michael Moffat broke the deadlock after collecting a ball over the top and worse was to follow when Scott Robertson was shown a straight red card after reacting to a crunching tackle from Jamie Adams. Shankland wrapped up the win two minutes from time and skipper Steven Bell was shown a red card, which was later rescinded, in added time after a clash with Adams.

Ayr United: Hart, Higgins, Boyle, Rose, Moffat (Forrest 83), Ferguson, Geggan (Adams 46), Crawford, McDaid (Moore 46), Shankland, Docherty.
Not used: Reid, Gilmour, McGuffie and Avci.

Stranraer: Belford, Robertson, Neill (Gray 73), Hamill, Woods, Bell, Agnew (Stoney 73), Anderson, Turner (Okoh 81), Thomson, Wallace.
Not used: Barron, Lang, McGowan and Currie.

Last five meetings

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- 2-0 (Moffat and Shankland) at Somerset Park, on October 28, 2017
- 3-4 (Wallace and Thomson x2; McDaid, Moore, Moffat and Boyle) at Stair Park on August 19, 2017
- 0-0 at Somerset Park on May 15, 2016
- 1-1 (McGuigan; Docherty) at Stair Park on May 11, 2016
- 2-1 (Trouten and Moffat; Thomson) at Somerset Park on March 26, 2016

Stranraer's last five games

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LOSS v Raith Rovers (A): 3-0
LOSS v Alloa Athletic (A): 1-0
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)

Ayr United's last five games


LOSS v Forfar Athletic (H): 2-3 (Moffat and Shankland)
LOSS v Airdrieonians (A): 2-0
WIN v East Fife (A): 1-4 (Rose x2, Moore and Shankland)
WIN v Queen's Park (H): 3-2 (Moore (P), McDaid and Forrest)
WIN v Albion Rovers (H): 3-2 (Moore, Shankland and Higgins)

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Raith Rovers: Belford, Scott Robertson, Hamill, Dick, Neill, Bell, Beith, Woods, Anderson (Agnew 73), Turner (Elliott 81), R Thomson (Okoh 73).
Not used: Gray, Scott, McGowan and McLaren.

Ayr United lineup v Forfar Athletic: Hart, Higgins, Boyle, Rose, Ferguson, Gilmour, Geggan (Adams 40), Forrest, McDaid (McGuffie 79), Moffat, Shankland (Moore 71).
Not used: Faulds, Murphy, Reid and Avci.

Referee

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Home fans will very much be hoping it is a different story this time round when Grant Irvine takes charge of a game at Stair Park.

The last time the referee visited Wigtownshire was in September, when Arbroath hit the Blues for six. Ryan McCord scored a hat-trick while Danny Denholm got two and Thomas O'Brien also found the net for the visitors. Ryan Thomson's first half strike and Scott Agnew's goal after the hour did not cover up that this was a bad day at the office for Stranraer.

The man in the middle has also taken charge of an Ayr United game this campaign. Again, it was the visitors on that day who were celebrating. Iain Campbell opened the scoring for Montrose and, although Craig Moore found the net, the League Two side would take the glory after a penalty shootout victory.

Admission

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Entry prices are as follows:

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

Coverage

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

And finally...

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If you can, bring your friends and family along to cheer the Blues on - we appreciate your support!

We're home again on Saturday 13 January against Airdrieonians, kickoff 3pm.

Photos: Stranraer FC.

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Arbroath 10 24
2 Raith Rovers 10 20
3 East Fife 10 19
4 Airdrieonians 10 13
5 Brechin City 10 13
6 Stranraer 10 12
7 Forfar Athletic 10 12
8 Stenhousemuir 10
9
9 Dumbarton 10 8
10 Montrose 10 8


Fixtures

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)
9 - Isaac Layne (STR)

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)