THERE is an old phrase: "When one door closes, another one opens."
That was certainly the case for Stevie Farrell and Stranraer last weekend.
A home tie with Arbroath was cancelled early on Saturday morning amid fears of a waterlogged pitch.
However, the postponement allowed Farrell not only the chance to squeeze in an extra training session but also to do a bit of scouting.
He said: "Myself, Stuart Millar and Chris Aitken watched Alloa against Forfar.
"Stuart watches all of our next opponents but the postponement allowed me to watch the opposition.
"It also gave me a chance to see Alloa, who we have got next weekend.
"It was a disappointment for the Arbroath game to be off but it was fortuitous to see two of our next opponents."
Forfar narrowly lost 1-0 to the high-flying Wasps, a result which saw them slip back to the bottom of the League One table.
However, Farrell was taking nothing for granted ahead of the long trip to Station Park tomorrow (Saturday).
He said: "They are at home and most teams will say when they are at home they fancy themselves to beat anybody.
"If they are going to be successful, they need to win their home games.
"We watched them last week and I thought they played very well and were unlucky to get nothing.
"I thought they deserved at least a point."
Farrell's squad is at full strength for the visit to Angus, with Chris McGowan overcoming illness to be part of the squad.
The manager was keeping his cards close to his chest about any team selection ahead of the tie.
He said: "Every week, my selection will be between me and the players.
"We work all week and they would be disappointed if I came out and disclosed team news.
"We have got opposition who watch closely for reports of team news.
"We are at full strength and we go with a full pool to choose from.
"Everybody is contention and hopefully we pick a side to pick up three valuable points."
Whatever tomorrow's scoreline, the Blues will not have long to wait before they are back in action.
The postponed match with Arbroath has quickly been rearranged for Tuesday evening (20 February) under the lights at Stair Park.
The manager admitted he was surprised the game had been called off but it was not a case of the players putting their feet up.
Instead, they were brought in for a training session before the management team left for the Indodrill Stadium.
Stranraer 3-0 Forfar Athletic
16 December 2017
A LATE Angus Beith double wrapped up three points and saw Stranraer move into third in the League One table.
The Blues were almost given the perfect start with just nine minutes on the clock. Defender Jamie Bain handled Ryan Wallace's corner but Forfar goalkeeper Marc McCallum was equal to Jamie Hamill's penalty.
Instead, the Blues would have to wait until after the break to find the net. Grant Anderson had already had a goal ruled out but, again, the chance would come from the penalty spot, with Wallace going down under the challenge of the unfortunate Bain. This time, it was Wallace who took responsibility from 12 yards and he squeezed the ball beyond McCallum.
Forfar had to push to try to get back into the game but were caught out twice in the closing stages. First, Beith gambled on Ryan Thomson's knockdown and swept the ball beyond McCallum and then a quick counter attack saw Cameron Belford and Paul Woods combine for Beith to fire home again.
The game also marked the last time Tom Lang would pull on a Stranraer shirt, with the defender swapping Stair Park for Broadwood not longer after the game.
Stranraer: Belford, Robertson (McGowan 82), Barron, Neill, Hamill (Lang 87), Bell, Anderson (Woods 79), Turner, Beith, Thomson, Wallace.
Not used: Gray, Stoney, Okoh and McLaren.
Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Bain, Quigley, Whyte, Travis, McNaughton (Starkey 70), Aitken, Cregg, Milne, Easton (Peters 78), Millar (See 46).
Not used: Warwick, Allan and Adam.
Last five meetings
- 3-0 (Wallace (Pen) and Beith x2) at Stair Park, on December 16, 2017
- 1-1 (Peters; Stoney) at Station Park on September 30, 2017
- 1-0 (Pettigrew) at Stair Park on March 5, 2016
- 1-1 (Ryan; Longworth) at Station Park on February 6, 2016
- 0-0 at Stair Park on November 21, 2015
Stranraer's last five games
LOSS v East Fife (H): 0-2
WIN v Albion Rovers (A): 1-3 (Beith x2 and Robertson)
WIN v Raith Rovers (H): 1-0 (Beith)
WIN v Airdrieonians (H): 3-2 (Okoh x2 and Beith)
DRAW v Queen's Park (A): 2-2 (Beith and Turner)
Forfar's last five games
LOSS v Alloa Athletic (A): 1-0
LOSS v Airdrieonians (H): 0-1
WIN v East Fife (A): 1-2 (Easton (Pen) and Aitken)
WIN v Albion Rovers (H): 4-2 (Millar (Pen), Travis x2 and Munro)
LOSS v Raith Rovers (A): 2-1 (Peters)
Last time out
Stranraer lineup v East Fife: Currie, Robertson, Neill, McGowan, Hamill, Agnew (Hawkshaw 63), Turner, Beith, Woods (Anderson 63), Okoh, Dykes (Lyon 63).
Not used: MacPherson, Barron, Thomson and McLaren.
Forfar Athletic lineup v Alloa Athletic: McCallum, Whyte (Easton 46), Bain, Munro, Travis, Mackintosh, Dingwall, Millar, Aitken, Hurst (MacIver 76), Malone (Peters 66).
Not used: McNaughton, McBride, Starkey and Adam.
Gavin Ross has taken charge of two Stranraer games this season, yet only one has gone the distance.
He was referee for the abandoned tie with Raith Rovers at Stair Park earlier this season. The scores were level at 1-1, with Scott Agnew cancelling out Lewis Vaughan's opener when he decided the conditions were getting simply too wet for football to continue safely.
The other game saw Mr Ross make the trip to Stair Park in September, with the Blues emerging 3-1 winners against Airdrieonians. Scott Agnew was on target that day as well, as he added to Grant Anderson's double. Willis Furtado was on target for the Diamonds but Stranraer came out on top, despite Scott Robertson's red card.
Mr Ross has also been involved with two Forfar games, with the opposition coming out on top on both occasions. Airdrie were 2-1 winners in December and Stirling Albion were winners at Station Park back in July. Callum Morrison's double, along with Ross Kavanagh's strike, set the Binos up for victory, with a Liam Caddis own goal in stoppage time getting the hosts on the scoresheet.
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We've got two home games next week - Arbroath are the visitors on Tuesday night (7.45pm), with Alloa travelling to Stair Park on Saturday (3pm).
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Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish.