MIXED feelings would be a fair way to describe Chris McGowan’s thoughts after the opening day of the season.
A first senior goal gave the young full back plenty to smile about but, ultimately, a 5-3 defeat, after leading 2-0 inside ten minutes, left Stranraer frustrated at Palmerston Park on Saturday.
The Blues got off to a great start against Queen of the South and it was McGowan who grabbed the first goal of the game and the first of his career.
He said: “Personally, it is good to get on the scoresheet.
“I never scored in any of the games last year that I played in but I have been up for a few corners recently.
“I am still disappointed with the result but it was good to get on the scoresheet and get my first goal.”
Luke Donnelly added to McGowan’s early goal but a crazy five minutes before the break saw Queen go from two down to one up.
It was a harsh blow on a Stair Park side who had enjoyed much of the play in the opening 40 minutes.
McGowan said: “It was a very unique game.
“The only other game I have been involved in like that was when I was at Dalry and we were 4-0 up and lost 5-4.
“Obviously, there were goals both ways in this one but it was just a wild game.
“In football, you cannot explain some things and we were on top for most of the game, especially in the first half.
“Then, five minutes before half time we lost three goals.”
Despite the defeat, McGowan, who turns 20 later this year, felt Stranraer could take confidence from their performance.
Premiership side Motherwell visit Stair Park on Saturday, with the Steelmen buoyed by a 5-0 win over Edinburgh City last night (Tuesday).
It is a tough start but the defender felt things had gone well in pre-season.
It has been a remarkable 12 months for McGowan, who made his debut on the final day of the 2016/17 season against East Fife.
The form and consistency of Liam Dick ensured it was almost Christmas before he made appearance number two.
This season, the left back slot appears to be his but the youngster is not resting on his laurels.
He said: “Last season, in pre-season at the back of your mind you know you are not going to be playing when the season starts.
“Now, there is a chance to solidify your position.”
Photos: Queen of the South FC, Stranraer FC