BC4 Edinburgh City W

“THERE is no way to butter it up, we were not good enough”.

Stevie Farrell pulled no punches in his assessment of Stranraer’s performance against Clyde, with attention now turning to a trip to Scotland’s capital tomorrow (Saturday).

The Blues had impressed in a penalty shoot-out win over Premiership side Motherwell but were brought crashing back down to earth with defeat at home to Clyde.

The manager said: “There is no way to butter it up, we were not good enough.

“That is nothing to do with ability but mental toughness.

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“You cannot go and play like we did against Motherwell and then produce a performance like we did against Clyde.

“It is not about ability.”

The manager stressed the Bully Wee were the side deserving to win, even though the Blues did improve after the break, with Grant Anderson on target 11 minutes after stepping off the bench.

Farrell was keen to see players learn lessons but predicted there would be a few ups and downs over the next ten months or so.

He said: “We have warned people, we are a young squad and we are a new squad.

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“The average age of the squad is twenty two and a half or twenty three and we are going to have a rollercoaster season.

“But we cannot turn up for games that we want to turn up for.

“Every game is as important as the last.”

A trip to Ainslie Park will see the Blues take on Edinburgh City for the first time since their promotion to League Two in 2016.

They will do it without Kyle Turner and Isaac Layne, who have calf and knee knocks respectively.

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Both are aiming to return in time for the league opener against Raith Rovers seven days later.

Farrell said: “We have had Edinburgh watched and given them respect.

“We have got reports and videos and we have studied that.

“We will go and look forward to tomorrow and hopefully go and put in a better performance than against Clyde.

“We are trying something new tomorrow in terms of how we are looking at things.

“We always said the Betfred Cup and pre-season is about looking at different things and formations and we will continue that tomorrow.

“We are still looking going with a view to winning and carrying that momentum into the season.”

Betfred Cup so far

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Stranraer

EVENTFUL would probably be a fair description of Stranraer’s Betfred Cup campaign.

A rollercoaster game against derby rivals Queen of the South saw the Blues 2-0 up in the opening ten minutes through Christopher McGowan and Luke Donnelly before the hosts hit back to lead 3-2 at half time. Ultimately, the Doonhamers would win 5-3, with Kyle Turner also finding the net for Stranraer.

That promising performance was built on when Motherwell visited Stair Park. The Steelmen were 1-0 up at the break but Stranraer got a deserved leveller through Isaac Layne and went on to win on penalties, with Adam Cummins, McGowan and Andy McDonald finding the net.

The mood among the fans following those two performances was dampened though when Clyde visited Stair Park on Tuesday evening. The visitors were 3-0 up at the break and Grant Anderson’s goal proved no more than consolation.

Edinburgh City

It was a group that was always going to prove tricky for Edinburgh City with a Premiership and a Championship side in it and it has proven that way for tomorrow’s hosts.

Perhaps most promising for them was the opening game of the competition when they took on fellow League Two side Clyde. Conrad Balatoni gave Edinburgh the lead before the break and it was an advantage they held right up until the very end when Clyde levelled. Despite that setback, they went on to win 4-1 on penalties, with Mark Laird, Robbie McIntyre, Bradley Donaldson and Craig Thomson finding the net.

Since then, things have been more challenging with a rampant Motherwell putting five past them in the first half. Queen of the South almost repeated that trick last Saturday when they scored four in 38 minutes. The capital side have been slow starters since they joined League Two and have not won a game over 90 minutes in July or August.

Stranraer's last five games

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LOSS v Clyde (H): 1-3 (Anderson)
WIN v Motherwell (H): 1-1 (Stranraer win 3-2 on penalties) (Layne)
LOSS v Queen of the South (A): 5-3 (McGowan, Donnelly and Turner)
LOSS v Stirling Albion (H): 0-2
WIN v Newton Stewart (A): 0-4 (Elliott, Trialist, Layne and Ashmore)

Edinburgh City's last five games

LOSS v Queen of the South (H): 0-4
LOSS v Motherwell (A): 5-0
WIN v Clyde (A): 1-1 (Edinburgh City win 4-1 on penalties) (Balatoni)
WIN v St Mirren XI (H): 2-0 (Taylor and Smith)
WIN v Whitehill Welfare (H): 4-0 (Henderson x2, Handling and Smith)

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Clyde: Currie, McGowan (McManus 46), McDonald, Brownlie (Donnelly 46), D Smith, Hamill, Cummins, Turner, Ashmore (Anderson 46), Lamont, Layne.
Not used: Lidington, Elliot, I Smith and Avci.

Edinburgh City lineup v Queen of the South: Antell, McIntyre, Balatoni, Donaldson, Hall (Handling 67), Thomson, Laird, Henderson (Lumsden 89), Taylor, Rodger, Smith.Antell, McIntyre, Balatoni, Donaldson, Hall (Handling 67), Thomson, Laird, Henderson (Lumsden 89), Taylor, Rodger, Smith.
Not used: Day and Morton.

We're back home on Saturday 4 August for the first league game of 2018/19.

Pick up your season ticket from the Fitba' Bar or Stair Park to save up to £55 on league entry.

L01 Raith W

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Arbroath 17 45
2 Raith Rovers 17 32
3 East Fife 17 26
4 Forfar Athletic 17 24
5 Montrose 17 21
6 Airdrieonians 17 20
7 Stranraer 16 20
8 Dumbarton 17
18
9 Brechin City 16 16
10 Stenhousemuir 17 15


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)
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)