L06 Stenhousemuir W

STEVIE Farrell is looking forward to his “vibrant” squad getting back to action tomorrow (Saturday).

The Blues welcome Stenhousemuir to Stair Park following the international break, with two new signings and a departure since the 2-0 loss to Airdrie.

Innes Cameron and Daniel Higgins have joined on loan from Kilmarnock, with Sam Lidington leaving the club.

Farrell was quick to thank Lidington, who spent last season on loan at Hurlford, for his efforts and wished him well.

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He said: “First of all, Sam is away and it is important to thank him for his efforts.

“We wish him all the best.

“He wanted to play and I cannot guarantee that.

“Him leaving freed up a bit of money to see if we could use the loan market.

“We were able to make the two Kilmarnock deals and Stuart Millar worked closely with Steve Clarke for them both to come.

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“It has strengthened our squad and gives us a squad of 19, which is healthy.

“It gives us a young vibrant squad with one or two experienced players.

“I am happy with the squad and looking forward to them getting involved and kicking on.”

The Warriors were promoted from League Two via the play-offs last term and picked up a 2-1 win over Dumbarton before the international break.

Saturday's contest will see the return to Stair Park of former Blues Mark McGuigan and Morgyn Neill, who moved on from the club over consecutive summers.

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Farrell was expecting another tough, competitive encounter but was hopeful home advantage could prove decisive.

He said: “Stenhousemuir bring the same as every team in the league – a difficult game over 90 minutes.

“Every team in this league is evenly matched and every game is a competitive affair.

“Tomorrow will be no different but we are unbeaten at home in the league and it will be our aim to continue that tomorrow.”

They will look to do that with the additions of Cameron and Higgins, who has League One experience with Airdrie, but without the services of Andrew McDonald.

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The defender was shown a straight red card against Airdrie and will also miss next weekend’s clash with East Fife.

However, the Blues do welcome back Isaac Layne from injury while Mark Lamont has had a further fortnight of training.

While Scotland were battling Belgium and Albania, Stranraer were not taking it easy with no game over the weekend.

The manager said: “The international break is great and gives you time to get on the training field.

“We trained last Saturday and just felt it was helpful to work during the break.”

Last meeting
Stranraer 3-0 Stenhousemuir
Saturday 1 April 2017

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DOMINANT Stranraer edged ever closer to securing League One football with victory over fellow strugglers Stenhousemuir.

It was eighth versus tenth at Stair Park and once the Blues got their noses in front there was no way back for the visitors. The deadlock was broken eight minutes before the break when Scott Agnew capitalised on some slack play by Jamie McCormack and Fraser Kerr. Both had chances to get the ball clear before Agnew collected the ball and his low shot wrong-footed Ryan Bowman in the Stenhousemuir goal.

The lead was doubled just before the hour mark through Ryan Thomson. The defence failed to deal with Willie Gibson’s free-kick and the midfielder thumped the ball home from close range.

Any chance of a comeback was killed off five minutes later when McCormack was sent off and substitute Amadou Kassarate wrapped up the scoring with his first for the club with a spectacular overhead kick.

Stranraer: Belford, Dick, Barron, Neill, Pettigrew, Bell, Agnew, Wilson (Donald 76), Thomson, Gibson (McGuigan 67), Malcolm (Kassarate 67).
Not used: McGowan, Morena, Turner and Currie.

Stenhousemuir: Bowman, McCormack, Summers (Shaw 65), Meechan, Kerr, Duthie, Roy (Furtado 65), Millar, McMenamin, Robertson, Cook (Gilhaney 88).
Not used: Hamilton, Grant and McCabe.
 
Last five meetings

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Stranraer 3 Stenhousemuir 0 (Agnew, Thomson and Kassarate) at Stair Park on April 1, 2017
Stenhousemuir 1 Stranraer 0 (Millar) at Ochilview Park on January 14, 2017
Stranraer 3 Stenhousemuir 1 (Bell, Thomson and Nuttall; Roy) at Stair Park on November 19, 2016
Stenhousemuir 0 Stranraer 5 (Gibson, Turner, Malcolm x2 and Nadé) at Ochilview Park on October 15, 2016
Stranraer 3 Stenhousemuir 1 (McGuigan x2 and Robertson; Scotland (P)) at Stair Park on March 19, 2016

Last five games

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Stranraer

LOSS v Airdrieonians (A): 2-0
WIN v Montrose (H): 2-0 (Brownlie and Anderson)
DRAW v Forfar Athletic (A): 0-0
LOSS v Partick Thistle (H): 0-5
LOSS v Arbroath (A): 3-1 (Donnelly)

Stenhousemuir

WON v Dumbarton (H): 2-1 (Ross and Duthie)
LOSS v Forfar Athletic (A): 2-0
LOSS v Airdrieonians (H): 1-2 (Crighton OG)
LOSS v Queen of the South (H): 0-3
LOSS v Raith Rovers (A): 2-0

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Airdrieonians: Currie, McGowan (Diver 61), McDonald, Brownlie, D Smith, Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Turner, Donnelly (I Smith 77), Anderson (Lamont 70).
Not used: Lidington, Ashmore and Avci.

Stenhousemuir lineup v v Dumbarton: Smith, Reid, Donaldson, Neill, Tena, Gibbons, Ross (Halleran 87), Dickson, McGuigan (Vaughan 74), Duthie, O’Hara (McMenamin 88).
Not used: McBrearty, Cook and McMinn.

Referee

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A FIRST trip to Stair Park since December 2017 beckons for Craig Napier.

He was in charge of a midweek clash with Albion Rovers, with three penalties awarded in the 2-2 draw. Alan Trouten opened the scoring before Ryan Wallace levelled things from the spot. Trouten then put the visitors back in front, from the spot, with Wallace scoring the final penalty of the day to rescue a point.

Mr Napier also took charge of Stenhousemuir’s clash with Berwick Rangers in April this year. There were no penalties – or goals – on that occasion.

Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish

New boys Innes Cameron and Daniel Higgins are now available to sponsor:

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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)