SC02 Partick W

PARTICK Thistle remain favourites to progress to the next round of the Scottish Cup, despite just winning one game since September, according to Stevie Farrell.

Stranraer head to Firhill Stadium for the second meeting between the two teams this season.

Thistle were 5-0 winners in the IRN-BRU Cup back in August but have struggled in the Championship.

Farrell said: “They have a squad of players who are ex-Premiership players.

“They are struggling but they are all good players.

“We are a team from the division below and they will fully expect to beat us tomorrow.

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“We go there with no expectation on us and we are looking forward to it.

“But, we are not going with the old cliché of ‘going to enjoy ourselves’.

“The only way we will enjoy it is if we are still in the hat for the next round at 4.45pm.”

Stranraer have a near-full squad to choose from, with only Ian Smith missing.

The midfielder has not featured in recent weeks due to a knee injury and it now looks like it could be into February before he is available again.

However, Grant Anderson does return to the squad after missing out on the trip to Forfar last weekend.

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Farrell said: “Grant’s wife was having a baby.

“She got taken into hospital on Friday night and he became a dad late on Friday night/early Saturday morning.

“We wished Grant and the family all the best – it is a special time for anybody.”

Forfar emerged 2-1 winners last weekend, with experienced striker John Baird scoring with just three minutes left.

Understandably, Farrell was disappointed to leave with nothing but he stressed the mood was very much upbeat and he was confident things would turn around quickly.

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He said: “I am a great believer that if you keep playing well and performing well, it will turn.

“We went two periods last season where we lost three games in a row and this is the first occasion we have done that this season.

“We just came back from that on both occasions with unbeaten runs.”

The manager is also keen to strengthen his squad, with talks ongoing with transfer targets.

However, with the cup taking priority this weekend, those deals are likely to be looked at again at the beginning of next week.

Last meeting
Stranraer 0-5 Partick Thistle
14 August 2018

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STRANRAER fans don’t have to cast their minds back too far for the last time they came up against Partick Thistle.

The Jags were 5-0 winners at Stair Park back in August, with Thomas O’Ware’s header opening the scoring after ten minutes.

The Blues had chances to level but Aidan Fitzpatrick would see the visitors 2-0 up before the break. Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo made it 3-0 just a few minutes later and that looked like that would be the last of the scoring, with Stranraer holding firm throughout much of the second half.

Max Currie brought down Kris Doolan late on and was shown a red card, with Lyle Avci brought on for the final few minutes. Unfortunately, the substitute goalkeeper was unable to prevent a quickfire double, with Max Melbourne and Fitzpatrick finding the net in the last four minutes.

Stranraer: Currie, McDonald, Brownlie, D Smith, Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Turner, Anderson (Ashmore 70), Lamont (Layne 63), Donnelly (Avci 86).
Not used: McGowan, Elliott and I Smith.

Partick Thistle: Sneddon, Penrice, O’Ware, McGinty, Melbourne, Slater (Spittal 46), Fitzpatrick, Elliott, Doolan, Storer (Wilson 65), Mbuyi-Mutombo (Erskine 70).
Not used: Keown and Bell.
 
Last five meetings

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Stranraer 0 Partick Thistle 5 (O’Ware, Fitzpatrick x2, Mbuyi-Mutombo and Melbourne) at Stair Park on August 14, 2018
Partick Thistle 1 Stranraer 0 (Elliott) at Firhill Stadium on July 29, 2017
Partick Thistle 1 Stranraer 2 (Roberts; Ross and Hamilton) at Firhill Stadium on May 6, 2006
Stranraer 1 Partick Thistle 3 (Swift; McCulloch and Roberts x2 (Pen x1)) at Stair Park on May 3, 2006
Stranraer 3 Partick Thistle 4 (Harty and Walker x2; McNally, Elliot, McLean and McGrillen) at Stair Park on April 28, 2001

Last five games

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Stranraer

LOSS v Forfar Athletic (A): 2-1 (Cameron)
LOSS v Montrose (H): 1-2 (Cameron)
LOSS v Airdrie (A): 3-0
WIN v Dumbarton (A): 0-1 (Turner)
DRAW v East Fife (A): 3-3 (Cummins pen, Cameron and McGowan)

Partick Thistle

DRAW v Falkirk (H): 1-1 (Spittal)
DRAW v Dundee United (A): 1-1 (Doolan)
LOSS v Greenock Morton (H): 1-2 (Slater)
LOSS v Ross County (A): 2-0
DRAW v Alloa Athletic (H): 2-2 (Doolan (P) and Spittal)

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Forfar Athletic: Currie, Hamill, Brownlie, Cummins, Smith, O’Keefe, McManus, Turner (McDonald 90+1), Lamont (Elliott 85), Cameron, Crossan.
Not used: McGowan and Avci.

Partick Thistle lineup v Falkirk: Hazard, Elliott, Penrice, McGinty, Spittal (Erskine 81), Bannigan, Doolan (Cardle 80), Harkins, Slater, Storey (Roy 90), Saunders.
Not used: Wilson, Fitzpatrick, Jefferies and Sneddon.

Referee

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ALAN Newlands should be no stranger to either Stranraer or Partick Thistle fans.

He took charge of the last meeting between the two sides, which took place in August and saw the visitors to Stair Park emerge 5-0 winners. Since then, he has taken charge of one Stranraer match and one for Partick Thistle as well.

At the beginning of December, he was the man in the middle when Stranraer welcomed Forfar Athletic. Luke Donnelly and Connor McManus were on target on that occasion, with John Baird scoring from the penalty spot ten minutes from time.

A fortnight later and he took charge of Alloa’s visit to Firhill Stadium. Kris Doolan opened the scoring on that occasion before former Stranraer man Kevin Cawley equalised. Blair Spittal restored the home side’s advantage before Dario Zanatta secured a point for the Wasps.
 
Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish

We're back at Stair Park again on 26 January to face East Fife.

Normal league entry prices apply.

L22 East Fife W

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Airdrieonians 0 0
2 Clyde 0 0
3 Dumbarton 0 0
4 East Fife 0 0
5 Falkirk 0 0
6 Forfar Athletic 0 0
7 Montrose 0 0
8 Peterhead 0 0
9 Raith Rovers 0 0
10 Stranraer 0 0


Key dates


Squad 2019/20

IN:
David Smith (DEF), Max Currie (GK), Connor McManus (DEF/MID), Dale Burgess (GK, Renfrew), Adam Cummins (DEF), Scott Robertson (DEF), Ryan Thomson (MID), Grant Gallagher (MID), Jordan Allan (DEF).

OUT: Lyle Avci, Andy McDonald (Elgin), David Brownlie, Chris McGowan, Mark Lamont, Conor O'Keefe.

LOAN ENDED: Innes Cameron, Ali McCann, Joao Victoria, PJ Crossan.

View squad