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A SELECTION headache faces Stranraer ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday) visit from Raith Rovers.

Stevie Farrell is missing no fewer than six first team regulars with the Blues attempting to make it three games unbeaten.

The manager said: “Ally McColm and Jonny Baxter will both be involved tomorrow.

“Without them, we have only got one fit outfield substitute and we have got Ally and Jonny involved.

alistair mccolm

“I have got Grant Anderson struggling with flu and he might not make it.

“Andy McDonald is suspended and PJ Crossan, Chris McGowan, Mark Lamont and Ian Smith are injured.

“PJ is being monitored by Celtic and at their behest will not be fit until after tomorrow.

“It is frustrating but we have got to respect their decision.

“Chris and Ian are still out and we are waiting on a prognosis for them and finding out what is wrong.

“Mark’s ankle has flared up again.”

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However, far from dwelling on those absences Farrell is looking forward to the match with the Kirkcaldy side, who drew at Stair Park on the opening day of the league season.

The manager said: “That’s football.

“One of the first bits of advice I got when I got into management and I was struggling for a team came on a Friday night.

“I phoned my assistant and he said: ‘What are you greeting about? There is not a lot you can do about it, focus on the players that are fit and look forward to the game’.

“It is not ideal but there is nothing we can do about it.”

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Raith come into the game on the back of a 2-2 draw away to Dumbarton on Tuesday evening.

They trail league leaders Arbroath by 16 points but will be looking to finish the season strongly.

Farrell said: “They will be ready for tomorrow and are a full time club with good players but we have been involved in competitive games with them and we have already beaten and drawn with them at Stair Park in the last couple of seasons.”

While John McGlynn’s side were drawing at the C&G Systems Stadium, Stranraer were drawing with Stenhousemuir at Stair Park.

Connor Duthie opened the scoring for the Warriors before David Smith notched up his first goal for the club.

Smith’s goal came ‘deep’ into first half stoppage time.

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The standside assistant referee was injured early doors which resulted in a lengthy delay before a replacement was found.

By the time Smith’s equaliser was scored, the remaining games in the division were getting ready to kick off for the second half.

Farrell felt a point was a fair result on a night where his team did not do enough to win but did not deserve to lose.

He said: “Our form has been good.

“As I said, out of the last eight or nine performances, the only one to disappoint was against Dumbarton.

“Every other game, we have been really, really good and at times we have been exceptional.

“The last week has been a decent week with a good performance at Brechin and a good solid three points.”

Last meeting
Raith Rovers 2-1 Stranraer
20 October 2018

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RAITH Rovers held firm throughout the second half to ensure they picked up three points, despite playing the second 45 minutes with ten men.

The hosts had a dream start when top scorer Kevin Nisbet found the net after just four minutes.

However, they were pegged back just before the half hour mark. Luke Donnelly was in the right place to capitalise on a loose ball and slammed a shot into the top corner.

There would be one more goal before the break though and again it was Nisbet, this time flicking past Max Currie.

Momentum seemed to swing back towards Stranraer just before the half time whistle when Euan Murray was shown a second yellow card. Unfortunately for the travelling fans, the Blues could not find a way through for a second equaliser, with Grant Anderson, Kyle Turner and Donnelly all coming close.

Raith Rovers: Thomson, Crane, Davidson, Murray, Benedictus, Hendry, Matthews, Wedderburn, Flanagan (Buchanan 82), Stevenson (Watson 49), Nisbet (Berry 88).
Not used: McKay, Valentine and Silva.

Stranraer: Currie, McDonald, Brownlie, D Smith (Lamont 65), Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Turner (Cameron 84), Anderson (Layne 72), Donnelly, Crossan.
Not used: Higgins, I Smith, Diver and Avci.
 
Last five meetings

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Raith Rovers 2 Stranraer 1 (Nisbet x2; Donnelly) at Stark’s Park on October 20, 2018
Stranraer 1 Raith Rovers 1 (Anderson; Buchanan) at Stair Park on August 4, 2018
Stranraer 0 Raith Rovers 3 (Murray, Buchanan and Vaughan) at Stair Park on April 21, 2018
Stranraer 1 Raith Rovers 0 (Beith) at Stair Park on January 20, 2018
Raith Rovers 3 Stranraer 0 (Spence, Buchanan and Vaughan) at Stark’s Park on December 30, 2017

Last five games

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Stranraer

DRAW v Stenhousemuir (H): 1-1 (D Smith)
WIN v Brechin City (A): 1-2 (Cameron and Hamill)
LOSS v Dumbarton (H): 0-3 
DRAW v Arbroath (A): 1-1 (Turner)
LOSS v East Fife (H): 3-4 (Anderson, Cameron and Victoria)

Raith Rovers

DRAW v Dumbarton (A): 2-2 (Flanagan and Nisbet)
WIN v Montrose (H): 4-1 (Nisbet (Pen), Murray, Buchanan and McGuffie)
LOSS v Arbroath (H): 0-1
LOSS v Hibernian (A): 3-1 (Murray)
DRAW v Forfar Athletic (H): 1-1 (Barjonas)

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Stenhousemuir: Currie, Brownlie, Smith, Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Turner, McCann, Anderson (Victoria 64), Elliott (O’Keefe 71), Cameron.
Not used: McDonald, Lamont, McColm and Avci.

Raith Rovers lineup v Dumbarton: Lyness, Crane, Davidson, Murray, Gillespie (Bowie 87), Dingwall, Wedderburn (Matthews 17), Flanagan (McGuffie 60), Barjonas, Buchanan, Nisbet.
Not used: McKay, Berry, Watson and Thomson.

Referee

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SCOTT Agnew and Ross Lyon were the goalscorers the last time David Munro took charge of a Stranraer game.

The midfield duo scored in the first half against Forfar in March last year.

Mr Munro has also taken charge of two Raith Rovers games this term. The Kirkcaldy side lost 2-1 to near neighbours East Fife in November and were held to a 1-1 draw away to Airdrie in January. Euan Murray’s second half goal cancelled out Leighton McIntosh’s early penalty.
 
Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish

We're home again for a midweek match with Brechin City on Tuesday 12 March.

Kickoff is 7.45pm, and normal league entry prices apply.

L29a Brechin 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