L28 East Fife W

GOALS, goals, goals.

Stranraer and East Fife have shared 18 goals between them in three of the last four meetings between the two sides and Stevie Farrell does not expect that to change later today (Saturday).

The Stranraer boss said: “I think we are two teams that like to go forward, play expansively and go to win games.

“Neither team likes to sit in and defend and both teams have had chances.

“No doubt, it will be the same today.”

The Blues are boosted by the return of Grant Anderson, PJ Crossan and Andy McDonald for the trip to Bayview Stadium.

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The trio missed the clash with East Fife’s promotion rivals Raith Rovers last weekend through illness, injury and suspension respectively.

Farrell said: “It is good quality and good experience coming into the bench and good to have them available.

“It gives us options.”

The returning trio leaves Mark Lamont, Ian Smith and Chris McGowan as the only members of the first team squad still out injured.

Smith and McGowan remain out long-term but Farrell was pleased to say that Lamont was starting to make progress with his troublesome ankle injury.

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For Farrell, Bayview Stadium holds special memories, with the manager, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, taking charge of Stranraer for the first time back in January 2017.

Fast forward more than two years and the manager is closing in on 100 games in the Stair Park hot seat.

He said: “I always look forward to going to East Fife.

“It was my first game as manager so it is a bit of a special place for me and I look forward to going up there.

“We have a decent record with myself up there and I am looking forward to the game.

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“They have a really good team this year and are up where they are on merit.

“They are going through a bit of a sticky patch and hopefully we add to that.”

The visitors come into the game on the back of a three-game unbeaten streak, including last week’s 2-2 draw with Raith Rovers.

Stranraer led 2-0 through Kyle Turner and Joao Victoria before Raith pulled themselves level with a quickfire double at the start of the second half.

The second goal came from the penalty spot and Farrell backed defender Adam Cummins, who was adjudged to have illegally blocked the ball.

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The manager said: “We have had one penalty this season, which was up at East Fife and we have had something like nine against us, which is some record.

“I’ve got to say that last week’s was definitely not a penalty.

“Before the game, I would have taken a point but after the game you think, with a wee bit more luck, it maybe could have been three points.

“They are a good side, the only full time side in the league, and we matched them for long, long periods of the game.”

Last meeting
Stranraer 3-4 East Fife
26 January 2019

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STRANRAER clawed back a three-goal deficit at Bayview Stadium earlier in the season but it was the Fifers who completed a remarkable turnaround at Stair Park.

Kyle Turner set up the first goal with a through ball for Grant Anderson, who slotted home. That advantage was soon doubled with Turner this time creating the chance for Innes Cameron.

East Fife pulled one back through Kevin Smith but Stranraer would begin the final third of the game with a two-goal advantage. Joao Victoria was making his debut and saw his first shot blocked by Mark Docherty before tucking home the rebound.

Unfortunately, the final 30 minutes would see the game turned on its head. Craig Watson headed home after a quickly taken corner and Anton Dowds levelled things after a ball over the top.

The final goal would come for the visitors and again it was Dowds, this time heading home another corner.

Stranraer: Currie, Brownlie, D Smith, Hamill, Cummins, McManus (Elliott 83), Turner, Anderson, Cameron, Victoria, Crossan (O’Keefe 78).
Not used: McGowan, McDonald and Avci.

East Fife: Long, Docherty, Dunlop, Watson, Meggatt, Linton, Slattery (Currie 65), Agnew (K Smith 29), Watt, Davidson, Dowds (Kane 85).
Not used: Dunsmore, Bell, Court and Trialist.
 
Last five meetings

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Stranraer 3 East Fife 4 (Anderson, Cameron and Victoria; K Smith, Watson and Dowds x2) at Stair Park on January 26, 2019
East Fife 3 Stranraer 3 (Dunsmore, Meggatt and Watson; Cummins (P), Cameron and McGowan) at Bayview Stadium on December 8, 2018
Stranraer 0 East Fife 2 (Watson and Currie) at Stair Park on September 22, 2018
East Fife 2 Stranraer 3 (Watson and Page; Agnew and Anderson x2) at Bayview Stadium on April 28, 2018
Stranraer 0 East Fife 2 (Linton (P) and Lamont) at Stair Park on February 3, 2018

Last five games

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Stranraer

DRAW v Raith Rovers (H): 2-2 (Turner and Victoria)
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)

East Fife

DRAW v Brechin City (A): 0-0
LOSS v Forfar Athletic (A): 3-0
DRAW v Arbroath (H): 1-1 (Currie)
LOSS v Dumbarton (H): 3-4 (Slattery, K Smith and Dowds)
LOSS v Ross County (A): 2-1 (Dowds)

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Raith Rovers: Currie, Brownlie, Smith, Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Turner, Victoria, McCann, Elliott (O’Keefe 73), Cameron.
Not used: Baxter, McColm and Avci.

East Fife lineup v Brechin City: Terry, Dunsmore, Docherty, Dunlop, Higgins, Meggatt, Slattery, Watt, Davidson, Watson (Bell 70), Court (Smith 72).
Not used: Linton, Kane and Couser.

Referee
Barry Cook

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JAMIE Hamill’s late, late leveller at Links Park rescued a point for Stranraer on a trip to Montrose in November.

The Blues made the journey to Angus but found themselves a goal down through Martin Rennie’s header. However, with the game in stoppage time, Hamill helped the ball over the line from close range.

One month previously, Mr Cook visited Bayview Stadium for a cup clash with East Fife and Queen of the South. It was the visitors who progressed with Kevin Smith scoring in the first half against his old club before Anton Dowds wrapped up the victory in the closing stages.
 
Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish

We're back at Stair Park for a midweek match with Brechin City on Tuesday 12 March.

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

L29a Brechin W 

betfred1

 Pos  Team  Pld   Pts 
1 Ayr United 3 6
2 Livingston
2 5
3 Falkirk 3 4
4 Stranraer 2 3
5 Berwick 2 0

Fixtures

2019/20 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Scott Robertson (DEF)
3 - Jordan Allan (DEF)
4 - Adam Cummins (DEF)
5 - Lee Hamilton (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (DEF/MID)
7 - James Hilton (MID)
8 - Grant Gallagher (MID)
9 - Mark Stewart (STR)
10 - Leon Murphy (MID)
11 - Ian Smith (MID)
12 - Carlo Pignatiello (MID)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID/STR)
17 - David Smith (DEF)
18 - David Dangana (STR)
21 - Dale Burgess (GK)
22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Ryan Thomson (MID)