L31a Brechin social W

STEVIE Farrell says there are “a number of incentives” for Stranraer to go and pick up three points on Tuesday night.


The Blues welcome Brechin City to Stair Park for the first time this season, with both teams looking for points to ease their relegation fears.

Just two points separate the teams going into the clash but that could all change depending on the result.

The Stranraer manager acknowledged the game was important but stressed nothing would be decided by the thirtieth game of the season.

He said: “At the end of the day, if we win tomorrow, does it mean we are mathematically safe? No, it does not.

“If we lose, does it mean we are relegated? No, it does not.

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“It is an important game because it is the next one.

“Brechin are the side directly behind us and there is only one team that can widen the gap tomorrow and that is us.

“The other thing is we can go above Dumbarton if we win.

“There are a number of incentives for us to go and put in a good performance.”

Adam Cummins, Chris McGowan and Ian Smith are all still absent having missed Saturday’s draw with Arbroath through injury.

Max Currie will also sit out the tie through suspension having been shown a straight red card after a clash with Michael McKenna.

Lyle Avci, who came on to replace Currie, will again get his chance between the sticks tomorrow (Tuesday) with his team-mate banned.

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Farrell said: “It was a sending off all day long.

“Max has been naive but he has apologised and we move on.

“It gives Lyle an opportunity.

“The only reason he has not had an opportunity is because he has been behind one of the best goalkeepers in the league.”

With Avci promoted from the bench, it frees up a space for another goalkeeper.

Goalkeeping coach Eric Phillips took up a spot among the substitutes against Forfar 12 months ago but the 49-year-old will not be called into action against Brechin.

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Farrell said: “We are going to bring up Euan Brown from the South of Scotland team and he will be on the bench.

“Eric thinks the kid has got a chance and has done some work with him but this is his first time in the first team squad.

“It is a great learning curve and one he should go and embrace.”

The Stranraer boss was not only pleased with Avci’s performance against Arbroath at the weekend but the team as whole.

The Blues matched their league leading opponents for much of the first half and were still equal to Dick Campbell’s men after the break, despite playing with ten men.

Speaking about the second half, Farrell said: “We had to have our concentration levels at maximum.

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“Our discipline and shape had to be excellent and we had it in an abundance on Saturday.

“Most teams could just go and sit and park the bus and not offer any attacking threat.

“We offered a threat on the break and going up the pitch we had the better chances.”

The manager acknowledged it was a tiring game on Saturday but was confident the players would have taken steps to ensure they were fully recovered ahead of the 7.45pm kick-off.

He said: “We asked the players just to really look after themselves between Saturday and tomorrow and I’m confident the group will have done that.”

Last meeting
Brechin City 1-2 Stranraer
23 February 2019

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STRANRAER came from a goal down to pick up three points at Glebe Park.

The visitors had the upper hand for much of the first half but found themselves a goal down after Euan Smith smashed home from close range.

However, Stranraer reacted quickly and Innes Cameron levelled things with a clever flick just two minutes later. The scores would remain level until 20 minutes from time when Jamie Hamill blasted home a free-kick through the Brechin defensive wall.

Brechin City: O’Neil, McLean, McGeever, Hill, Toshney (Lynas 74), Scobbie, E Smith, Robertson, Thomson, Jackson, Kavanagh.
Not used: Morena, J Tapping and Bowman.

Stranraer: Currie, Brownlie, D Smith, Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Turner, McCann, Anderson, Elliott (Victoria 82), Cameron.
Not used: O’Keefe, Lamont and Avci.

Last five meetings

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Brechin City 1 Stranraer 2 (E Smith; Cameron and Hamill) at Glebe Park on February 23, 2019
Brechin City 1 Stranraer 1 (C Tapping; Donnelly) at Glebe Park on September 29, 2018
Brechin City 0 Stranraer 0 at Glebe Park on April 22, 2017
Stranraer 2 Brechin City 0 (Gibson and Malcolm) at Stair Park on February 25, 2017
Brechin City 2 Stranraer 0 (Love and McLennan) at Glebe Park on December 17, 2016

Last five games

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Stranraer

DRAW v Arbroath (H): 0-0
WIN v Stenhousemuir (A): 0-1 (Cameron)
LOSS v East Fife (A): 3-1 (Turner)
DRAW v Raith Rovers (H): 2-2 (Turner and Victoria)
DRAW v Stenhousemuir (H): 1-1 (D Smith)

Brechin City

WIN v East Fife (A): 0-2 (Hill and Kavanagh)
DRAW v Forfar Athletic (H): 2-2 (Jackson and Hill)
DRAW v East Fife (H): 0-0
DRAW v Stenhousemuir (A): 1-1 (Orsi)
LOSS v Stranraer (H): 1-2 (E Smith)

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Arbroath: Currie, McDonald, Brownlie, D Smith, Hamill, McManus, Turner, McCann, Anderson, Victoria (Avci 45+4), Cameron.
Not used: Lamont, Elliott, Crossan and O’Keefe.

Brechin City lineup v East Fife: O’Neil, McLean, Hill, Toshney, Scobbie, Burns, E Smith (Miller 79), Robertson, Thomson, Jackson, Kavanagh (Jamieson 81).
Not used: McGeever, Spark, Tapping, Orsi and Bowman.

Referee
John McKendrick

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KYLE Turner’s goal was all that separated Stranraer and Dumbarton when Mr McKendrick last took charge of a Stranraer game.

The game, three days before Christmas, saw the Blues pick up a much-needed three points.

The last game at Stair Park involving Mr McKendrick came back in November when Airdrie visited Wigtownshire. Former Blue Grant Gallagher opened the scoring for the visitors before Kyle Wilkie doubled the advantage soon after the restart. That man Turner pulled one back but the Blues could not find a leveller.

Mr McKendrick was also in the middle for Stranraer’s trip to Brechin back in September. On that occasion, Callum Tapping scored a free-kick just after the half hour mark but Stranraer would level with five minutes left when Luke Donnelly smashed home.

The last away tie came in April 2018 when Brechin visited Dunfermline. The home side would emerge 4-0 winners with first half goals by Lee Ashcroft and Fraser Aird. Andy Ryan and Kallum Higginbotham doubled the score in the second half.

Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish

SPFL 3L1 6474

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


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 (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 (STR)
15 - Robert Jones (STR)

17 - David Smith (DEF)
18 - David Dangana (STR)
21 - Dale Burgess (GK)
22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Ryan Thomson (MID)