L35 Dumbarton W

STEVIE Farrell might have already started thinking about next season but he insists his team is entirely focused on tomorrow’s trip to Dumbarton.

Stranraer head to the C&G Systems Stadium with League One safety secured, just like their hosts.

However, both teams can still finish higher up the table and will be looking at a potential fifth spot.

Farrell’s men won 3-0 last weekend against Brechin City to clinch at least eighth place.

The Stair Park boss said: “I was pleased to get over the line and to make sure our League One status was secured again for another year.

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“We did it in some style.

“I’m not going to say I didn’t enjoy it or there was not a sense of satisfaction, but on Sunday morning I started planning for next year already.

“That is what you have got to do – you cannot stand still or rest on your laurels.

“You are always going to be forward planning and that has already started.”

The Blues are boosted by the return of midfielder Conor O’Keefe, who was thought to be out for the season.

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That ‘only’ leaves the quartet of Ian Smith, Christopher McGowan, Adam Cummins and David Brownlie on the sidelines.

Smith, McGowan and Cummins are all ruled out for the rest of the campaign while Brownlie could feature next weekend but Farrell stressed there was no need to rush him back.

Now, the manager is looking for three points, which would extend Stranraer’s winning run to four in a row.

He said: “We are on a good run and sit second or third in the form table over the last six games.

“We want to keep that run of form going and if we do will probably pop up another place or two in the league.”

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“We go to Dumbarton and they are on a good run of form as well and secured their safety last weekend.”

Farrell plans to sit down with his squad following the season’s final game, against Airdrie game next weekend.

Then, discussions will turn to next season and contracts for the following year.

The manager was unsure what the future held and whether there would be another big turnover of players in the home dressing room.

He said: “That depends on a lot of things.

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“Whether the players want to stay, the finances, whether they are offered better elsewhere.

“Bear in mind there are four loan players in a squad of 19.

“Undoubtedly, players will move on and you are looking to bring in seven or eight players.

“You never know with the likes of Kyle Turner – teams might bid for him and you end up finding yourself needing nine or 10 players.”

Stranraer’s South of Scotland team were at the first team’s victory over Brechin City and took to the field at half time.

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Farrell was in the changing room with his team but congratulated the reserve players and all those involved with the squad for going through the league season undefeated.

He said: “Regardless of the level or status of the league, if you go through any league undefeated it is a fantastic achievement.

“I take my hat off to each of them and Gary McCutcheon, Sanny Sutherland and Allan Jenkins.”

South of Scotland members Alistair McColm, who made his debut in the closing stages of last weekend’s game, and Robbie Murray are both expected to again be involved with the first team tomorrow.

Last meeting
Stranraer 0-3 Dumbarton
26 March 2019

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TEN-MAN Stranraer slumped to defeat against Dumbarton, with all three goals coming in the second half.

Ross Forbes came closest in the first half when his shot beat Max Currie but came back off the crossbar and then the post. The deadlock was broken on 56 minutes with a swift counter-attack. The ball was worked to Forbes and he fired a stunning shot home from 20 yards.

Stranraer attempted to get back into it but Kyle Turner fired wide of goal. Unfortunately, any chance of a comeback suffered a sizeable blow when Andy McDonald was shown two yellow cards in three minutes.

It was game over as the game entered the closing stages with Dom Thomas smashing home a crisp 20-yard drive before Ross Perry added number three following a Forbes corner.

Stranraer: Currie, McDonald, Brownlie, D Smith (Lamont 72), Hamill, McManus, Turner, Anderson, Cameron, Victoria (Elliott 60), Crossan (O’Keefe 60).
Not used: McCann and Avci.

Dumbarton: Adam, Ballantyne, Perry, Hutton, Ferguson (Thomson 77), van Schaik, Carswell, Forbes, B Barr, Gallagher (Melingui 82), Thomas.
Not used: Paton, Armour and Brennan.

Last five meetings

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Stranraer 0 Dumbarton 3 (Forbes, Thomas and Perry) at Stair Park on February 16, 2019
Dumbarton 0 Stranraer 1 (Turner) at C&G Systems Stadium on December 22, 2018
Stranraer 3 Dumbarton 2 (Anderson, Brownlie and Crossan; Forbes and Thomas) at Stair Park on October 6, 2018
Dumbarton 2 Stranraer 1 (Barr and Stewart; Okoh) at C&G Systems Stadium on October 6, 2017
Stranraer 1 Dumbarton 0 (McGuigan) at Stair Park on September 3, 2016

Last five games

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WIN v Brechin City (H): 3-0 (Lamont, McCann and Elliott)
WIN v Raith Rovers (H): 2-3 (Turner, Cameron and Victoria)
WIN v Forfar Athletic (H): 2-1 (Victoria and McManus)
LOSS v Montrose (A): 3-1 (McDonald)
LOSS v Brechin (H): 0-2


WIN v East Fife (H): 3-0 (C Barr, Thomas and Gallagher)
DRAW v Forfar Athletic (A): 0-0
WIN v Brechin City (H): 2-1 (OG and Gallagher)
DRAW v Airdrieonians (H): 3-3 (Thomas, Gallagher and Forbes)
LOSS v Stenhousemuir (H) 1-2 (C Barr)

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Brechin City: Currie, McDonald, D Smith, Hamill, McManus, Turner, McCann, Elliott (McColm 89), Cameron, Lamont (Anderson 74), Victoria (Crossan 86).
Not used: Murray and Avci.

Dumbarton lineup v East Fife: Adam, Ballantyne, McLean, Hutton, Ferguson, C Barr, Carswell, Forbes, B Barr (Thomson 89), Gallagher (Russell 78), Thomas (Armour 85).
Not used: Melingui and Brennan.

Alan Newlands

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A SCOTTISH Cup clash at Firhill in January was the last time Stranraer took part in a match involving Alan Newlands.

Partick Thistle would emerge 4-1 winners with Aidan Fitzpatrick and Joe Cardle putting the Jags 2-0 up. PJ Crossan pulled one back but Steven Saunders and Blair Spittal wrapped up the win for the Championship side.

Mr Newlands visited the C&G Systems Stadium roughly a month later. Raith Rovers were the opposition with Dumbarton leading 2-1 at half time. Ross Forbes and Stuart Carswell cancelled out Nathan Flanagan’s opener but Kevin Nisbet scored in the last minute to rescue a point.

Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish
Our final home game of the regular league season sees Airdrieonians visit Stair Park on Saturday 4 May.

Regular entry prices apply.

L36 Airdrieonians W

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Raith Rovers 28 53
2 Falkirk 28 52
3 Airdrieonians 28 48
4 Montrose 28 47
5 East Fife 28 45
6 Dumbarton 28 38
7 Clyde 28 34
8 Peterhead 27 26
9 Forfar Athletic 28 24
10 Stranraer 27 16

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/STR)
8 - Grant Gallagher (MID)
9 - Ryan Stevenson (STR)
10 - Denny Johnstone (STR)
11 - Joao Victoria (MID/STR)

12 - Carlo Pignatiello (DEF/MID)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID/STR)
16 - Lewis McIntyre (DEF)
20 - Jordan Ross (MID)

21 - Dale Burgess (GK)
22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF/MID)
23 - Ryan Thomson (MID)
77 - Andy Stirling (MID)