20190810 Forfar W

STRENGTH of character has been stressed in the Stair Park dressing room, with the Blues looking to battle for every point.

Against Ayr United and Montrose, Stranraer have trailed by a goal going into the last 10 minutes.

However, on both occasions, Stevie Farrell’s team have bounced back to take a point and, against the Honest Men a bonus point after a penalty shoot-out victory.

Farrell said: “The reaction against Montrose was brilliant.

“We showed character when we have been behind and shown there is a real belief that we can get back into the game.

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“I have seen many successful teams have a never say die attitude and score goals late in games.

“Teams that do that are successful more often than not.”

Stevie Farrell’s squad has been impacted by injury ahead of the trip to Forfar Athletic tomorrow (Saturday).

Jordan Allan, Cameron Elliott, Grant Gallagher and Mark Stewart are all on the sidelines through injury.

Left back Allan and Stewart, who scored a double against Berwick Rangers, were forced off during last week’s draw.

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Meanwhile, Elliott sat out that contest and Gallagher is yet to kick a ball since returning in the summer.

The manager said: “Some good news, Jordan and Mark should be back for next Saturday.

“It is not quite as bad as we thought.

“Cameron Elliott is not fit and broke down in training but we do not think it is long-term; it should be weeks rather than months.

“With Grant it is looking like it could be a bad one and a few months.”

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Stranraer do still possess forward-thinking options though, with David Dangana looking to stake a claim to a regular starting position.

Former East Fife and Albion Rovers man Robert Jones is again expected to feature as a trialist having stepped off the bench against Montrose and set up Carlo Pignatiello for the equaliser.

Jones is expected to put pen to paper after the trip to Station Park, although he is not available for the midweek clash with Rangers Under 21s in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup due to a holiday.

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Farrell said: “Forfar are a good side and again are a proven, solid League One side.

“They know what it takes to be successful and they have added one or two players that most League One teams would want.

“They have brought in Sean Burns, who we spoke to in the summer, Jordan Kirkpatrick, who I worked with at Dumbarton, and Mark Docherty, who is a good experienced player and I worked with him at Dumbarton and Stranraer.”

Last meeting
Stranraer 2-1 Forfar Athletic
6 April 2019

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AN EARLY goal from Joao Victoria helped Stranraer on their way to three-much needed points back in April, in their battle to avoid the drop.

The on-loan Airdrie man scored after just 31 seconds to ensure Forfar had an uphill battle.

The experienced Gary Irvine levelled for the visitors midway through the first half but Stranraer would seal victory after the break.

Connor McManus had only scored one goal for the club – oddly enough against Forfar – and he doubled his tally with 18 minutes left. Ali McCann weaved his way into the box and when the ball fell to McManus he rifled a shot into the top corner from 18 yards.

Stranraer: Currie, McDonald, Smith, Hamill, McManus, Turner, McCann, Elliott (O’Keefe 89), Cameron, Lamont (Anderson 77), Victoria (Crossan 84).
Not used: Brownlie and Avci.

Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Meechan, Eckersley, Whyte, Travis, Irvine, Reilly (MacKintosh 84), Spencer (Coupe 72), Moore, Hilson, Baird (Easton 84).
Not used: Bain, Malone, Aitken and Hoban.

Last five meetings

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Stranraer 2 Forfar Athletic 1 (Victoria and McManus; Irvine) at Stair Park on April 6, 2019
Forfar Athletic 2 Stranraer 1 (Hilson and Baird; Cameron) at Station Park on January 12, 2019
Stranraer 2 Forfar Athletic 1 (Donnelly and McManus; Baird (P)) at Stair Park on December 1, 2018
Forfar Athletic 0 Stranraer 0 at Station Park on August 18, 2018
Stranraer 2 Forfar Athletic 0 (Agnew and Lyon) at Stair Park on March 31, 2018

Last five games

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Stranraer


DRAW v Montrose (H): 2-2 (Hilton and Pignatiello)
DRAW v Ayr United (A): 2-2 (Stranraer win 6-5 on penalties) (Cummins x2)
LOSS v Livingston (H): 1-2 (Elliott)
WIN v Berwick Rangers (H): 6-0 (Elliott, Allan, McManus, Stewart (Pen x2) and Hilton)
LOSS v Falkirk (A): 0-1

Forfar Athletic

WIN v Brechin City (H): 3-0 (Travis, Kirkpatrick and Jackson)
WIN v Montrose (A): 1-4 (Hilson Pen x2 and Travis x2)
LOSS v Ross County (A): 2-0
WIN v St Johnstone (H): 2-1 (Tapping and Forbes)
WIN v Airdrieonians (A): 0-2 (Jackson and Tapping)

Last time out

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Stranraer: Currie, J Allan (Murphy 74), Cummins, Hamilton, D Smith, Hamill, McManus, Hilton, Thomson, Stewart (Pignatiello 32), Dangana (Jones 72).
Not used: I Smith and Burgess.

Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Meechan, Burns, Whyte, Docherty, Irvine, Tapping (Robertson 84), Forbes, Kirkpatrick (Coupe 78), Hilson, Jackson (Aitken 87).
Not used: Bain, MacKintosh and McGuff.

Referee
David Munro

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A 2-2 DRAW with Raith Rovers at Stair Park in March was the last time David Munro took charge of a Stranraer match.

Kyle Turner and Joao Victoria had the hosts two goals to the good before Craig McGuffie and Kevin Nisbet levelled things after the break.

It was August 2017 that Mr Munro was in the middle for a Stranraer clash away from home. That was at Hampden and it ended with the same scoreline. Ryan Wallace and Grant Anderson had the Blues two up in the opening 10 minutes before Anton Brady pulled one back before the break. Unfortunately, the Spiders would get a leveller through a Morgyn Neill own goal in stoppage time.

It is almost 12 months to the day since the referee was in the middle of a Forfar game and that came at Dumbarton. On that occasion, a John Baird double secured all three points for the travelling side.

Queen’s Park were also the opposition when Mr Munro made his last trip to Station Park and it was the visitors who took three points. Adam Cummins – now, of course, with Stranraer – scored after two minutes before Robbie Leitch scored before the break. Finally, Dominic Docherty wrapped up the victory for the Glasgow side.

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)