Match preview: Partick Thistle

04 Partick W

STRANRAER will again shuffle their pack with three players missing ahead of the trip to Firhill.

Goalkeeper Cameron Belford and striker Ryan Wallace are suspended while Tom Lang, who missed the midweek defeat to Livingston, is still suffering through injury.

Stevie Farrell is relishing the trip to Glasgow - Stranraer's first Firhill visit in more than decade.

He said: "It is something we are looking forward to as players and as management.

stevie farrell 10x

"We are not going to play against teams like Partick Thistle in the league, and to play against and test ourselves against teams of that standard is good.

"The only game we have disappointed me was against St Mirren.

"I thought against Airdrie we were the better team."

The trio's absence will likely open the door for more members of the under 20 squad to gain experience in the matchday squad.

Out of the five unused subs, only Christopher McGowan has featured for the first team - with a single minute against East Fife on the last day of last season.

Making up the rest of the bench against the reigning League One champions were Ryan McLaren, Adam Caldwell, Kieran McLaughlin and Fraser Burns, who were all unused.

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Farrell said it provided great experience for the youngsters, who are now coached by Stuart Wild and David MacGregor.

The Blues are yet to pick up a point in a group which Farrell has described as the "toughest".

Four full time teams, with each of the teams having finished above the Blues last year, meant it was always going to be a tough ask.

He said: "I don't make excuses.

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I'm very, very black and white and this has been the toughest league section.

"We have nine new players and I don't make any apologies for looking at different positions and using tomorrow for some personnel changes."

The manager's medium to long-term focus remains on the first quarter of the league season.

Stranraer have failed to get off to an impressive start in recent years - something both Farrell and the players are keen to address.

The new signings will, inevitably, take time to bed in but one thing Farrell is keen to put right quickly is a leaky defensive line.

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The Blues have conceded 11 goals in three games and the manager said: "That is the biggest concern.

"The players know that and we have worked hard to sort that and last night (Thursday) we worked hard again on that.

"I know the players we have got are good in League One and I think our back six got us seven clean sheets when I came in last year.

"Cameron Belford, Scott Robertson, Liam Dick, Morgyn Neill, David Barron, Steven Bell - all those guys are still there."

Last meeting
Partick Thistle 1-2 Stranraer
7 May 2006

Firhill No2

IT WOULD be fair to say Stranraer and Partick Thistle are not the most regular of foes, and this contest will be the first time in more than a decade that the Blues have visited Firhill.

The last time the Blues made the trip to Glasgow it was with Neill Watt and Stuart Millar at the helm. Millar, of course, has returned to the Stair Park fold as Head of Player Recruitment and Scouting.

Life in Scotland's second tier was never going to be easy for Stranraer and indeed it saw them battling to survive. A playoff tie with Partick Thistle gave the Blues the chance at a second season in what is now the Championship.

The first leg at Stair Park ended with Partick well in charge. Stephen Swift had put the home side in front before Scott McCulloch and Mark Roberts had the visitors on top. Doubly disappointing were the red cards shown to Alex Keddie and Bryan Gilfillan in stoppage time. It, unfortunately, left a depleted squad stretched almost to breaking point with Watt and Millar only able to name 15 players for the second leg.

Still, trailing 3-1, the Blues managed to draw first blood. Ian Ross reduced the deficit to 3-2. Unfortunately, that man Roberts calmed any nerves with David Hamilton's stoppage time effort proving not quite enough.

It was - and remains - Stranraer's only victory at Firhill.

Stranraer: Morrison, Wingate, Henderson, Higgins (Hinds 64), Payne (Aitken 69), Swift, Sharp, Hamilton, Ross, Moore, Harty (Martin 55).
Not used: Maisano.

Partick Thistle: Arthur, Murray, Smyth, McCulloch, Hodge, J Gibson, Strachan (Nicholas 89), B Gibson (Snowdon 71), Brady, McConalogue (Ritchie 77), Roberts.
Not used: McGoldrick and Stewart.

Last five meetings

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- 1-2 (Roberts; Ross and Hamilton) at Firhill Stadium on May 6, 2006
- 1-3 (Swift; McCulloch and Roberts (Pen x1) at Stair Park on May 3, 2006
- 3-4 (Harty x2 and Walker; McNally, Elliot, McLean and McGrillen) at Stair Park on April 28, 2001
- 3-0 (Hardie, Smith and Lennon) at Firhill Stadium on February 24, 2001
- 0-3 (Moore, Lindau and McLean) at Stair Park on October 21, 2000

Stranraer's last five games
LLLDL

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Livingston (H): 2-4 (Neill and Agnew)
Cumbernauld Colts (A): 1-1 (Trialist)
Airdrieonians (A): 3-1 (Robertson)
St Mirren (H): 1-4 (Agnew)
FC Twente (H): 0-5

Partick Thistle's last five games
LLDWW

Airdrieonians (A): 1-2 (Doolan and Spittal)
St Mirren (H): 5-0 (Doolan, Lawless x2 and Spittal x2)
Livingston (A): 1-1 (Erskine) - Lost on penalties
Dumbarton (A): 2-1 (Nisbet)
Aberdeen (H): 0-6

Last time out

livingston 20170725 013


Stranraer lineup v Livingston: Currie, Hamill, Robertson, Neill, Dick, Turner (Stoney 78), Thomson, Anderson, Agnew, Woods (Okoh 67), Wallace.
Not used: McGowan, Caldwell, McLaughlin, Burns and McLaren.

Partick Thistle lineup v Airdrieonians: Cerny, Elliott, Devine, Penrice, Booth, Edwards (Nisbet 77), Barton, Spittal, Erskine (McCarthy 68), Lawless (Bannigan 81), Doolan.
Not used: Lamont, McLaughlin and Scully.

Getting there

Set your sat nav for GA20 7AL or view directions.

There is free on-street parking on Garscube Road and adjacent streets on the way to the stadium.

Admission

jackie husband partick

Tickets will be available to purchase on the gate, priced at £10 for adults, £5 for concessions (under 16, 65+ or disabled).

Stranraer supporters will be located in the Jackie Husband stand, with stewards on hand to advise where to go.

Coverage

twitter feed

We'll be tweeting frantically from pitchside as ever - follow us on Twitter at @StranraerFC.

And finally...

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If you're not heading up to Firhill, you can watch Stranraer's South team in action against Lochmaben at Stair Park, kickoff 3pm.


On Wednesday night (7.30pm), Keith Knox returns to Stair Park with his Creetown side.

Admission is £4 for adults, £2 for concessions and free for primary kids, and season tickets provide free entry to all South of Scotland League games.

SPFL 3L1 6474

 Pos  Team  Pld   Pts 
1 Ayr United 2 6
2 Raith Rovers 2 4
3 Arbroath 2 4
4 East Fife 2 3
5 Albion Rovers 2 3
6 Forfar Athletic 2 3
7 STRANRAER 2 3
8 Airdrieonians 2 1
9 Alloa Athletic 2 1
10 Queen's Park 2 0

Fixtures


00 Stranraer FC 2015 Logo
3 Number Lotto
Sunday 13 August 2017

Numbers: 3, 7 and 16

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