12 Albion Rovers W

STEVIE Farrell leads his Stranraer side into battle against Albion Rovers tomorrow (Saturday) in good shape.

The Blues travel to Coatbridge fresh from a commanding performance against another North Lanarkshire side

Farrell's men were comfortable 3-1 winners against Airdrieonians last weekend at Stair Park, a victory the manager described as "pleasing".

He said: "I think what probably clicked more on Saturday was that consistency.

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"We were very, very good.

"Apart from a ten minute spell in the second half I thought we bossed the game, and we played at a real intensity with and without the ball.

"When we play like that - as proven on Saturday, and in other games we've played - we can compete in this league with most teams.

"So it was pleasing, and a thoroughly deserved victory."

Arguably the only low point from an action-packed afternoon was a sending off for Scott Robertson, who was shown a straight red after kicking the ball out from underneath a fallen player.

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Robertson will miss two games as a result, but otherwise the manager has a full squad to choose from - including last week's Man of the Match Grant Anderson.

Anderson shrugged off a knock to score a double either side of Scott Agnew's perfectly-placed penalty kick, before coming off injured.

However, the winger revealed to the official website he's back in contention once again.

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Despite the renewed sense of optimism at Stair Park, Albion Rovers have been in fine form themselves, winning three games on the road against Queen's Park, Forfar and Arbroath.

Brian Kerr will be looking for his side to pick up their home form, having lost both fixtures at Cliftonhill.

Meanwhile, Stranraer will look to record their first away win, having lost to Raith and drawn at Queen's Park.

Farrell said: "Albion Rovers are sitting third in the league on merit.

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"It's difficult in this league to win games of football, and they've done that - so they've got to be respected for that."

Cliftonhill has a reputation as one of the more difficult venues in the lower leagues, with an unpredictable playing surface and a unique atmosphere.

The Blues haven't won at the ground since 12 March 2016, when Jamie Longworth's solitary strike was the difference between the teams.

And Farrell is predicting a similarly tough contest this time around.

He said: "We know it's going to be a difficult task in terms of the environment.

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"But we go there in form - we're four unbeaten over the last five games.

"It should be a good game, with two teams that seem to be in a wee bit of form playing each other, so we're looking forward to the game."

Last meeting

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Scorers: Willis (34), Wallace (75), OG Neill (81).

ON THE weekend of the Grand National, Stranraer were not at the races at Cliftonhill.

Winger Willie Gibson was only fit enough for the bench after suffering from tonsillitis, and Stranraer suffered a further blow just before the half hour mark when captain Steven Bell went off with an injury.

It would be just five minutes later that Albion broke the deadlock, as a fine sweeping move down the right saw the ball played across the box and swept home by Willis.

With 15 minutes left to play, a cross from the right was not dealt with and current Blues ace Ryan Wallace touched home for Rovers after the ball came back off the post.

Things went from bad to worse moments later when Morgyn Neill turned a low cross past his own goalkeeper to round off a rotten afternoon.

Stranraer: Belford, Pettigrew, Dick, Barron, Neill, Bell (Robertson 29), Thomson, Agnew, Wilson (Kassarate 56), Donald (Gibson 65), Malcolm.
Not used: Morena, Turner, McGuigan and Currie

Last five meetings

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- 3-0 at Cliftonhill on 8 April 2017
- 3-2 at Stair Park (Malcolm x2, Bell) on 4 February 2017
- 3-2 at Cliftonhill (Gibson, Nuttall) on 12 November 2016
- 3-2 at Stair Park (C Thomson x2, McGuigan) on 17 September 2016
- 0-1 at Cliftonhill (Longworth) on 12 March 2016

Stranraer's last five games

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WIN v Airdrieonians (H) 3-1 (Anderson x2, Agnew pen)
WIN v Partick Thistle Colts (H) 2-0 (Wallace and Stoney)
DRAW v Queen's Park (A): 2-2 (Wallace and Anderson)
LOSS v Ayr United (H): 3-4 (Wallace and Thomson x2)
WIN v Clyde (A): 2-3 (Agnew pen, OG and Wallace)

Albion Rovers' last five games

WIN v Arbroath (A) 1-4 (Trouten, Fisher, Perry and Shields)
WIN v Forfar Athletic (A) 0-2 (Trouten and Shields)
LOSS v Airdrieonians (H) 1-2 (Vitoria)
WIN* v Spartans (H) 0-0, 5-4 on pens *result overturned after Rovers fielded an unregistered player
WIN v Queen's Park (A) 2-5 (Marr, Trouten x2 {1 pen}, Shields x2)

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Airdrieonians: Belford, Robertson, Dick, Barron, Neill, Woods, Wallace (Stoney 87), Agnew (Bell 73), Anderson (Turner 81), Hamill, Thomson.
Not used: Lang, McGowan, Currie, Okoh.

Albion Rovers lineup v Arbroath: Bowman, Reid, McLaughlin, Perry, Holmes, Lightbody (Marr 80), Davidson, Fisher, Trouten, Shields (Vitoria 85), McMillan (Higgins 76).
Not used: McLeish, Hopkins, Potts, Watters.

Referee

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It's only a month since we last saw Mike Roncone.

The referee was in charge at Stark's Park as Raith Rovers handed Stranraer a 3-0 defeat on 12 August.

Admission

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Set your sat nav for ML5 3RB. On-street parking is normally available outside the ground if you arrive early.

Entry prices are as follows: Adult £14, Concession £7, Under 12s £2.

Coverage

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Follow the Blues on Twitter at @StranraerFC for live updates throughout the afternoon.

Stair Park

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If you can't make it to Cliftonhill - or you're heading to Stranraer Oyster Festival - there's also South of Scotland League action a little closer to home.

The young Blues have climbed to 7th in the league, but face a tough test against second placed Heston Rovers.

Kickoff at Stair Park is 3pm. Admission is £4 for adults, £2 for senior citizens (65+) and secondary school pupils, and FREE for primary school pupils and Stranraer season ticket holders.

SPFL 3L1 6474

 Pos  Team  Pld   Pts 
1 Ayr United 16 38
2 Raith Rovers 14 32
3 Alloa Athletic 16 24
4 Arbroath 15 23
5 East Fife 16 22
6 STRANRAER 14 21
7 Airdrieonians 15 18
8 Albion Rovers 14 16
9 Forfar Athletic 16 12
10 Queen's Park 16 11

Updated 9/12/17 at 10pm

Fixtures


00 Stranraer FC 2015 Logo
3 Number Lotto
Sunday 10 December 2017

Numbers: 1, 14, 20
1 winner at £2000:

Congratulations to:
Iain, Kilmirren Avenue, Stranraer