22 Brora Rangers W

STEVIE Farrell has called on his side not to take Brora Rangers lightly if they want to avoid a Scottish Cup shock.

Stranraer's form has been up and down this season and the manager has told his men they must apply themselves correctly if they want to make it through to the fourth round of the competition.

Farrell knows all about cup shocks having been assistant manager at Dumbarton when they tumbled out to Bonnyrigg Rose last season.

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The Stranraer boss said: "It is all about attitude tomorrow.

"It is not about capability, it is about attitude."

Head of player recruitment and scouting Stuart Millar made the long journey north last weekend to see Brora take on Lossiemouth.

Today's opponents were 7-0 winners and they have been among the goals in the first and second rounds of the Scottish Cup as well.

Both Girvan and Civil Service Strollers conceded five as Brora comfortably progressed to the third round.

Farrell said: "Stuart has given us his report.

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"Brora are a well organised side, probably the best in the Highland League, and they have ex-senior players as well.

"Stuart says they are well organised and will pose a threat.

"They have posed a threat previously against senior clubs in the cup and in the playoffs.

"We know we are in for a difficult tie but we are at home and our record at Stair Park has been good."

The Blues will be boosted with the return of both Scott Robertson and Grant Anderson.

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Defender Robertson has missed the last two games through suspension and will return to the sidelines for the final game of his three match ban for next week's clash with Albion Rovers.

Meanwhile, Anderson sat out last weekend's defeat to Airdrie through illness but is back and fully fit.

That only leaves Scott Agnew on the sidelines.

Stranraer's top scorer limped off with barely 90 seconds on the clock in North Lanarkshire.

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It is an injury that is likely to keep the midfielder out of action for up to month, with the club hopeful he will be back before the end of 2017.

Last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Airdrie was one that was massively disappointing for players, management and fans alike.

The manager was not satisfied with the second half performance shown against the Diamonds.

His side had, arguably, been on top during the opening 45 minutes but a poor second half showing saw them leave with nothing.

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Farrell said: "I was not happy and the players know that.

"More importantly, the players were not happy and know they let themselves down."

Stranraer have only won back to back games once this campaign, with a three game winning streak in September, which also included defeat of Partick Thistle's under 20s side.

That inconsistency has been the club's Achilles heel and explains why the promotion playoffs remain tantalisingly out of reach.

The manager said: "I think when you look at the table, we are sitting sixth in the league.

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"We are three points off fourth and four points off of third, with a game in hand and we have not put a run together.

"We have broken it down and Alloa, Raith Rovers, Ayr United and Arbroath have all put runs together.

"We are still on their tails and it shows we have picked up some valuable points.

"If we can go and add consistency we will find ourselves where we want to be.

"We are right in the pack and on their coat tails."

Stranraer's near consistent inconsistency has not even been on a week to week basis.

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Instead, they have struggled on a half to half basis, with good opening 45 minutes against Queen's Park, Ayr United and Airdrie resulting in just one point from a possible nine after poor second half showings.

However, Farrell has stressed he is determined to find the solution.

He added: "It is up to us to put our finger on it."


Last meeting
 
This is the first ever competitive match between Stranraer and Brora Rangers.

However, the Blues have met a variety of Highland League opposition in the Scottish Cup.

Stranraer's last five games

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LOSS v Airdrieonians (A): 2-0
WIN v Queen's Park (H): 3-0 (Anderson, Bell, Wallace)
LOSS v Ayr United (A): 2-0
N/A v Raith Rovers (H): 1-1 (Agnew, match abandoned)
WIN v Alloa Athletic (H): 2-0 (Wallace and Hamill)

Brora's last five games

WIN v Lossiemouth (H): 7-0 (Mackay x2, Sutherland x2 and Macleod x3)
WIN v Lossiemouth (H): 2-0 (Maclean and Macleod)
WIN v Rothes (H): 2-0 (Nicolson and Morrison)
WIN v Keith (A): 0-1 (Williamson)
LOSS v Formartine United (H): 0-5

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Airdrieonians: Belford, Dick, Barron, Neill, Hamill, Woods (Elliott 66), Bell, Agnew (Turner 3), Thomson, Wallace, Stoney (Okoh 65).
Not used: Lang, McGowan, Gray and Currie.

Brora Rangers lineup v Lossiemouth: Malin, Ross (Pickles), Macdonald, Williamson, Nicolson, Morrison (Lisle), Maclean, Macleod, Sutherland, Mackay, Brindle (Graham).
Not used: Paterson, Gunn, Counsell.

Referee

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Goalkeeper turned referee Barry Cook is not the most familiar of faces at Stair Park.

The man in the middle has not been in the south west since 2015, when Scottish Cup duty again came calling. Coincidentally, it also involved the Blues coming up against a Highland League side in the shape of Buckie Thistle.

On that occasion, Luciano Nequecaur, Mark McGuigan and Ryan Thomson helped the Blues march on, with Paul Napier scoring for the long-travelled visitors.

That's not to say Mr Cook has not been a busy man. His last three games have seen him refereeing in the Championship, Premiership and League One. The last game came earlier this week when he took charge as Ayr United defeated Raith Rovers 3-0.

Admission

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Reduced entry prices apply:

Adults £12, Concessions (65+, FTE) £6, Secondary £3, Primary FREE.

Coverage

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

And finally...

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The famous Scottish Cup trophy will be in attendance at Stair Park, as Stranraer v Brora Rangers has been selected as the 'featured match' of the 3rd round.

Get to the ground early to enjoy all the buildup, which includes:

- your very own photo opportunity with the famous trophy
- fans' photo booth
- cup final-style team entrances
- half time activities
- giveaways

Plus, competition mascot Scotty Cup will be in attendance - but will he and Scooby Blue get along?

Scotty Cup

Photos: Stranraer FC, Brora Rangers, Queen's Park, Scottish FA.

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 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