Match Preview: East Fife

45 East Fife WTHE curtain should come down on another season for Stranraer at about 4.45pm tomorrow (Saturday) with the Blues cementing their place in Scottish League One for another season.

Only a remarkable set of results would see Stenhousemuir leapfrog Stranraer out of the relegation play-off place.

Brown Ferguson's men need to not only win but overcome a goal difference deficit of 14 goals to secure their place in Scotland's third tier.

Speaking about the chances of finishing ninth, Stranraer boss Stevie Farrell said: "I think it would take the biggest catastrophe in Scottish football ever.

"We want to win the game and go into the game with the mentality we want to win every game.

"That is whether it is game one of the season or game 36, it does not matter.

"We want to win games, particularly at home, that is part and parcel of the club.

"The players understand that and we are looking forward to it.

"One other thing is that it is our last game for the next two or three months.

"You want to remember it was victory because your next game is not for two or three months and that is a long time to go."
Kyle Turner
The Blues will again have to do it without the services of injured duo Craig Pettigrew and Kyle Turner.

They both missed last weekend's 1-0 defeat away to Alloa Athletic, with former Stranraer man Kevin Cawley scoring a late, late goal to give the Wasps all three points.

Despite being very almost safe from relegation, Farrell plans to put out a full strength team against an East Fife side who still have their own play-off ambitions.

Three points could very well be enough to see them finish third and safely in the play-offs.

Farrell stressed there was still pressure on his team and added: "The players put pressure on themselves and they want to win every game we play.

"The season does not finish until 4.45pm tomorrow - that's when the players can say their work is done.

"They have still got 90 minutes of hard work and hard graft.
Faz 10
"If results go out way, we could still finish seventh and, where we have come from, that would be a decent return."

Once the dust settles on tomorrow's match and the players have let their hair down at the player of the year awards, Farrell can turn his attention to the 2017/18 season.

The manager is yet to speak to his team, having been firmly focused on saving Stranraer from the threat of relegation.

Mission very nearly accomplished: talks about who stays and who goes are expected to take place over the next couple of weeks.

Farrell was keeping tight-lipped on any ins and outs but added: "There will be changes.

"Where we finished is not good enough and we need to freshen things up."

East Fife 28 Jan 2017 006Last meeting

IT may have been goalless but it was arguably one of the most important points of the season as Stranraer drew 0-0 at Bayview Stadium.

Stevie Farrell took charge for the first time after Chris Aitken had led the team against Aberdeen in the wake of Brian Reid's departure. The Blues made one change from the trip to Pittodrie with Craig Pettigrew coming into the team in place of Mark McGuigan. The main change was the formation though, with Farrell going for a 4-2-3-1 with Steven Bell and Scott Robertson sitting in front of a back four of Pettigrew, Liam Dick, David Barron and Morgyn Neill.

Stranraer came close through Willie Gibson and Ryan Thomson in the first half before Michael Donald made his debut as a trialist after the break. Dick probably should have scored late on after a Gibson free-kick and right at the death Pettigrew's cross dropped onto the crossbar with Ryan Goodfellow beaten.

It may 'only' have been a point but it was one which set the Blues on an impressive unbeaten run.
4
Last five meetings

- 0-0 at Bayview Stadium on 28/1/17
- 1-1 (Bell; Brown) at Stair Park on 22/10/16
- 2-0 (Insall x2) at Bayview Stadium on 10/9/16
- 1-0 (Malcolm) at Stair Park on 2/8/14
- 1-1 (Austin; Robertson) at Bayview Stadium on 5/4/14

Stranraer's last five games
WLWDL

Alloa Athletic (A): 0-1
Brechin City (A): 0-0
Airdrieonians (H): 2-1 (McGuigan and Turner)
Albion Rovers (A) 3-0
Stenhousemuir (H): 3-0 (Agnew, Thomson and Kassarate)

East Fife's last five games
DLLWL

Airdrieonians (H): 0-4
Albion Rovers (A): 0-1 (Kerr)
Peterhead (H): 1-2 (Kerr)
Stenhousemuir (A): 3-1 (Kane)
Queen's Park (H): 0-0
IMG 20170429 164613
Last time out

Stranraer lineup v Alloa Athletic: Belford, Robertson, Barron, Neill, Dick, Bell, Thomson, Agnew, Donald (McGuigan 87), Gibson (Wilson 82), Malcolm (Kassarate 73).
Not used: Morena, Kemp and Currie.

East Fife lineup v Airdrieonians: Hurst, Kerr, Penrice, Duffy, Slattery, Kane, Brown (Watt 54), Curran, Paterson, Smith (Reilly 65), Austin.
Not used: Cooper, Lamont and Gordon.
Aggie 03
Referee

Steven Reid was in charge of Stranraer's first game of the season, and he's in charge of Stranraer's last game of the season.

It will be Reid's fourth tie involving the Blues and his third of 2017. The man in the middle was at Galabank back in the middle of July as Christian Nade and Frank McKeown's goals got Stranraer off to a flying start, despite Przemyslaw Dachnowicz's late goal.

From there, he took charge of Brian Reid's last game in charge as Stenhousemuir won 1-0, with Kieran Millar scoring the only goal.

The final leg in his hat-trick of games came in February and a trip to Stair Park as Stranraer won 2-0 against Brechin City with Willie Gibson and Craig Malcolm on the scoresheet. The referee is no stranger to East Fife either and was at Bayview Stadium for Stenhousemuir's 1-0 win at the beginning of October. Colin McMenamin's penalty was the difference on that occasion.

Admission

Adults £15, Senior Citizens (65 and over) £10, Secondary School £5, Primary School FREE.

Coverage

Live updates are available on Twitter at @StranraerFC.

Stena Line logo

spfl

SPFL 3L1 6474
whscbf
IRN BRU Cup
show racism the red card