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  • Post published:2 February 2024

The chance to be reunited with Scott Agnew was a key factor in Finn Ecrepont returning to Stair Park.

The full-back played under both Jamie Hamill and Agnew after joining on loan from Ayr United at the end of January last term.

Agnew was keen to bring the left-sided defender back down the A77 and the pursuit finally paid off at the beginning of last month.

The ‘new’ signing said: “I really, really enjoyed my time here last year.

“I loved every minute of it and my whole family as well.

“Stranraer is a really nice, family club and my family enjoyed coming to the games.

“I really liked the manager, I really like the club, and with my situation I just thought it would be the easiest transition for me and I definitely think that I have made the right choice.”

The left back featured prominently under Scott Agnew last season

Ecrepont had been at Somerset Park for more than a decade, joining the Honest Men when he was just eight years old.

He went on to sign a professional contract after turning 16 and enjoyed a loan spell with Albion Rovers before the temporary move to Stranraer 12 months ago.

He has waved farewell to more than a few familiar faces but there is one he will still be seeing on a frequent basis.

Ecrepont said: “My younger brother, Ollie, is currently on loan at East Stirlingshire from Ayr United but he has had exactly the same pathway as me.

“He went in really young but is still there to this day.

“I have no clue where the footballing talent comes from in the family!

“My dad was a good swimmer but my family was more rugby orientated on the Ecrepont side.

“On the McCoard side, my papa played, I think the highest level was for Queen’s Park reserves but apart from that, we don’t know, to be honest.

“My dad played for Girvan for one game and he missed a penalty and never played again!”

Twenty-one-year-old Ecrepont will be hoping to line up once again in the Stranraer defence as they make the trip to New Dundas Park on Saturday.

Ecrepont comes from a footballing family

The Blues have put in some decent performances in recent weeks but came unstuck against East Fife last weekend.

The squad will be hoping to get back to winning ways and record a first-ever win at the Midlothian ground.

He said: “It does not matter who we are playing against – we just need to go into the game with full confidence.

“We don’t want to be looking at the teams around us, what we want to focus on is ourselves, start getting more points on the board and we will be just fine.

“Hopefully, we can get on a wee run.

“It is a team that is around us and a team that we would like to be beating and get points on but we just need to treat it like any other game.”

Last meeting

A sensational solo effort from Matty Grant helped Stranraer on their way to victory over Bonnyrigg in December

Stranraer finally picked up their first win over Bonnyrigg Rose nine days before Christmas.

The Blues got the perfect start when James Dolan’s cross was put into his own net by Lee Currie. Paddy Martin kept out a fierce drive from Deryn Lang before the break.

The next goal was always going to be crucial and it was to come for Stranraer. Matty Grant did brilliantly outside the box to find a pocket of space and curled the ball round the goalkeeper.

The points were secured when Craig Ross fired home from close range after initially being denied by Martin. Substitute Bradley Barrett pulled one back in stoppage time but there was no time for a comeback.

Stranraer: Budinauckas, Williamson, Girvan, Ross, Robertson, Dolan (Sneddon 83), Hawkshaw (Strachan 87), Forrest, Fleming, Grant (Walker 87), Lang (McDonald 79).
Not used: Downie.

Bonnyrigg Rose: Martin, Mailer, Martyniuk, Grigor, Peggie, Stewart (Barrett 62), Currie, Doan, Connelly, Buchanan (McGachie 62), Watson (Sutherland 73).
Not used: McGale, Faye, Osadolor and Andrews.

Last five meetings

  • Stranraer 3 Bonnyrigg Rose 1 (Own goal, Grant and Ross; Barrett) at Stair Park on December 16, 2023
  • Bonnyrigg Rose 1 Stranraer 1 (Martyniuk (Pen); Lang) at New Dundas Park on August 19, 2023
  • Bonnyrigg Rose 1 Stranraer 0 (McGachie) at New Dundas Park on April 1, 2023
  • Stranraer 0 Bonnyrigg Rose 1 (Faye) at Stair Park on February 11, 2023
  • Bonnyrigg Rose 3 Stranraer 2 (Gray, Mitchell and Martyniuk (Pen); Walker and Watt) at New Dundas Park on December 23, 2022

Last five games

The Blues suffered defeat at Stair Park last weekend


  • LOSS v East Fife (H): 0-1
  • LOSS v Stenhousemuir (A): 1-0
  • WIN v Peterhead (H): 2-0 (Johnston and Orr)
  • LOSS v Elgin City (A): 1-2 (Lang)
  • LOSS v The Spartans (A): 3-0

Bonnyrigg Rose

  • DRAW v Forfar Athletic (A) 0-0
  • WIN v Falkirk (H): 2-1 (Doan and Barrett)
  • DRAW v Dumbarton (H): 1-1 (Martyniuk)
  • LOSS v Clyde (A): 3-2 (Osadolor x2)
  • WIN v East Fife (A): 0-3 (Barrett, Young and Martyniuk (Pen))

Last time out

Deryn Lang was missing through illness last time out


Lineup v East Fife: Budinauckas, Ross, Girvan, McQueen, Ecrepont (Gilmartin 73), Robertson, Forrest, Grant, Johnston (Hawkshaw 62), Dolan, Orr.
Not used: Williamson, Fleming and Downie.

Bonnyrigg Rose

Lineup v Forfar Athletic: Martin, Mailer, Martyniuk, Young, Peggie, Byrne (Osadolor 70), Currie, Gray (McGale 79), Doan, Barrett, Connelly.
Not used: Gormley, Jarvis, McGachie, Watson and Andrews.

Five facts

Happy birthday to Kevin Schmidt, who played two games for Stranraer in 2016

1. Winger Matty Grant will make his 50th appearance for Stranraer – if selected at New Dundas Park on Saturday. Six of his 49 appearances so far have come from the bench and he has found the net on seven occasions.

2. Former Stranraer frontman Kevin Schmidt celebrates his 30th birthday on Saturday. The striker made the move from the Netherlands to Scotland in 2016 and had spells with Stranraer, East Kilbride and Airdrie before moving to Iceland. He is back in the Netherlands and lining up for Achilles ‘29. His time at Stair Park was brief – coming off the bench in a defeat to Dunfermline Athletic and starting in a win over Forfar Athletic. Craig Pettigrew scored the only goal in the latter game and the Stranraer line-up was: Belford, Pettigrew, Bell (McCloskey 53), Dick, Gibson, Robertson, Cairney (Turner 83), Stirling, Thomson, McGuigan, Schmidt (Kemp 50). Not used: Aitken and Currie.

3. Bonnyrigg Rose have scored in every meeting with Stranraer.

4. Stranraer have failed to score in their last two games. The last time that happened was in March and April last year. The Blues drew 0-0 with Annan Athletic, lost 1-0 to Bonnyrigg Rose, drew 0-0 with Forfar Athletic and then lost 8-0 to East Fife.

5. Smart Osadolor could line up for Bonnyrigg Rose tomorrow afternoon. The frontman had a brief spell with Stranraer in 2016. He joined from Annan Athletic and, coincidentally, his only appearance for Brian Reid’s side came at Galabank. He replaced Sam McCloskey for the final 28 minutes.

Photos: Bill McCandlish