Cowdenbeath preview

Cowdenbeath preview

There is more to come from Stranraer as they look to get back up to speed, says manager Stevie Farrell.

The Blues picked up a 2-0 win over Brechin City on Tuesday night, with goals from Andy Stirling and Tom Orr.

A trip to Cowdenbeath tomorrow (Saturday) gives Farrell’s side the chance to build on that result.

The manager said: “Although we had a good performance and good result against Brechin, I don’t think we are at the level we were prior to lockdown.

“I think it is going to take every team some weeks to get to that.

Thomas Orr rounded off a superb team move to score Stranraer’s second goal against Brechin

“That is just a given that that is going to be the case.

“You cannot come back from nine weeks off and suddenly just go and play and that is Stranraer or any team.

“It takes you a number of games, a number of weeks and a number of performances to get back to that level.

“But after last Saturday, we saw a progression on Tuesday.

“It was a good positive result and a more positive performance.”

Josh Walker and Lewis McIntyre will miss the trip to Central Park tomorrow, while Andy Stirling is also struggling with a hip injury.

Influential winger Andy Stirling is a doubt for the trip to Fife

The midweek goalscorer did some light training last night (Thursday) but it remains to be seen if the game comes too soon.

Positively, the Blues will welcome back Kieran Millar, who missed the contest with Brechin through suspension, and defender Scott Robertson, who came off at half time on Tuesday night.

Robertson’s withdrawal opened the door for Tom Devitt, who has been out of the team since Halloween thanks to the good form of Robertson and Ayrton Sonkur.

Farrell said: “I never doubted Tom.

“Tom is someone that I trust completely.

Tom Devitt returned for Stranraer on Tuesday night

“It is just that Scott and Ayrton have done so well this season as a partnership.

“It might be Scott and Ayrton again tomorrow or it might be Tom.

“That’s something only myself and the players will know ahead of the game tomorrow.”

Stranraer’s first league win of the season came against Cowdenbeath back in November.

However, it is a different looking Fife side now, with three players – Zander Miller, Kyle Hutton and Ryan Adamson – all signing within the last 24 hours.

Stranraer have been one of the quieter clubs in the transfer window

Farrell, who has added only Ally Taylor to his squad, said: “It is probably the biggest January transfer window there has ever been in history!

“It started on January 1 and it is still going.”

Last meeting

Stranraer 2-0 Cowdenbeath
7 November 2021

Thomas Orr broke his duck for the Blues back in November

A first three league points of the season came for Stranraer at the beginning of November when Cowdenbeath visited Stair Park.

Thomas Orr broke the deadlock on 36 minutes with his first goal for the club when he managed to find enough space to get his shot away. Greg Fleming pulled off an important save from Harvey Swan in the second half and Cowdenbeath’s day got worse when Robbie Buchanan was sent off 13 minutes from time. Joao Victoria then wrapped up the win three minutes later with a fine finish.

Stranraer: Fleming, Robertson, Burns, Cummins, Hamill, McManus, Stirling, Millar, Victoria, Paton (Duffy 75), Orr (Hilton 84).
Not used: Sonkur, McIntyre, Yates, Josh Walker and Jamie Walker.

Cowdenbeath: Sinclair, Mullen, Clarke, Todd, Barr, Swan, Miller, Taylor, Herd, Hamilton, Buchanan.
Not used: Pyper, Glass, Easton, Kavanagh and Whyte.

Last five meetings

Willie Gibson scored a stunning free kick on the Blues’ last visit to Central Park
  • Stranraer 2 Cowdenbeath 0 (Orr and Victoria) at Stair Park on November 7, 2020
  • Stranraer 1 Cowdenbeath 0 (McGuigan) at Stair Park on April 30, 2016
  • Cowdenbeath 0 Stranraer 2 (Gibson and Malcolm (Pen)) at Central Park on January 23, 2016
  • Stranraer 0 Cowdenbeath 3 (Donaldson, Miller and Buchanan) at Stair Park on October 24, 2015
  • Cowdenbeath 1 Stranraer 2 (Brett; Thomson and Malcolm (Pen)) at Central Park on August 8, 2015

Last five games

The Blues bounced back with a win over Brechin City

Stranraer

  • WIN v Brechin City (H): 2-0 (Stirling and Orr)
  • LOSS v Queen’s Park (A): 3-0
  • WIN v Kelty Hearts (A): 2-3 (Orr, Robertson and Paton (Pen))
  • WIN v Annan Athletic (H): 2-0 (Orr and Paton (Pen))
  • WIN v Spartans (H): 5-0 (Duffy, Paton, Cummins and Yates x2)

Cowdenbeath

  • LOSS v Partick Thistle (A): 3-0
  • DRAW v Annan Athletic (A): 0-0
  • WIN v Wick Academy (H): 2-0 (Barr and Renton)
  • WIN v Brechin City (H): 2-0 (Barr and Russell)
  • LOSS v Stirling Albion (A): 1-0

Last time out

Joao Victoria and Jamie Hamill returned to the starting lineup on Tuesday night

Stranraer

Lineup v Brechin City: Fleming, Robertson (Devitt 46), Cummins, Sonkur, Hamill, McManus, Gallagher, Stirling (Yates 79), Duffy (Hilton 70), Victoria (Paton 67), Orr (Elliott 79).
Not used: Burns, McIntyre, Taylor and Walker.

Cowdenbeath

Lineup v Partick Thistle: Hogarth, Mullen, Pollock, Barr (Todd 46), Swan (Miller 65), Glass, Herd, Hamilton (Renton 66), Taylor (Watson 75), Buchanan (Morrison 65), Russell.
Not used: Pyper and Owens.

Referee

Duncan Williams is in charge once again on Saturday

Blues fans will not need to cast their minds back too far for the last Stranraer contest involving Duncan Williams.

He was the man in the middle for the first game after the restart when the Blues travelled to Hampden Park. Queen’s Park were 3-0 winners on that day, with goals from Michael Doyle, Lee Kilday and Robert McHugh, with Kieran Millar sent off for the visitors.

Mr Williams was also in the middle for Queen’s Park’s visit to Stair Park on Halloween, when the Glasgow side won thanks to Ross MacLean’s late strike.

Completing a trio of Queen’s Park contests, the referee last took charge of a Cowdenbeath match when the Fife side visited the national Stadium in February last year. Craig Slater scored the only goal of the game to give the home side all three points.

Photos: Bill McCandlish

Coverage

You can watch all the action from Central Park live on Blue Brazil TV

Saturday’s match at Central Park is being broadcast live on Cowdenbeath’s Blue Brazil TV service by streaming providers infinity21, priced at £11.

We hope to bring you interviews on Saturday, with highlights to follow on Sunday.