A return to where it all began awaits for Aaron Brown on Saturday.
The on-loan Kilmarnock man made his Stranraer debut away to East Fife and marked it in style.
He won a first half penalty and then scored a second half volley as Jamie Hamill’s men picked up three points.
He said: “I’ve been thinking about trying to recreate what I did then but the main thing is to win for the team.
“We will work hard and we know the league is so tight.
“A win puts us in a real good place and we want to do the best that we can, not just be safe.
“It is really close and, if we win the remaining games, who knows what could happen.
“We will go there and try to get three points.”
Brown’s debut strike made the 17-year-old one of the youngest scorers in a Stranraer shirt in recent memory.
The goal at Bayview Stadium was followed by an assist for James Hilton’s effort against the same opposition at Stair Park in February.
Brown was keen to add consistency to his game, starting in Methil.
He said: “The start was probably better than I could have imagined.
“Obviously, getting a goal and winning was a really good start.
“I started off really well and my form was consistent.
“Maybe my form has dropped a tiny bit but as a player staying consistent is hard.
“It is just all about getting through games and getting as many minutes as possible.”
The move down the A77 offered Brown the chance to link up with former Rugby Park team-mates Craig Ross and George O’Connor, as well as Josh Walker, who is a year older than central defender Ross.
Attacking midfielder Brown was quick to praise the full squad, including the experienced front pairing of Craig Malcolm and player/assistant manager Darryl Duffy.
Previously, his experience of senior football had been limited to a handful of games for the Kilmarnock B side in the League Challenge Cup, including against Montrose.
He said: “It is a different experience.
“I thought it would be the same as when I played against Montrose but it is different.
“In a proper league it is 100 miles per hour and you do not get time on the ball.
“It is a lot different for me but I have enjoyed it.”
Stranraer 2-0 East Fife
James Hilton marked his 100th appearance in Stranraer shirt by helping them to a 2-0 win over East Fife.
The opening goal came after Stranraer did well down the left wing. Anton Brady’s cross was begging for someone to make a connection and Matty Grant was lurking at the back post to nod home.
The second goal was worth the wait and began with some determined play in midfield by captain Grant Gallagher. He found Jonny Ngandu, who cut open the visiting defence with a ball through to Aaron Brown. The on-loan Kilmarnock man scored in the last meeting but unselfishly squared for Hilton, who then found the net.
Stranraer: Connelly, Ross, Watt, McIntosh, Robertson, Brady, Gallagher, Ngandu, Brown (Walker 85), Grant, Hilton (Duffy 88).
Not used: Malcolm and O’Connor.
East Fife: Fleming, Page, Steele, Newton, Denham, Millar (McManus 59), Schiavone (Steven 78), Trouten, Healy (Walls 70), Denholm (Shepherd 59), Ferguson.
Not used: Murdoch, Omar, Agnew, Mansouri and Beverage.
Last five meetings
- Stranraer 2 East Fife 0 (Grant and Hilton) at Stair Park on February 25, 2023
- East Fife 1 Stranraer 3 (Mercer; Walker (Pen), Hilton and Brown) at Bayview Stadium on January 21, 2023
- Stranraer 2 East Fife 2 (Woods and Watt; Schiavone and Healy) at Stair Park on August 27, 2022
- East Fife 4 Stranraer 2 (Dowds, Agnew (Pen), Denholm and Wallace; Victoria and Robertson) at Bayview Stadium on February 22, 2020
- Stranraer 0 East Fife 2 (Davidson and Agnew) at Stair Park on December 14, 2019
Last five games
- DRAW v Forfar Athletic (H): 0-0
- LOSS v Bonnyrigg Rose (A): 1-0
- DRAW v Annan Athletic (A): 0-0
- WIN v Albion Rovers (A): 0-1 (Ngandu)
- DRAW v Stirling Albion (H): 1-1 (Robertson)
- DRAW v Stirling Albion (A): 2-2 (Healy and Steele)
- LOSS v Annan Athletic (H): 0-1
- WIN v Elgin City (H): 2-0 (Steele and Trouten (Pen))
- DRAW v Bonnyrigg Rose (A): 1-1 (Trouten)
- WIN v Stenhousemuir (A): 1-2 (Ferguson and Shepherd)
Last time out
Lineup v Forfar Athletic: Scullion, Girvan, Ecrepont, Watt, McIntosh, Robertson, Brady (Ngandu 81), Gallagher, Grant (Brown 88), Hilton (Malcolm 81), Walker.
Not used: Forrest, Duffy and Downie.
Lineup v Stirling Albion: Fleming, Murdoch, Steele, Newton, Denham, Schiavone (McManus 77), Trouten, Healy, Walls (Denholm 73), Ferguson, Shepherd.
Not used: Page, Millar, Slattery, Omar, Young, Steven and Beveragte.
1. In 2018/19, East Fife were unbeaten against Stranraer in the four league meetings. Stranraer are looking to match that and go unbeaten against the Fifers for the first time since 2013/14.
2. The last goalless meeting between the two sides came in January 2017 when neither team found the net at Bayview Stadium. The game was Stevie Farrell’s first as Stranraer manager and also the debut of Michael Donald.
3. Three points would be welcomed by every Stranraer fan while it would also be an early birthday present for player/assistant manager Darryl Duffy. The veteran frontman, who has clocked up almost 500 minutes this season, turns 39 on Sunday.
4. East Fife moved to Bayview Stadium in 1998 but it was not until 2005 that Stranraer played there. On that occasion, Leigh Hinds scored the only goal of the game in a League Challenge Cup tie. The Stranraer team that day was: Morrison, Keddie, Dowie (Sharp 66), Higgins, Swift, Henderson, Jenkins, Hamilton, Ross, McLean (Hinds 61), Walker. Not used: Wingate, Aitken and Corr.
5. Both managers have played and scored in contests between Stranraer and East Fife. Jamie Hamill found the net in August 2017 at Stair Park with the only goal of the game. Meanwhile, Greig McDonald scored at both grounds. He got the winner in a 2-1 triumph at Bayview Stadium in January 2008 and bagged a double at Stair Park in a 4-0 win at the end of the year.
Photos: MadMac Photography, Bill McCandlish