You are currently viewing East Fife preview

East Fife preview

Results will turn for Stranraer as long as they keep working hard, according to recent signing Blair Sneddon.

The Blues enjoyed an impressive start to the campaign but have failed to win since the previous international break.

There were promising signs in a seven-goal thriller with Spartans in the last outing at Stair Park and Stranraer now head to Bayview Stadium to take on East Fife.

Sneddon, who joined the club on loan from Berwick Rangers, was looking forward to getting back on the pitch.

He said: “I think against Spartans the other week, we definitely showed a bit of character to try to get back in the game.

“That is a really good thing to see.

“If we keep working hard and powering through it then results will come our way.

“We need to keep sticking to the hard work.”

The 21-year-old made his debut for Scott Agnew’s side after stepping off the bench with Stranraer 3-1 down against Dumbarton at the end of last month.

Sneddon has first team experience from his time at Falkirk

His showing was rewarded with a first start for the team in the game against Spartans.

The Blues had fought back to 3-3 against the Capital club thanks to goals from James Dolan and Deryn Lang, with the hosts having trailed 3-1.

Unfortunately, it would be the visitors who left with all three points when Blair Henderson swept home Bradley Whyte’s cross.

Sneddon was quick to hold his hands up for the role he played in what proved to be the winning goal.

He said: “Against Spartans, obviously, it was my fault for the last goal.

“It was a hard one to take and very poor from me.

“I think overall I played OK but I am just trying to get going.

“I walked into the changing room and I put my hands up and said to the boys ‘that’s my fault for the last goal’.

“I’ve cost us all three, maybe even one point.

The loanee came close to scoring last weekend

“All the boys were really supportive and told me to keep my head up.”

While Sneddon will be hoping to feature tomorrow (Saturday), he will not be among the Stranraer squad next weekend for the Scottish Cup clash with Civil Service Strollers.

The full-back played the final nine minutes as Berwick lost 5-1 away to Brora Rangers in the first round of the competition.

Sneddon, who already knew Olly McDonald and Cammy Williamson before joining the club, said: “It is really frustrating.

“I had this conversation with my dad when I was home because we got told on the way home from Brora that we were going to be getting put on the transfer list.

“Obviously, if I go on loan and the team that I go on loan to is still in the Scottish Cup, then I cannot play in the Scottish Cup.

“So, they have cup tied me as well, unfortunately, which is quite frustrating.”

Last meeting

Thomas Orr was on target for the Blues in the last meeting between Stranraer and East Fife

An impressive point for Stranraer was the result the last time the two sides met.

The Blues played more than 80 minutes with 10 men after Craig Ross was sent off after tangling with Nathan Austin after just nine minutes.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, the home side took the lead nine minutes after the break through Tom Orr.

It looked as if Stranraer would see it out but Jonathan Page capitalised on a defensive mistake to bundle home from close range with just four minutes left.

Stranraer: M McDonald, Williamson, Girvan, Ross, McIntosh, Gallagher (Robertson 47), Dolan (Walker 89), Forrest, Fleming, Armour, Orr (O McDonald 59).
Not used: Hughes and O’Connor.

East Fife: Fleming, Murdoch, Newton (Docherty 69), Page, Easton, Millar (McManus 69), Trouten, Nicol (Healy 53), Walls, Shepherd, Austin.
Not used: Philp, Comerford, Schiavone, Hambrook and Beveridge.

Last five meetings

  • Stranraer 1 East Fife 1 (Orr; Page) at Stair Park on August 12, 2023
  • East Fife 8 Stranraer 0 (Own goal x2, Ferguson, Schiavone, Shepherd x2, Denham and Young) at Bayview Stadium on April 15, 2023
  • 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 2023
  • Stranraer 2 East Fife 2 (Woods and Watt; Schiavone and Healy) at Stair Park on August 27, 2022

Last five games

Both sides are on winless runs, although East Fife have drawn their last three games

Stranraer

  • LOSS v The Spartans (H): 3-4 (Orr, Dolan and Lang)
  • LOSS v Dumbarton (A): 3-1 (Armour)
  • LOSS v Forfar Athletic (H): 0-2
  • LOSS v Stenhousemuir (A): 5-0
  • WIN v Peterhead (H): 2-1 (Orr and Fleming)

East Fife

  • DRAW* v The New Saints (A): 2-2 (Trouten and McManus) (The New Saints win 5-4 on penalties)
  • DRAW v Forfar Athletic (H): 1-1 (Trouten)
  • DRAW v The Spartans (A): 2-2 (Shepherd and Austin)
  • WIN v Clyde (H): 2-0 (Shepherd and Trouten)
  • WIN v Albion Rovers (H): 2-1 (Page and McManus)

Last time out

Deryn Lang came off the bench to score the equaliser against Spartans

Stranraer

Lineup v The Spartans: Budinauckas, Robertson, Williamson (Lang 59), Ross, McIntosh, Dolan (O McDonald 81), Forrest, Fleming, Sneddon, Armour, Orr.
Not used: Strachan, Agnew, Walker and M McDonald.

East Fife

Lineup v The New Saints: Fleming, Newton (Nicol 77), Page, Easton, Comerford (Docherty 46), Millar, McManus, Trouten, Healy (Walls 77), Shepherd (Hambrook 85), Austin (Mitchell 78).
Not used: Schiavone and Beveridge.

Five facts

Joao Victoria found the net in a seven-goal thriller between the sides back in 2019

1. If selected, Dylan Forrest will make his 50th appearance for Stranraer. The midfielder, who joined from Cumbernauld Colts, has scored twice. Both efforts came at Stair Park and both came in 3-1 wins – against Stirling Albion and Elgin City.

2. The last time Stranraer scored three at home and lost came in January 2019. The same as the result against The Spartans, the Blues lost out 4-3 – this time to East Fife. Grant Anderson and Innes Cameron had the hosts two goals up. Kevin Smith pulled one back before Joao Victoria restored the two-goal advantage. Unfortunately, Craig Watson reduced the deficit again and Anton Dowds scored a double to take the win. Goalscorer Smith replaced now Stranraer boss Scott Agnew, who went off injured in the first half.

3. Former Stranraer manager Gerry Britton celebrates his 53rd birthday today (Friday). The much-travelled striker, who included Celtic, Livingston and Partick Thistle among his clubs, made one appearance for the Stair Park side. That came in a 2-1 win over Peterhead in November 2006. Strikes from David Hamilton and Mark Crilly gave the Blues the win while Dougie Cameron scored for the visitors. The home team was: Black, Wilson, Hodge, Lyle (Snowdon), Hamilton, McMullan, Aitken, Crilly, Wright (Nicholas), McGroarty, Burns (Britton). Not used: McAlpine and Morrison.

4. The last time Stranraer played on October 21 was in 2006. Greenock Morton were the hosts and won 3-0 thanks to goals from Jamie Stevenson, Paul McGowan and a certain Peter Weatherson.

5. Stranraer and East Fife shared the spoils earlier this season and that has been a regular occurrence. The two clubs have drawn on at least once occasion when they have been in the same division since 2008/09.

Photos: Bill McCandlish, Falkirk FC