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East Fife preview

  • Post published:26 January 2024

Skipper Sean McIntosh is hoping to give manager Scott Agnew a selection headache within a matter of weeks.

The full-back has not featured for Stranraer since a Scottish Cup clash against former side Airdrie in November.

Now, he is hoping that an injection to tackle tendonitis in his groin will help him get back involved following tomorrow’s clash with East Fife.

He said: “I look back and most of the injuries that I have had throughout my career have all been similar injuries.

“They have not been anything that has happened, like a moment in a game or something I have maybe pulled, it has always just been essentially an overuse or stress thing within my muscles or my joints.

“That is just the way that my injuries have been and that is the frustrating thing.

McIntosh has been a regular for the Blues

“Genuinely, there has not been much that I can do about it, which is frustrating because it is a time thing.

“You don’t know when it is going to be better, you don’t know how long it is going to be, and the doctor I saw on Wednesday advised that if I did not get the injection then I could be another month or two.

“It is just very unpredictable.

“I have had this injection before and it did really help me

“It is not something I want to get every season but to get me back playing it is going to help it.”

An injection, it is hoped, will take the majority of the pain away and allow McIntosh to get back to training.

That could mean running tomorrow and then hopefully get back into training next week with a view to being available for Clyde’s visit to Stair Park next month.

McIntosh has been a regular in the starting XI since making the move from Brechin in 2021.

He gave an insight into the pain threshold and determination needed to make it as a footballer.

The 27-year-old said: “I don’t think you are very often 100 per cent fit.

“Honestly, I think the majority of players will say that.

The full back has been out of action in recent weeks

“You rarely go into games feeling 100 per cent – there is always something that is underlying or you have got a wee issue.

“It is just what tends to happen.

“A lot of things are very manageable or you are in a game environment and forget about a lot of things.”

Once back fit, McIntosh is hoping to help the club put together a play-off challenge over the second half of the season.

Nine points separate Stranraer in seventh with Dumbarton in fourth but there is still almost half the campaign to be played.

McIntosh said: “I think we have been pretty decent at home this season.

“We have definitely held our own in games and you have seen really good signs in games.

“It is a great few weeks for us, to be honest.

“We have got teams round about us to play.

“We have definitely got an opportunity to go on a wee bit of a run and pick up points and get us higher up.”

Last meeting

It was defeat for the Blues at New Bayview in October

Goals from former Stranraer midfielders Kieran Millar and Connor McManus helped East Fife to a comfortable win in October.

Millar tapped home at the back post after a well-worked free-kick and the lead would be doubled before the break when Nathan Austin fired home. McManus then got his name on the scoresheet after the interval and the goalscoring was wrapped up when Liam Newton found the net in stoppage time.

East Fife: Fleming, Newton, Docherty, Easton, Comerford, Millar (Walls 63), McManus, Trouten (Hambrook 83), Shepherd (Mitchell 71), Healy (Nicol 71), Austin (Schiavone 83).
Not used: Murdoch and Beverage.

Stranraer: Budinauckas, Girvan, Ross (O McDonald 85), McIntosh, Robertson, Dolan (Walker 70), Forrest, Grant (Armour 70), Orr (Hawkshaw 62), Sneddon, Lang.
Not used: Williamson, Strachan and M McDonald.

Last five meetings

  • East Fife 4 Stranraer 0 (Millar, Austin, McManus and Newton) at Bayview Stadium on October 21, 2023
  • 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 21, 2023

Last five games

Thomas Orr was back on the scoresheet as the Blues picked up three points in their last home game


  • 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
  • WIN v Bonnyrigg Rose (H): 3-1 (Own goal, Grant and Ross)

East Fife

  • DRAW v Peterhead (H): 2-2 (Austin and Page)
  • DRAW v Clyde (H): 1-1 (Austin)
  • WIN v Dumbarton (A): 1-2 (Millar and Walls)
  • DRAW v Forfar Athletic (A): 0-0
  • LOSS v Bonnyrigg Rose (H): 0-3

Last time out

Striker Aiden Gilmartin made his debut last week after his loan move from St Mirren

Stenhousemuir v Stranraer: Budinauckas, Girvan (Fleming 46), Ross, McQueen, Ecrepont, Robertson, Dolan, Forrest, Johnston (Hawkshaw 76), Grant, Orr (Gilmartin 81).
Not used: Williamson, O McDonald, Lang and Downie.

East Fife v Peterhead: A Fleming, Murdoch, Newton, Page, Millar, McManus, Trouten, Walls (Schiavone 67), Shepherd (Docherty 76), Healy, Austin.
Not used: Nicol, Cunningham, Ramsay and Beverage.

Five facts

Blues boss Scott Agnew has scored for both clubs in games against each other

1. Two spells with Stranraer and three spells with Queen of the South, Tommy Bryce turns 65 tomorrow (Saturday). The midfielder played more than 100 games for Stranraer in the early 1980s before moving east along the A75 to Palmerston Park. He rejoined Stranraer in 2000 and wrapped up his senior career.

2. Stranraer manager Scott Agnew not only played for both the Blues and East Fife but he also scored for both clubs in games against each other. The midfielder scored for Stranraer in a 3-2 win in Fife in April 2018 and would go on to net for the Fifers in a 2-0 win at Stair Park in December 2019 and at Bayview Stadium the following February in a 4-2 win.

3. On four occasions, there have been eight goals scored in games involving the two sides. East Fife won 7-1 in 1960 before Stranraer won 6-2 the following season. East Fife then won 6-2 at Stair Park in September 2012 before scoring eight unanswered goals in Jamie Hamill’s final game in charge last April.

4. The last goalless encounter between Stranraer and East Fife at Stair Park was back in February 1996. For reference, only Scott Robertson, Grant Gallagher and Chris Johnston out of the current Stranraer squad, including George O’Connor, Ben Hughes and Josh Walker, who are out on loan, were born when that game was played.

5. Amadou Kassarate’s final Stranraer goal came against East Fife at Stair Park. The frontman joined on loan from Dumbarton in 2017 and scored twice in 13 appearances, with the other goal coming against Stenhousemuir. Craig Malcolm opened the scoring before Jason Kerr equalised for the visitors. Kassarate came off the bench with eight minutes left and netted the winner just two minutes later. He has since played Thesprotos in Greece before spells in England with Cheshunt, Welling United and Bishop’s Stortford. The Stranraer team that day was: Belford, Dick (McGowan 89), Barron, Bell, Neill, Robertson, Agnew, Donald (Wilson 72), Thomson, Gibson, Malcolm (Kassarate 82). Not used: Morena, McGuigan, Kemp and Currie.

How to watch

You can pay at the turnstile at Stair Park

Admission at Stair Park is on a ‘pay at the gate’ basis, with pricing as follows:

  • Adult – £15
  • Concession – £10
  • 5 to 16 Years Old – £5
  • Under 5 – FREE

Stranraer FC merchandise is available, and the Pavilion Bar at the ground is open from 1pm for pre and post-match refreshments.

Finally, you can follow our social media channels for live updates, interviews and highlights across the weekend.

Photos: Bill McCandlish