East Fife preview

East Fife preview

  • Post published:26 August 2022

Fortress Stair Park is the aim for defender Scott Dunn.

Stranraer are unbeaten in their two league contests at home following a win over Annan Athletic and a draw with Bonnyrigg Rose.

East Fife are the visitors tomorrow (Saturday) with the summer signing determined to see their unbeaten run extended.

He said: “Obviously, we want that for the fans and for momentum.

“We want teams to come down to Stair Park and think it is a tough place to go.

“We want teams to not want to come down and play against us.

“We want teams to fear our home form.

Dunn partnered Kyle Girvan at the back on Wednesday night

“We are undefeated at home and need to keep it going on Saturday.”

The former Airdrie and Queen of the South man has featured in the last three games, coming off the bench against Bonnyrigg after Craig Ross was sent off.

The resulting suspension allowed Dunn to stake a claim for a place in the heart of defence, featuring against both Elgin City and FC Edinburgh.

The 21-year-old felt there were a number of players who were looking to force their way into the first team.

He said: “It’s not just me but boys who were on the bench looking to keep their place.

“The gaffer has got a lot of headaches for different positions but we need to keep pushing each other and progress as a team.”

It was player/assistant manager Darryl Duffy who put the wheels in motion to see Dunn make the move from Palmerston Park to Stair Park.

Dunn had featured for the Dumfries side at the beginning of last season, playing alongside former Blues Ruari Paton and Willie Gibson.

He then went out on loan to Lowland League side Broomhill before finishing the campaign with Cowdenbeath, featuring in the Blue Brazil’s 3-0 defeat at Stair Park in March.

Dunn challenges Paul Woods while playing for Cowdenbeath at Stair Park

The centre half had enjoyed his taste of first team football and wanted that to continue.

He came in on trial at Stranraer and won over the management team and was rewarded with a contract.

He said: “I have loved it.

“The gaffer has been good with me as well.

“It is a good changing room and a good bunch of boys.

“Training is good and that is all you can for.

“We have had some good results, which will help and I have loved being here.

“Hopefully, we can have a good season and push for promotion – that’s the aim.”

Last meeting

East Fife 4-2 Stranraer

East Fife were comfortable winners at Bayview back in February 2020

It would be fair to say Stranraer gave themselves a mountain to climb the last time they visited Bayview Stadium.

Anton Dowds and a penalty from Scott Agnew had the hosts two goals up at the break. Danny Denholm and a goal from another former Blue, Ryan Wallace, had the home side well on their way to victory.

Strikes from Joao Victoria and Scott Robertson in a crazy 60 seconds gave a glimmer of hope, with Cameron Elliott thrown on a bid to get another goal, but East Fife held out for three points.

East Fife: Long, Higgins, Murdoch, Dunlop, Slattery, Denholm (Watson 82), Agnew, Davidson, Morrison, Wallace (Dunsmore 89), Dowds (Baker 69).
Not used: Hunter, Watt, Smith and Hart.

Stranraer: Currie, Robertson, Allan, Cummins, McIntyre (Elliott 83), Hamill, McManus, Hilton (Victoria 28), Thomson, Stirling, Stevenson.
Not used: Phillips, Ross, Johnstone and Burgess.

Last five meetings

  • 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
  • East Fife 1 Stranraer 1 (Wallace; Jones) at Bayview Stadium on October 5, 2019
  • East Fife 3 Stranraer 1 (Slattery, Watt and Linton; Turner) at Bayview Stadium on March 9, 2019
  • Stranraer 3 East Fife 4 (Anderson, Cameron and Victoria; Smith, Watson and Dowds x2) at Stair Park on January 26, 2019

Last five games

Josh Walker scored the first goal for Stranraer in the capital

Stranraer

  • LOSS v FC Edinburgh (A): 3-2 (Walker and Watt)
  • DRAW v Elgin City (A): 2-2 (Brady and Malcolm)
  • DRAW v Bonnyrigg Rose (H): 2-2 (Own goal and Walker)
  • LOSS v Forfar Athletic (A): 2-0
  • WIN v Annan Athletic (H): 1-0 (Woods (Pen))

East Fife

  • WIN v St Johnstone Under-20s (H): 4-0 (Trouten (Pen), Mercer, Cunningham and Martin)
  • WIN v Forfar Athletic (H): 1-0 (Trouten (Pen))
  • WIN v Albion Rovers (A): 0-1 (Newton)
  • LOSS v Bonnyrigg Rose (H): 0-3
  • WIN v Elgin City (A): 1-3 (Shepherd x2 and Mercer)

Last time out

The Blues had plenty of chances against League 1 side FC Edinburgh

Stranraer

Lineup v FC Edinburgh: Scullion, Watt, Dunn, Girvan, Ellis, Grant, Brady (Hawkshaw 60), Forrest (Duffy 84), Woods (McLean 60), Walker (Malcolm 60), Hilton.
Not used: Robertson and O’Connor.

East Fife

Lineup v St Johnstone Under 20s: Fleming, Mercer, Steele, Denham, Williamson, Healy, Newton (Ramsay 79), Balde (Martin 84), Shepherd (Schiavone 57), Trouten (Millar 46), Cunningham.
Not used: Murray, Allan and Rollo.

Five facts

Luke Watt has played in this fixture for both Stranraer and East Fife

1. Stranraer are currently on a seven-game winless streak against East Fife. The last victory came on April 28, 2018, at Bayview Stadium. Scott Agnew scored before half time and Grant Anderson scored twice early in the second half. However, the Blues made it difficult for themselves as Craig Watson and Jonathan Page pulled it back to 3-2.

2. Stranraer’s last win over East Fife at Stair Park came on August 5, 2017. There was only one goal in it and a certain Jamie Hamill scored it on 65 minutes.

3. Since the defeat to Bonnyrigg Rose, East Fife have played three games, won three games, scored six goals and conceded none.

4. Luke Watt made four appearances for East Fife towards the end of the 2016/17 season having also featured for Stranraer that season. He was part of the Stranraer team in the first meeting at Stair Park, which finished 1-1. Ross Brown scored for the visitors with Steven Bell bagging an equaliser. He was then part of the Fifers team in the second meeting at Stair Park. Stranraer won 2-1 on that occasion, with Craig Malcolm and Amadou Kassaraté scoring either side of Jason Kerr’s effort. The Stranraer team that day was: Belford, Robertson, Dick (McGowan 89), Barron, Neill, Bell, Agnew, Donald (Wilson 72), Thomson, Gibson, Malcolm (Kassaraté 82). Not used: Morena, McGuigan, Kemp and Currie.

5. The last time Stranraer played on August 27 was in 2016. Peterhead were the visitors to Stair Park but they left empty handed thanks to Mark McGuigan’s first half goal. Former Blues Scott Rumsby and Steven Noble were unused substitutes on the day.

How to watch

You can pay at the gate at Stair Park

Entry for home league games this season is on a ‘pay at the gate’ basis.

Pricing is as follows:

  • Adult – £15
  • Concession – £10
  • 12 to 16 Years Old – £5
  • Under 12 – FREE

Please note: SPFL clubs are currently unable to stream league games live in the UK and Ireland due to the return of broadcasting restrictions. As a result, we will be unable to bring you any live league coverage from Stair Park this season.

Photos: Bill McCandlish