Elgin City preview

Elgin City preview

  • Post published:19 August 2022

Ever-present Sam Ellis is determined to keep his spot in the team after making the permanent switch to Stranraer.

The full-back showed promising signs during his loan deal from St Mirren last season.

And when the chance came to extend his stay at Stair Park he jumped at it.

Now, he is the only member of the squad to have played every minute of the opening seven games of the season.

He said: “That is what you want to be doing.

“You want to be playing every second of every game possible.

“I am grateful to the gaffer for giving me that opportunity to do that.

Ellis hasn’t missed a minute of action this season

“He has given me a path to get better and the only way you will do that is playing.

“You always look to go to the highest level possible but if I went somewhere and was not going to play then I am not going to learn anything.

“I enjoyed being here last season and I’m looking to improve so it was a no brainer.”

The last of the former St Mirren man’s seven appearances came against Bonnyrigg Rose last weekend.

The Blues had twice led, with an own goal and Josh Walker effort, but the Midlothian side bounced back and took a point with a last minute penalty.

Ellis said: “You could hear a pin drop after the game.

“Everybody was just heads in hands and were devastated.

“It was such a hard one to take because we had worked our socks off.

The defender was dejected after last weekend’s stoppage time equaliser

“Putting in an effort like that, it almost felt like we did it for nothing but you need to look at the positives.”

Still, the point against the reigning Scottish Lowland Football League champions could prove crucial come the end of the season.

Four points from six at home is a firm building block for Jamie Hamill’s side and the challenge is to take that form on the road.

Borough Briggs was a relatively happy hunting ground for the Blues last term as they took four points out of six.

Ellis added: “We want to keep playing the way we were doing.

“It was a great start against Annan and you want to carry that into your away games.”

Last meeting

Stranraer 2-0 Elgin City

Sam Ellis scored his first senior goal as the Blues wrapped up the season with a win

The final game of last season saw Stranraer finish up with three points.

Neither team could break the deadlock in the first half but the best chance came for the visitors. Rabin Omar’s through ball cut open the defence but Luke Scullion did well to block Rory MacEwan’s effort.

The opening goal came when James Hilton was brought down in the box and Matty Yates sent the goalkeeper the wrong way for his last goal for the club.

Stranraer wrapped up the points when Sam Ellis scored his first for the club after getting on the end of Dean Hawkshaw’s inviting free-kick.

Stranraer: Scullion, Robertson (Woods 60), Burns, Sonkur, Ross (Ellis 69), McIntosh, Brady (Smith 74), Gallagher, Walker (Muir 60). Hilton (Hawkshaw 73), Yates.
Not used: Mullen and Watson.

Elgin City: Hoban, Towler, O’Connor, Mailer, MacEwan, Dingwall, Omar (O’Keefe 60), Sopel (Machado 46), Cameron (Allan 80), Draper, Peters (Hester 71).
Not used: Mackay and McHale.

Last five meetings

  • Stranraer 2 Elgin City 0 (Yates (Pen) and Ellis) at Stair Park on April 30, 2022
  • Elgin City 1 Stranraer 2 (McHardy; Yates (Pen) and Mullen) at Borough Briggs on February 12, 2022
  • Stranraer 1 Elgin City 0 (Ross) at Stair Park on November 20, 2021
  • Elgin City 1 Stranraer 1 (McHardy; Gallagher) at Borough Briggs on July 31, 2021
  • Stranraer 1 Elgin City 4 (Elliott; Sopel, Hester x2 and Cameron) at Stair Park on April 27, 2021

Last five games

The Blues were almost home and dry last weekend only for Bonnyrigg to snatch a point

Stranraer

  • 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))
  • DRAW v Forfar Athletic (A): 2-2 (Hilton and McLean (Pen)) Forfar Athletic win 5-3 on penalties [later awarded 3-0]
  • LOSS v Dundee (H): 0-3

Elgin City

  • DRAW v Forfar Athletic (A): 2-2 (Hester and Dingwall (Pen))
  • WIN v Dundee United U20s (H): 1-0 (Hester)
  • DRAW v Stirling Albion (A): 2-2 (Dingwall and Hester)
  • LOSS v East Fife (H): 1-3 (McHardy)
  • LOSS v Queen of the South (H): 0-2

Last time out

Matty Grant made his first start against Bonnyrigg

Stranraer

Lineup v Bonnyrigg Rose: Scullion, Ellis, Girvan, Ross, Watt, Brady (Hawkshaw 82), Walker (Dunn 69), Woods (McLean 82), Forrest, Grant (Hilton 77), Malcolm.
Not used: Robertson, Duffy and O’Connor.

Elgin City

Lineup v Forfar Athletic: McHale, Cooper, Young (Cairns 87), Anderson, Dolzanski, MacEwan (MacInnes 89), Dingwall, Cameron, Findlay, Antoniazzi (Mailer 39), Hester (Allan 89).
Not used: Sopel, Cruickshank and Hoban.

Five facts

Now with St Cadoc’s, former Blues midfielder Grant Anderson celebrates his 36th birthday this weekend

1. Both sides had players sent off in last weekend’s league fixtures. Craig Ross was shown a straight red card during Stranraer’s 2-2 draw with Bonnyrigg Rose while Brian Cameron and Angus Mailer were sent off during Elgin City’s 2-2 draw at Forfar Athletic.

2. Stranraer were unbeaten against Elgin City in the four competitive meetings last season, taking 10 points from a possible 12. The season prior to that Elgin were unbeaten against Stranraer, taking nine points out of nine.

3. Craig Frizzell played for and scored for both clubs. He joined Stranraer from Elgin in 2008 and found the net three times for the Blues – in a 6-3 defeat to Greenock Morton, a 2-1 loss to Brechin City and a 1-1 draw at Hampden Park. The Stranraer team against Queen’s Park: Black, Noble, McKinstry, Kane, McBride, Nicoll, Mitchell, Gibson (Cooksley 77), McColm (Mutch 20), Frizzell (Connolly 64), McConologue. Not used: Warner.

4. Elgin City’s last league win at Borough Briggs came back in March when they were 2-0 winners over Edinburgh City. Josh Peters and Kane Hester scored the two goals in the opening 20 minutes.

5. Tomorrow marks the 36th birthday of former Stranraer star Grant Anderson. The midfielder enjoyed two years with Stranraer after joining from Peterhead. During that time, he made 80 appearances and found the net on 13 occasions.