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There is no need to panic, according to Dean Hawkshaw after Stranraer’s surprise defeat last weekend.

The Blues were missing a host of players, including Hawkshaw, for the trip to Ochilview and saw their impressive start to the league ended by Stenhousemuir.

Tomorrow (Saturday) brings a chance to take the first step on another unbeaten run when they welcome Forfar Athletic to Stair Park.

Hawkshaw said: “Last Saturday has been and gone.

“It was not a good one but it is important we start Saturday’s game well.

“We can pick up on good habits that we have had in recent weeks and pick up from where we left off.

“Both in terms of results and performances, we have started well.

“We can put it to bed early doors, the crowd will get behind us and spur us on and get a good result.”

Hawkshaw has not featured for Agnew’s side since July due to an ankle injury.

Hawkshaw last played in the Blues’ cup win over League One side Edinburgh City

The 26-year-old has been joined on the sidelines in recent weeks by Grant Gallagher and Matty Grant.

Last weekend, Kyle Girvan was added to the injury list while Cammy Williamson and Martin McDonald featured but were also struggling.

The former Kilmarnock man suggested if you took half a dozen players out of any League One or League Two squad it would cause issues.

He added: “It’s frustrating.

“We had been doing so well and were five games unbeaten and joint top of the league.

“Results elsewhere went in our favour.

“It was a bad day at the office.”

Hawkshaw was injured in the opening game of the campaign against Ross County – 10 minutes or so after replacing Josh Walker, who had also gone off injured.

The midfielder hopes to be back in a matter of weeks

He played through the injury against both Greenock Morton and Edinburgh City but it was becoming apparent something was not quite right.

Now, several weeks down the line, the ex-Airdrie man is hoping a return is not too far away.

He said: “The good news is I just had an injection on Monday.

“It is looking like two or three weeks time I could be back playing.”

Last meeting

Stranraer 0-0 Forfar Athletic

It was a stalemate at Stair Park in the sides’ last meeting

A Stair Park stalemate saw a game of few chances.

Matty Grant was booked for taking a tumble in the Forfar penalty area while the midfielder also forced Marc McCallum into action with a low effort from inside the box.

After the break, James Hilton tested the visiting number one after clever link up play with Scott Robertson. Josh Walker did have the ball in the net but play was pulled back for a foul on the goalkeeper.

Despite Stranraer’s dominance, Forfar could have stolen the points but Matty Aitken could not turn home from just a yard or two out.

Stranraer: Scullion, Robertson, Girvan, Ecrepont, Watt, McIntosh, Brady (Ngandu 81), Gallagher, Walker, Grant (Brown 88), Hilton (Malcolm 81).
Not used: Forrest, Duffy and Downie.

Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Nditi, Docherty, Munro, Dunachie, Hutton (Aitken 72), McCluskey, Ross (Moore 64), Robson, Flanagan (Thomson 64), Armour.
Not used: Gillie, Brindley and Kennedy.

Last five meetings

  • Stranraer 0 Forfar Athletic 0 at Stair Park on April 8, 2023
  • Forfar Athletic 2 Stranraer 1 (Ross and McCluskey; Malcolm) at Station Park on February 4, 2023
  • Stranraer 1 Forfar Athletic 0 (Hilton) at Stair Park on October 29, 2022
  • Forfar Athletic 2 Stranraer 0 (Slater and Munro) at Station Park on August 6, 2022
  • Forfar Athletic 2 Stranraer 2 (Forfar Athletic win 5-3 on penalties – match subsequently awarded 3-0 to Forfar Athletic) (Own goal and Jack; Hilton and McLean (Pen)) at Station Park on July 19, 2022

Last five games

Scott Agnew’s men recorded back to back home wins before the defeat at Stenhousemuir

Stranraer

  • LOSS v Stenhousemuir (A): 5-0
  • WIN v Peterhead (H): 2-1 (Orr and Fleming)
  • WIN v Clyde (H): 1-0 (O McDonald)
  • DRAW v Bonnyrigg Rose (A): 1-1 (Lang)
  • LOSS v Annan Athletic (A): 3-1 (O McDonald)

Forfar Athletic

  • DRAW v The Spartans (H): 2-2 (Ross and Whatley)
  • DRAW v Clyde (A): 0-0
  • LOSS v Bonnyrigg Rose (H): 1-2 (Morrison)
  • LOSS v Dumbarton (A): 3-1 (Ross)
  • DRAW v Elgin City (A): 0-0

Last time out

Craig Ross returned to the starting lineup in place of the injured Kyle Girvan at Ochilview

Stranraer

Lineup v Stenhousemuir: M McDonald (O’Connor 51), Robertson, Ross, Hughes (Williamson 46), McIntosh, Walker (O McDonald 41), Dolan, Forrest, Fleming, Armour, Orr (Lang 65).
Not used: Phillips and Clive.

Forfar Athletic

Lineup v The Spartans: McCallum, Nditi, Allan, Morrison, Moore, Whatley, Inglis (Munro 68), Ross (Whyte 46), Ferguson (Paterson 46), Macleod (Watson 82), Skelly.
Not used: Hutchinson, Robson and Paris.

Five facts

The cousin of Armand Oné, Gregory Tadé’s remarkable rise saw him play European football for three different clubs

1. Stranraer have only won one of the last five meetings with Forfar at Stair Park. That came last October when James Hilton’s first half strike proved the difference between the two sides.

2. The last meeting between the two sides finished goalless in April. Prior to that, Stranraer and Forfar had not shared a goalless draw in Wigtownshire since November 2015.

3. Congratulations to former Stranraer full-back Steven Noble, who reached a 500th career appearance last weekend. Now with Beith Juniors, Noble made 159 appearances for the Blues and found the net on five occasions. His final game for Stranraer came at Berwick Rangers, where the hosts won 1-0. The visiting team was: Mitchell, Noble, Belkouche (Agnew 85), McGregor, Taggart, Aitken, Gallagher, Winter, Moore (McColm 67), Malcolm, Grehan. Not used: Kane, Shepherd and Marshall.

4. Former Stranraer goalkeeper Ryan Marshall celebrates his 33rd birthday on Sunday. The ex-Celtic youngster was mostly understudy to David Mitchell but returned from a serious injury to make more than 15 appearances for the Blues.

5. Among those to have played for both Stranraer and Forfar Athletic is Gregory Tadé. As well as playing in Scotland, Tadé went on to play in Romania, Qatar and Israel.

Admission

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.

Photos: Bill McCandlish