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Forfar Athletic preview

  • Post published:1 December 2023

When one door closes, another one opens’ is the common phrase.

Injuries to two of Stranraer’s three top scorers has presented a chance for Deryn Lang to establish himself in the team.

Both Tam Orr and Ben Armour are unlikely to play for several weeks, which has opened the door for Lang and fellow frontman Olly McDonald to try to become regulars in the starting line-up and regulars on the scoresheet.

Lang was given the chance to do just that against Airdrieonians in the Scottish Cup last weekend and will be hoping he has done enough to keep himself in the starting XI ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday) trip to Forfar Athletic.

Speaking after the Scottish Cup clash, he said: “It is competitive for places.

“Obviously, the team was playing really well and Ben picked up that unfortunate injury the last weekend.

“Tam had picked up an injury as well but this is what you need a big squad for.

Ben Armour had netted an equaliser up at Peterhead one week prior to his injury

“Obviously, I want to take my chance when it presents itself.

“You need to take that chance if you want to stay in the team.

“You need to battle well and we are all good players and that is why the gaffer brought us in.

“It is going to be very competitive for the space in the team.”

A Callum Gallagher strike midway through the first half proved the difference between Stranraer and their Championship opposition at Stair Park last weekend.

Despite the defeat, the difference in league stature was not apparent for much of the game, with the hosts carving out a number of chances.

Lang, who joined the club from Lanark United, fell that, despite the loss, the Blues could take plenty of confidence to Angus.

He said: “We can take a lot of confidence from today.

“The captain was saying exactly that in the changing room as well.

Lang played the full 90 minutes against Airdrie

“We can take hundreds of confidence from the performance.

“They are doing really well, they have come here and we have really frustrated them.

“We really gave them a good game and we battled really hard but it was not meant to be.”

Last meeting

Forfar took victory at Stair Park in September

Two goals before half time gave Forfar Athletic their first league win of the season at Stair Park.

The Blues came into the game looking to bounce back from defeat to Stenhousemuir but found themselves a goal down in the opening 10 minutes when Ryan Paterson lobbed Martin McDonald from fully 35 yards.

Stranraer pushed to get back into the game but found themselves with a mountain to climb before the break when Josh Skelly fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Stranraer: M McDonald, Williamson, Ross, McIntosh, Robertson, Dolan, Forrest, Fleming (Strachan 78), Armour (O McDonald 82), Orr (Walker 61), Lang.
Not used: Hughes and Budinauckas.

Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Nditi, Allan, Munro, Morrison, Moore, Whatley, Robson, Macleod (Watson 78), Skelly (Ferguson 53), Paterson (Ross 78).
Not used: Brindley, Hutchinson, Whyte, Inglis and Paris.

Last five meetings

James Hilton earned the Blues their last win over Forfar
  • Stranraer 0 Forfar Athletic 2 (Paterson and Skelly) at Stair Park on September 23, 2023
  • 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

Last five games

Matty Grant scored in the Blues’ win over Elgin City


  • LOSS v Airdrieonians (H): 0-1
  • LOSS v Stenhousemuir (H): 0-3
  • LOSS v Peterhead (A): 3-2 (Armour and Own goal)
  • WIN v Elgin City (H): 3-1 (Forrest (Pen), Grant and Dolan)
  • WIN v Civil Service Strollers (A): 0-3 (Girvan, Ross and Robertson)

Forfar Athletic

  • WIN v Tranent (A): 0-1 (Allan)
  • LOSS v Elgin City (A): 1-0
  • WIN v Bonnyrigg Rose (A): 0-2 (Whatley and Paterson)
  • DRAW v Clyde (H): 1-1 (Morrison)
  • LOSS v Stenhousemuir (H): 1-3 (Morrison)

Last time out

Dylan Forrest partnered Scott Robertson in midfield for Stranraer last weekend


Lineup v Airdrieonians: Budinauckas, Williamson, Girvan, Ross, McIntosh, Robertson (Strachan 84), Dolan (Walker 72), Hawkshaw (McDonald 72), Forrest, Grant, Lang.
Not used: Downie.

Forfar Athletic

Lineup v Tranent: McCallum, Nditi, Brindley, Allan, Munro, Morrison, Moore, Whatley, Robson, Paterson (Skelly 77), Mutale (Inglis 89).
Not used: Watson, Ferguson and Paris.

Five facts

Results have been hard to come by at Station Park over the years

1. Stranraer have played Forfar Athletic at Station Park on 17 occasions over the last decade. In that time, the visiting side has won once with strikes from Mark McGuigan and Chris Aitken proving decisive in September 2015. Michael Travis scored for the home team.

2. Former Stranraer midfielder Ryan Caddis celebrates his 38th birthday today (Friday). The winger joined the Blues from Ayr United and would also play for Alloa Athletic in the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL). He also featured for Junior sides including Hurlford, Girvan and Irvine Meadow. He made seven appearances for the Blues during the 2007/08 campaign and his debut came against Forfar. The Blues would win 3-0 thanks to goals from Ricky Gillies, Alex White and Michael Mullen. Earlier this week, Ryan was appointed manager of Glenafton Athletic.

3. The last goalless encounter between Forfar and Stranraer at Station Park came back in August 2018. The visiting side was: Currie, McDonald, Brownlie, D Smith, Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Turner, Anderson (I Smith 82), Layne (Elliott 41), Donnelly (Ashmore 87). Not used: McGowan, Lidington, Lamont and Avci.

4. Goalkeeper Mark McGeown is credited as scoring his only Stranraer goal at Station Park… despite not being in the ground. In a remarkable game, the hosts were 2-0 up in the first 20 minutes thanks to goals from Barry Sellars and Liam Keogh. And that is the way it would stay until the final 12 minutes when Stranraer launched a comeback. Frazer Wright pulled one back before Neil McGowan (not Mark McGeown!) scored on 89 minutes. There was time for more twist as David Farrell found the net in stoppage time.

5. Stevie Aitken’s first game as Stranraer manager came against Forfar at Stair Park in October 2012. The former midfielder replaced Keith Knox and got off to the perfect start with Craig Malcolm and Chris Aitken scoring either side of a Danny Denholm effort. Malcolm scored again after the break before Frank McKeown found the net late on.

Photos: Bill McCandlish