Forfar Athletic preview

Forfar Athletic preview

Goalkeeper Jack Baker has vowed to push Luke Scullion all the way after four years out of the game.

The shotstopper answered Stranraer’s emergency call earlier this season when the Blues found themselves in desperate need of a goalkeeper.

With Greg Fleming already having left the club, Jamie Walker out on loan, Curtis Lyle injured and Scullion unavailable, Jamie Hamill and Darryl Duffy were left looking for a number one ahead of the trip to Forfar.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man as Baker helped Stranraer pick up a point at Station Park.

Baker said: “I came in for the coaching job during the summer because I have been doing my coaching badges.

“I put on a session for Luke and Jamie but obviously the gaffer decided to give it to Billy Thomson, which I completely understand.

Jack Baker stepped in on short notice against Forfar earlier in the season

“It was just a case of going back to normal and doing my coaching and stuff when I got a text from Darryl asking if I could do the team a favour and help out for two games.

“Luke was unavailable and Curtis was injured and I was more than happy to help.

“That’s how it all came about.

“I initially helped them out for those two games and I just accepted it was for those two games.”

With Lyle still out injured, Baker, who began his career at Crewe Alexandra, put pen to paper on a deal until the end of the season.

The 31-year-old has played for Maryhill, Cumnock, Clydebank and Rutherglen Glencairn since moving north of the border.

Baker had a strong game at Station Park

A spell out of the game saw Baker thrown in at the deep end for the trip to Angus and then against Cowdenbeath.

He admitted he had some nerves before the first game, which was his debut in the senior ranks.

Now, with a deal signed, he is looking to keep Scullion on his toes after being named on the bench for the last three games.

Baker said: “Overall, for the last couple of weeks, we have been doing really well.

“We are disappointed to go out of the Scottish Cup but we will look to bounce back on Saturday.”

Last meeting

Assistant manager Darryl Duffy found the net against Forfar back in August

A down to the bare bones Stranraer made the trip to Forfar Athletic in August looking for their first win of the league season.

The Blues had trialist Jack Baker in goal while player/assistant manager Darryl Duffy made his first start of the campaign and manager Jamie Hamill was one of three substitutes on the bench. Baker made a number of impressive saves but the deadlock was broken in the second half when Craig Slater smashed high into the net.

Stranraer were only behind for 15 minutes though as Duffy equalised following a corner. The former Falkirk striker would go on to suffer a nasty hand injury and substitute Josh Rennie saw his goal ruled out for offside.

Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Meechan, S Anderson, Munro, Strachan, Thomson, Slater, Thomas, Aitken (Shepherd 79), McCluskey, Crossan (G Anderson 57).
Not used: Travis, Irvine, Doris and Sanderson.

Stranraer: Trialist, Robertson, Burns, Sonkur, McIntosh, Gallagher, Woods, Irving, Smith (Moore 87), Watson, Duffy (Rennie 79).
Not used: Hamill.

Last five meetings

  • Forfar Athletic 1 Stranraer 1 (Slater; Duffy) at Station Park on August 28, 2021
  • Forfar Athletic 1 Stranraer 1 (Whyte; Stevenson) at Station Park on February 15, 2020
  • Stranraer 2 Forfar Athletic 4 (Jones x2; Docherty, Hilson, Forbes and Burns) at Stair Park on December 21, 2019
  • Forfar Athletic 1 Stranraer 0 (Hilson (Pen)) at Station Park on August 10, 2019
  • Stranraer 2 Forfar Athletic 1 (Victoria and McManus; Irvine) at Stair Park on April 6, 2019

Last five games

The Blues were victorious in their last league visit to Stair Park

Stranraer

  • LOSS v Darvel (H): 0-1
  • DRAW v Stirling Albion (A): 1-1 (Yates)
  • WIN v Albion Rovers (H): 1-0 (Woods)
  • LOSS v Kelty Hearts (A): 1-0
  • WIN v Stenhousemuir (H): 2-0 (Yates and Watson)

Forfar Athletic

  • WIN v Formartine United (A): 0-2 (Shepherd (Pen) and G Anderson)
  • WIN v Annan Athletic (H): 2-0 (Munro and McCluskey)
  • DRAW v Stenhousemuir (A): 1-1 (Thomson)
  • WIN v Albion Rovers (H): 3-1 (McCluskey, Shepherd and Aitken)
  • DRAW v Cowdenbeath (A): 1-1 (Aitken)

Last time out

Stranraer

Lineup v Darvel: Scullion, Burns, Sonkur, Ellis, Ross, Brady, Gallagher, Woods (Rennie 77), Smith (Muir 46), Watson (Walker 46), Yates.
Not used: Langan, Moore, Irving, Ngoy and Baker.

Forfar Athletic

Lineup v Formartine United: McCallum, Meechan, Travis, Hussain, Munro, Ness (Slater 68), G Anderson (Thomson 77), Thomas, McCluskey, Shepherd (S Anderson 71), Crossan.
Not used: Irvine, Strachan, Gallagher, Aitken and Sanderson.