“It is better being lucky than good” was how matchwinner Olly McDonald summed up his late, late show against Clyde last weekend.
Stranraer looked destined for a third draw in four games as time ticked away against the Bully Wee at Stair Park.
However, with 96 minutes on the clock, McDonald popped up to score the decisive goal against his former club.
Speaking just minutes after the full time whistle, he said: “It’s a good goal for myself, obviously, and it was a really big goal for the team as well.
“It keeps our good start to the season going.
“I don’t think there is a better time to score than in the last minute.
“It is important for myself to get off the mark in the league and important for the team, as I said.
“I saw the ball come into the box and I think it was Kyle Girvan has kind of flicked it on.
“I think Peter Grant has got a shout, to be fair, from somebody to leave it and I have just nipped in behind and tapped it in.
“It is better being lucky than good, isn’t it!
“As a striker, as much I can, I try to play in between the posts just for things like that to happen.
“It falls in between sometimes, people miss it, wee ricochets, it falls to you.
“It is a good goal to get.”
McDonald played more than 35 games for Clyde before leaving during the close season.
During that time, he found the net on six occasions – a number he is closing in on already with Stranraer having also scored against Annan in the SPFL Trust Trophy.
He said: “I had a great time at Clyde.
“I really enjoyed it and some of my best pals are still there.
“The fans were really good with me and I could easily have still been there.
“The way things happened, I don’t think the director of football at the time fancied me which happens in football.
“Sometimes you need to move on and find somebody that appreciates you.”
Now though, attention turns to tomorrow’s visitors, Peterhead.
They, like Clyde, came down from League One at the end of last term but had picked up seven points from a possible nine before last weekend’s defeat to The Spartans.
McDonald, who works as a football coach, was keen to keep the momentum going but stressed the team were well aware that it is only the beginning of September.
He said: “You don’t want to get too carried away because it is still very early in the season.
“We are only four games in and you just take every game as it comes.
“You calm yourself down a wee bit and don’t get too carried away but we are really pleased with the three points.”
It is more than three years since Stranraer and Peterhead faced off against one another.
On that occasion, it was a fairly one-sided affair with Peterhead picking up three well-deserved points.
Ryan Conroy scored either side of half time and James Hilton saw a penalty saved by Greg Fleming, who also gathered the rebound. Scott Brown wrapped up the scoring with the third late on.
Peterhead: Fleming, J Brown (Lyle 79), Boyle, Ferguson, Conroy (Stevenson 76), Ferry, S Brown, Leitch, Hooper, McAllister, Smith (Armour 77).
Not used: Eadie, Dunlop, Dimov and Wilson.
Stranraer: Currie, Robertson, Cummins (Dangana 74), Hamilton, Hamill (Elliott 21), McManus, Murphy, Smith (Jones 57), Pignatiello, Hilton, Stirling.
Not used: Stewart and Burgess.
Last five meetings
- Peterhead 3 Stranraer 0 (Conroy x2 and S Brown) at Balmoor Stadium on December 7, 2019
- Stranraer 1 Peterhead 2 (Dangana; S Brown x2) at Stair Park on August 31, 2019
- Peterhead 2 Stranraer 2 (McAllister and Redman; Malcolm and Robertson) at Balmoor Stadium on March 25, 2017
- Stranraer 3 Peterhead 3 (Thomson and Gibson x2; McAllister x2 and Anderson) at Stair Park on February 18, 2017
- Peterhead 2 Stranraer 0 (McAllister and S Brown) at Balmoor Stadium on October 29, 2016
Last five games
- 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)
- DRAW v East Fife (H): 1-1 (Orr)
- WIN v Elgin City (A): 0-1 (Dolan)
- LOSS v The Spartans (H): 0-1
- WIN v Clyde (A): 1-2 (O’Keefe and Shanks)
- WIN v Aberdeen Under-20s (A): 3-5 (Ross, McCarthy, Jordan Brown x2 and Shanks)
- DRAW v Stenhousemuir (H): 0-0
- WIN v East Fife (A): 0-3 (Jack Brown and O’Keefe x2)
Last time out
Lineup v Clyde: M McDonald, Robertson, Williamson (Hughes 69), Girvan, McIntosh, Walker (Lang 64), Dolan, Forrest, Fleming, Armour, Orr (O McDonald 76).
Not used: Ross and O’Connor.
Lineup v The Spartans: McKenzie, Armstrong, Goldie, Jason Brown, Strachan, Ritchie, McCarthy, Ward (D Strachan 86), Jack Brown, Reid (Jordan Brown 67), O’Keefe (McKee 60).
Not used: Oluyemi, Ross, Wilson and Wood.
1. Former Blue Conor O’Keefe will be among the Peterhead squad for tomorrow’s game. The 25-year-old played 12 games for Stranraer at the beginning of 2019 after joining from St Mirren. Stranraer won two of those games, a 1-0 win away to Stenhousemuir (Innes Cameron scored) and a 2-1 win over Forfar Athletic (Joao Victoria and Connor McManus found the net).
2. A happy 62nd birthday to former Stranraer winger Steve Logan. He spent four years at Stair Park after joining from Irvine Meadow. He would also have spells at Clyde, Meadowbank Thistle, Falkirk and Stenhousemuir before heading back into the Junior ranks with Auchinleck Talbot.
3. Peterhead head to Stair Park unbeaten in their last five meetings with Stranraer. It was August 2016 that Stranraer last picked up a win thanks to Mark McGuigan’s first half goal. The home side was: Belford, Dick, Barron (Morena 70), McKeown, Bell, Gibson, Agnew, C Thomson (Turner 60), R Thomson, Malcolm, McGuigan (Kemp 85). Not used: Sherry, McCloskey, Nadé and Currie.
4. Stranraer won their first-ever visit to Balmoor Stadium while Peterhead won on their first-ever trip to Stair Park.
5. The list of players to have played for both clubs is not particularly long but among those to have pulled on the Blue for both clubs are Bryan Gilfillan, Michael Dunlop, Steven Noble, Conor O’Keefe and Grant Anderson.
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