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  • Post published:24 November 2023

The role of manager is about much more than simply picking the starting line-up on a Saturday.

Scott Agnew pulled on the strips of St Mirren, Hamilton, Ayr United and Airdrie, among others, lining up in the Championship, League One and League Two, during an impressive playing career.

Along the way, he made more than 500 appearances, gaining plenty of experience.

Dean Hawkshaw is convinced that those experiences will be vital in passing on details to a Stranraer squad featuring many players who are still in their footballing infancy.

He said: “We are a youthful team, with a lot of young boys out there trying to make their way in the game.

“It is important they start to find their feet soon because they are getting thrown into the deep end.

“We need boys to play, we need boys to step up, and we need them now.

“There is no point in beating about the bush.

Former Kilmarnock midfielder Hawkshaw has turned out for both Stranraer and Airdrieonians

“We need players to step up now and we have not got the luxury of being able to wait five to 10 games.

“We have got injuries and boys need to play and to play well.

“When you are playing well, picking up points and winning games, it gathers momentum.

“It is like rolling a stone down a hill – it is going to pick up pace.

“If boys are playing well, things kind of just happen off the cuff and you are able to be positive about everything.

“The adverse effect is if you are not playing so well, you are not picking up points, then it can gather momentum.

“It is important that we try to stay mentally strong and we realise the things we are doing right and realise the things we are doing wrong.

“That is something the gaffer is guiding us on as well.

“He is providing the guidance to young players as to the things we are doing well in games.

Agnew was both player and assistant manager at Airdrie

“If we can minimise mistakes then the outcomes of the games are going to be very different to what they have been.”

Hawkshaw came off in the second half against Stenhousemuir last week but revealed he was available for Saturday’s contest against Airdrieonians.

He said: “About half an hour into the game, somebody managed to stand on my hamstring.

“It was more of an impact injury and there was a wee bit of soreness through the week but we are good to go for the weekend.”

That means he is in contention to face off against his former club in the Scottish Cup.

The 26-year-old made 21 appearances for the Diamonds between March 2019 and February of the following year.

That included a 2-2 draw in Lanarkshire and also a 4-1 win away at Stair Park.

There are familiar faces in the visiting party and Hawkshaw was looking forward to seeing them.

However, the midfielder added: “It will be nice to see them but it will be even nicer to see them out the cup!”

Last meeting

Stranraer last met the Diamonds back in January 2020

Neither side could find a breakthrough the last time the two sides met at The Penny Cars Stadium.

Andy Ryan, a regular thorn in the side of Stranraer, had plenty of chances alongside Callum Smith and Dale Carrick but Max Currie was equal to anything thrown at him.

At the other end, Denny Johnstone and Ryan Stevenson both had efforts on goal but could not find the net.

The season would be halted within a matter of weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Airdrieonians: Gallacher, Kerr (Wedderburn 74), Crighton, Fordyce, McCann, McKay, Millar, Gallagher, Carrick (Roy 76), Smith (C Thomson 67), Ryan.
Not used: MacDonald, Hawkshaw, Roberts and Hutton.

Stranraer: Currie, Allan, Cummins, Pignatiello, Hamill, Robertson, McManus, R Thomson (Victoria 75), Stevenson (Jones 89), Johnstone (Hilton 66), Elliott.
Not used: McIntyre, Phillips, Stirling and Burgess.

Last five meetings

  • Airdrieonians 0 Stranraer 0 at The Penny Cars Stadium on January 25, 2020
  • Stranraer 0 Airdrieonians 2 (Gallagher and Carrick) at Stair Park on November 16, 2019
  • Airdrieonians 2 Stranraer 2 (Smith and McKay; Allan and Hilton) at The Penny Cars Stadium on September 28, 2019
  • Stranraer 1 Airdrieonians 4 (Cameron; McIntosh x3 and Glass) at Stair Park on May 4, 2019
  • Airdrieonians 3 Stranraer 0 (McIntosh x2 and Duffy) at The Penny Cars Stadium on December 29, 2018

Last five games

A controversial opening goal set league leaders Stenhousemuir on their way to victory last weekend


  • 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)
  • LOSS v East Fife (A): 4-0


  • DRAW v Greenock Morton (A): 0-0 (Airdrionians win 5-4 on penalties)
  • WIN v Arbroath (H): 2-0 (McStravick and McGregor)
  • WIN v Rangers B (A): 2-4 (Gallagher, McGill x2 and McCabe)
  • DRAW v Raith Rovers (A): 1-1 (Todorov)
  • LOSS v Dundee United (H): 0-2

Last time out

Rangers prospect Mackenzie Strachan started for the Blues against Stenhousemuir


Lineup v Stenhousemuir: Budinauckas, Williamson, Girvan, Ross, McIntosh, Dolan, Hawkshaw (Walker 61), Strachan (McDonald 71), Grant, Armour (Lang 11), Sneddon.
Not used: Agnew and Downie.


Greenock Morton: McRae, McCabe, Fordyce, Watson, Ballantyne, McGregor, Frizzell, McMaster, Telfer, O’Connor (McStravick 84), Gallagher (Todorov 76).
Not used: Dunlop, Cassidy, Spalding, Kavanagh, Gillespie, Melrose and Hutton.

Five facts

On-loan Hearts ace Angus Beith went on a scoring spree at Stranraer in 2018

1. Airdrieonians are unbeaten in their last eight meetings with Stranraer. The last win for the Blues came in January 2018 when Stephen Okoh scored either side of Dale Carrick’s early equaliser. Willis Furtado levelled the scores but Angus Beith grabbed the winner with 15 minutes left to play in the 3-2 win. The Stranraer side was: Belford, Neill, McGowan, Hamill, Robertson, Woods (Lyon 71), Anderson (Dykes 71), Okoh (Agnew 76), Turner, Beith, Thomson. Not used: Scott, Gray, Holland and McLaren.

2. If selected Kyle Girvan will make his 50th appearance for Stranraer. The defender made his debut against Queen’s Park in July last year and only one of his appearances has come off the bench. He has scored twice in that time – with both of the goals coming in the Scottish Cup.

3. Tomorrow (Saturday), marks the 37th birthday of former Stranraer defender Craig Pettigrew. Capable of playing at full back and centre half, Pettigrew enjoyed two spells with the Blues and clocked up 93 appearances along the way. He scored twice for Stranraer with both turning out to be the winner – a 3-2 win over Stenhousemuir and 1-0 triumph over Forfar Athletic, both at Stair Park.

4. Stranraer could field a five-a-side team of former Airdrie players with Dean Hawkshaw, Grant Gallagher, Scott Robertson, Scott Agnew and Sean McIntosh all having played for the Diamonds.

5. Agnew named a Stranraer squad of 16 last week, with only four of the players having played more than 100 career games at SPFL level or above. Sean McIntosh, Dean Hawkshaw and Ben Armour have all played a century of games but their totals combined is still no match for Agnew’s on his own.


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 to both sets of supporters from 1pm for pre and post-match refreshments.

Photos: Bill McCandlish