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Stirling Albion preview

  • Post published:17 March 2023

Two consecutive games represents Stranraer’s longest unbeaten run this season.

However, with the campaign now on the home straight, Luke Watt is hopeful the team can put a run together.

A series of impressive results would not only ease any lingering fears about finishing bottom of League Two but also, potentially, fire the club up the table and in with a shout of finishing in the play-off places.

Watt said: “I think if you look at the league, I think we are the only team who have not yet put a run together.

“It is looking like we have got it coming.

“I can’t see why not.

“The gaffer is hammering home that there are not that many games left in the season so every point is valuable.

Watt rejoined the club earlier in the season having spent time on loan as a youngster

“I can’t see why we can’t go and start putting a run of games together where we start to put some points on the board, start to climb and get in front of the teams ahead of us.

“Hopefully, we will be talking in the next few weeks about a couple of good results.

“Hopefully, we will be talking more about the play-offs and less about the teams below us.”

One team who will be looking to avoid the play-offs at the top end of the table are tomorrow’s visitors Stirling Albion.

The Binos are two points adrift of league leaders Dumbarton, with the benefit of a game in hand.

A win for the visitors tomorrow could be enough to put them top of the table, depending on results elsewhere.

However, they have already come unstuck at Stair Park this campaign and Watt was hopeful lightning could strike twice.

He said: “It’s easier to up your game against teams that are higher in the table.

“You are almost going out to try to prove something.

“I think we have also got a very good home record.

“Obviously, we have been beaten twice away from home by them but I think at home we have just got something a little bit different that we seem to be able to pick up a lot more points.

“Hopefully, on Saturday, we will be looking to do the same as we did last time and upset them and upset the odds.”

It has been a memorable season for 25-year-old Watt, who rejoined Stranraer at the beginning of July having made his debut for the club in 2016.

He said: “At the start of the season, I never had a club.

The defender has overcome injuries over the past few years

“Obviously, I had been down the leagues with a lot of injuries and, for me, what has been massive this season is staying injury free.

“Touch wood, I’ve not had an injury so far.

“For the last couple of years, injuries have really hampered me and that has probably been one of the reasons why I have not been able to get back into the league in recent years.

“Given the opportunity by Jamie, Darryl and Scott to come in, I feel like I have given it my all so far this season.”

Last meeting

Stirling Albion 1-0 Stranraer

The Blues were narrowly beaten at Forthbank

A second half strike from Ross Davidson was all that separated Stranraer and Stirling Albion at Forthbank earlier this year.

Darryl Duffy did have the ball in the net against his former side but the assistant referee had already signalled for offside. At the other end, George O’Connor got down smartly to tip Robert Thomson’s curling effort round the post at the expense of a corner.

The only goal of the came after the interval after a fine team move from the hosts. Davidson was the man on the scoresheet, curling his shot around the defender and out of the reach of O’Connor.

James Hilton struck the woodwork as the Blues pushed for a leveller but it never materialised.

Stirling Albion: Currie, McGeachie, Clark, McLean, Davidson, Leitch, Denholm (Moore 70), Banner, Carrick (Spence 75), Fotheringham, Thomson (Cooper 86).
Not used: Cummins, F Duffy, Dunsmore and Weir.

Stranraer: O’Connor, Girvan, Brady, Ecrepont, McIntosh, Ross, Forrest (Robertson 89), Brown (Gallagher 65), Hilton, Walker, D Duffy (Malcolm 65).
Not used: Ellis, Dunn, Eze and Connelly.

Last five meetings

  • Stirling Albion 1 Stranraer 0 (Davidson) at Forthbank Stadium on January 28, 2023
  • Stranraer 3 Stirling Albion 1 (Forrest, McIntosh and Gallagher; Thomson) at Stair Park on December 3, 2022
  • Stirling Albion 4 Stranraer 1 (Fotheringham x2, Leitch and Carrick; D Duffy) at Forthbank Stadium on September 17, 2022
  • Stirling Albion 1 Stranraer 0 (Dunsmore) at Forthbank Stadium on March 26, 2022
  • Stranraer 3 Stirling Albion 3 (Muir, D Duffy and Yates (Pen); Leitch, Moore and Cummins) at Stair Park on January 15, 2022

Last five games

Stranraer haven’t played since the defeat to Dumbarton a fortnight ago, whilst Stirling are on an impressive unbeaten run


  • LOSS v Dumbarton (H): 0-2
  • WIN v East Fife (H): 2-0 (Grant and Hilton)
  • WIN v Elgin City (A): 0-1 (Robertson)
  • LOSS v Bonnyrigg Rose (H): 0-1
  • LOSS v Forfar Athletic (A): 2-1 (Malcolm)

Stirling Albion

  • WIN v Bonnyrigg Rose (H): 2-1 (F Duffy and Leitch)
  • WIN v Albion Rovers (H): 3-2 (Denholm, Carrick and McLean)
  • DRAW v Forfar Athletic (A): 0-0
  • DRAW v Annan Athletic (A): 2-2 (Moore and McGeachie)
  • WIN v Bonnyrigg Rose (A): 1-2 (Carrick and Spence)

Last time out

Jamie Hamill fielded an unchanged starting lineup against Dumbarton


Lineup v Dumbarton: Connelly, Robertson, Brady, Gallagher, McIntosh, Ross, Brown (Forrest 71), Watt, Grant (Forrest 64), Hilton (Duffy 46), Ngandu.
Not used: Girvan, Ecrepont and O’Connor.

Stirling Albion

Lineup v Bonnyrigg Rose: Currie, McGeachie, McLean, Cummins, Duffy, Davidson, Leitch, Denholm (Dunsmore 66), Banner (Thomson 46), Moore (Hamilton 79), Carrick (Spence 79).
Not used: Clark, McGregor, Cooper and White.

Five facts

Happy birthday to former Stranraer defender Tony Gallagher, seen here celebrating the Challenge Cup victory with manager Campbell Money

1. Stirling Albion have avoided defeat in half of their last 10 visits to Stair Park.

2. The visitors have not tasted defeat in their last eight games. The last team to beat them was Stranraer, who won 3-1 at the beginning of December.

3. One man who would have been an interested party if the game against Albion Rovers had gone ahead would have been Tony Gallagher. He played more than 100 games for the Coatbridge side between 1982 and 1988 before joining Stranraer. He featured in more than 200 games before moving into the Juniors. Gallagher turned 60 on Thursday.

4. Both coaching teams have familiar faces to the opposition. Scott Robertson and Darryl Duffy both played for Stirling Albion while James Crainey and Kevin Budinauckas were both on the books at Stair Park.

5. Stranraer played on March 18 last year and picked up a valuable three points. The defensive duo of Craig Ross and Sean Burns both found the net in the first half at Edinburgh City. Anthony McDonald pulled one back for the capital side but it was not enough. The Stranraer team was: Scullion, Burns, Sonkur, Brady, Muir (Mullen 89), Gallagher, McIntosh, Watson (Yates 80), Woods (Hilton 85), Ross, Hawkshaw (Walker 80). Not used: Robertson, Ellis, Smith and Baker.


You can pay at the gate at Stair Park

Entry for home league games is on a ‘pay at the gate’ basis.

The Pavilion Bar is open from 1pm and club merchandise is available in front of the main stand.

Pricing is as follows:

  • Adult – £15
  • Concession – £10
  • 12 to 16 Years Old – £5
  • Under 12 – FREE

Photos: Bill McCandlish