Played at Stair Park, Stranraer on Saturday, 25th August 2012 at 15:00
Stranraer v Stenhousemuir at Stair Park, Stranraer on 25.8.12
Irn Bru Scottish Second Division Att 290
Stranraer 1 [Borris 58] Stenhousemuir 1 [McMillan 19]
For the second time this season the Warriors travelled to Stranraer although this was the first meeting in the league. The previous meeting in the Ramsden Cup had seen the Warriors victorious and they were hoping for the same result in this game.
Darren Smith dropped out of the team through injury but there was a welcome return to the squad for Brown Ferguson after he had been absent through illness.
Stranraer had been slow to start on the previous occasion but they looked more promising at the start of the game and indeed if they had been more composed in their play they could have taken the lead in the first minute of the game when Robert Love had an opening but the ball was eventually out of the danger area for a unfulfilled corner.
Gradually Stenhousemuir came into the game and began to take control of proceedings as the game progressed. John Gemmell had a decent chance from the edge of the box after an Andy Rodgers cross to Stewart Kean was not met properly by the Warrior but still caused havoc before being half cleared to Gemmell who shot wide of the target. This was a sign of things to come for the striker who had an off day having several misses when he would have on another day got on the score sheet on at least a couple of occasions.
Stranraer threatened through a Craig Malcolm run but a combination of Greg Ross and Sean Dickson mopped up the danger as was the case for much of the first half when the Stenhousemuir defence was coping in the main fairly comfortably.
In the 19th minute Stenhousemuir took a deserved lead when a powerful Bryan Hodge shot was saved by David Mitchell, the rebound fell to Scot Buist who picked out Stewart Kean and although he also was denied by Mitchell when the ball fell to Ross McMillan he made no mistake to fire the ball into the net.
A minute later the home side had appeals for a penalty turned down, despite several Stranraer players giving vociferous opinions about the decision. The Warriors came close to adding to their lead when Craig Anderson headed a Kean cross just wide and Gemmell saw another shot squirm wide of the target from the edge of the box.
At half time Stenhousemuir had been the better side but being only a goal ahead there was always the danger that the tables would be turned in the second half. Stranraer did in fact look the stronger side in the opening stages of the half and Stenhousemuir struggled to get the momentum going again. Indeed they looked fairly sluggish compared to normal and Stranraer did eventually get the equaliser in the 58th minute when Ryan Borris fired home from the edge of the box. Stranraer applied pressure as they strove to get ahead but some stout defending kept them at bay. It was apparent though that Ross McMillan was starting to struggle and he was eventually subbed in the 65th minute through illness and there was a worry that some others were not feeling 100% either. Iain Thomson not for the first time dropped back into defence when he was once again resolute in his play. Stranraer were always looking the more likely to get on the score sheet, though Stewart Kean did have a shot saved by Mitchell.
In the last minute Sean Winter blasted wide of the target from the edge of the box and with no further real action the whistle blew with the scores level.
Although the Warriors would have felt that they should have went on to secure the three points in the first half they were probably reasonably happy to secure a draw at a difficult venue and at least keep their unbeaten start to the season going.
Stranraer – Mitchell, Kinnaird, Dunlop, Staunton, McKeown [b75], Aitken, Winter, Gallagher, Malcolm [b26], Love [Wright 74]and Borris [b34][Agnew 90]. Subs not used – Cadwell, Forde and Lundie
Stenhousemuir – Reidford, Ross, Dickson, Buist, McMillan [Ferguson 66], Hodge [b90], Rodgers [Brash 80], Thomson, Gemmell [b54], Kean and C.Anderson. Subs not used – Lawson, Love and Shaw.
Referee – Kevin Graham Assistants – George Drummond and David Dunne