Stenhousemuir v Stranraer at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 4.10.14
SPFL Division One Att 453
Stenhousemuir 2 [McMenamin 56,90] Stranraer 2 [Longworth 25, Winter 76]
Stenhousemuir – Fleming, Meechan, Greacen, McMillan [Lithgow81], Summers, K.Millar, Reid [R.Millar72], Faulds, Grehan [McMenamin 4], Dickson and Oliver. Subs not used – Duncan, Sludden, Fotheringham and Shaw
Stranraer – Mitchell, Pettigrew [Russell 81], Longridge, Rumsby, McKeown, Gallagher, Winter, Stirling [Aitken 77], Malcolm, Longworth and Marenghi [Stoney 85]. Subs not used – Forde, McCloskey and Tobin.
Referee – Mat Northcroft Assistants – Gary Hilland and Daniel McFarlane
A 92nd minute strike by Colin McMenamin saw the points shared in this game that had seen Stranraer in control in the latter stages before being hit by a goal completely out of the blue.
This latter domination appeared an unlikely scenario in the opening stages of this encounter as Stenhousemuir overcome an early substitution and were the team with the bulk of possession and creativity for the first twenty minutes.
Sub McMenamin who replaced Martin Grehan, who was struggling with a back problem, shot just wide after a decent passing move a minute after his introduction. Sean Dickson then got into the act but his final ball into the danger area was cleared.
The game continued in this manner until Stranraer gradually took a grip on proceedings and they had a series of corner kicks all of which caused problems until they finally made the breakthrough in the 25th minute when Jamie Longworth pounced to dispatch the ball into the net after the Warriors failed to clear their lines.
This will have exasperated manager Scott Booth as the team had worked on set pieces throughout the week as they knew that Stranraer were a threat at them but as he stated “ We knew what we were going to do but sometimes it comes down to the individual getting there first”
Towards the end of the half the home side saw a couple of efforts from Gary Oliver, the first had the power but was just off target as it fizzed over the bar whilst the latter was on target but was a comfortable save for David Mitchell in the Stranraer goal.
The start of the second half saw defences on top with Scott Rumsby making a timely tackle to thwart a Ciaran Summers run before Ross McMillan did the same at the other end to deny Craig Malcolm at the other end.
Given how well the Stranraer team had defended up to that point it was bizarre that they conceded a goal in the 56th minute which owed more to their poor play than any Stenhousemuir creativity.
For some reason only known to himself Stephen Stirling elected to hit a lofted pass back to the keeper from 45 yards out, Mitchell appeared to lose the ball in the sun and he and Rumsby appeared to collide with each other and Colin McMenamin got his reward for putting pressure on the defender by tucking the ball into the empty net.
This unlikely equaliser gave the Warriors a lift and they had their best spell of the game since the opening stages and Dickson tested Mitchell with a powerful drive in the 65th minute and that was followed just afterwards by an Oliver effort that went over.
Stranraer however got over this setback and Sean Winter will have felt that he should have done better with a strike that just missed the target after the Stenhousemuir defence was opened up. Greg Fleming then made a superb stop to deny Longworth in the 75th minute but seconds later he was picking the ball out of the net after Stranraer capitalised on poor play at another set piece and this time Winter put Stranraer ahead.
A long range free-kick by Oliver was tipped over the bar in the 87th minute before a Winter effort was beaten away by Fleming a minute later.
It did look as if Stranraer would make the long journey home with all three points but to their credit Stenhousemuir never gave up and were rewarded for in the words of their manager “working their socks off” when McMenamin got his and Stenhousemuir’s second goal just before the end.
A long throw in by Alan Lithgow caused havoc in the Stranraer box and wasn’t cleared before it bounced into the path of McMenamin at the far post. He tapped the ball into the net from close range and set off jubilant scenes in the Stenhousemuir camp.
Stranraer manager Stevie Aitken summed up the defending as such “ If I say the goals were amateur goals it would be a bad reflection of amateurs”
Both managers felt that they should have and could have won but in the end the Warriors faithful will be happy to pick up a point when all seemed lost but is another indication of a never say die attitude which augers well for the future.
|October 4, 2014||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2014/2015||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|