Stenhousemuir v Stranraer at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 26.12.15
Ladbrokes League One Att 346
Stenhousemuir 1 [Meechan 13] Stranraer 5 [Malcolm 30,51,82pen, Longworth 31, McCloskey 33]
There was little festive cheer for the Warriors as Stranraer went nap in this Boxing Day encounter. Prior to this game Stranraer were stuck at the bottom of the table but they made a mockery of their league position by dominating from start to finish. Indeed they could have been three up in the opening stages with Matty Gould denying Jamie Longworth with a fine save before the striker stuck the side net with another effort and Steven Bell also came close. It was Stenhousemuir though that took the lead in the 13th minute when Ross Meechan bundled a corner kick home. This could have been the catalyst for an improvement in the Stenhousemuir performance and could have dented Stranraer’s confidence but they almost got back into the game almost immediately when Jamie McCormack lost possession and the ball was transferred to Longworth who must have felt that it wasn’t going to be his day when his shot was saved by Gould’s feet and then from the resultant corner his header was cleared off the line by McCormack. Scott Robertson then tried a speculative long range effort that was spilled by Gould.
On the half hour Stranraer eventually were rewarded for their efforts when Craig Malcolm who had been in a scoring drought spun and shot into the bottom corner of the net. A minute later the Blues had taken the lead. Paul Cairney’s shot was pushed onto the bar by Gould and Longworth was first to react and tuck the ball into the net. Unbelievably they extended their lead in the 33rd minute when Sam McCloskey fired into the net. A minute later a Craig Pettigrew driven cross was missed by everyone when a touch would have ended with another goal. Stenhousemuir were second best throughout the game but in a couple of rare forays McCormack came close with headers that just missed the target. In between though Gould kept the score down denying Mark McGuigan at almost point blank range after the defence was once again carved open. Somehow there was no further scoring but it looked a shaken team that left the field at half time.
Any chance of a comeback ended in the 50th minute when a blunder by Stuart Malcolm gifted his namesake Craig a goalscoring opportunity which he took with ease tucking the ball past Matty Gould and into the net. Stranraer had a number of chances after this to add to their tally as Stenhousemuir struggled to hold it together. A double substitution tried to rectify things but was only cosmetic in the end. In the 82nd minute the visitors were awarded a penalty after a tugging match between Jon Robertson and Andy Stirling went the Stranraer player’s way. Craig Malcolm stepped up to the mark and dispatched the ball to secure his hat trick. That was the final goal of the game which saw Stranraer climb off the bottom of the table and could be the making of them this season. For Stenhousemuir it was the third league defeat in a row and although they would have felt hard done in the previous games they certainly could have no complaints about this one. The manner of defeat could be a difficult one to shake off but they know that they will need to turn things around quickly to prevent a slump down the table.
Stenhousemuir – Gould, McCormack, Paterson, S.Malcolm, Meechan, S.Stirling [J.Robertson 67], Gilhaney, Millar, McMenamin, Small and Marenghi [Cook 67]. Subs not used – Murray, Henderson, Barclay, Mazana and Eddington.
Stranraer – Currie, Pettigrew, Barron [Dick 74], Bell, Rumsby, S.Robertson, Cairney, McCloskey [A.Stirling 79], McGuigan, C.Malcolm [Nequecaur 83] and Longworth. Subs not used – Brown, Keenan, Turner and McGill.
Referee – Don Robertson Assistants – Ralph Gordon and Craig King
|December 26, 2015||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2015/2016||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|