Stranraer v Stenhousemuir at Stair Park, Stranraer on 27.12.14
SPFL Division One Att 573
Stranraer 0 Stenhousemuir 2 [Walsh 12, McMenamin 71]
Going down to Stranraer is always a difficult encounter at the best of times but it looked to be even more difficult for the Warriors this time as they were missing both senior players in the heart of the defence and were facing the league leaders who were high on confidence having maintained an unbeaten run in the league since August and had not lost in any competition in 90 minutes in 18 matches.
Colin McMenamin wore the captains armband in the absence of Ross McMillan and he led by example in a fighting performance that saw the team work as a unit throughout a thoroughly disciplined display.
The Warriors took the game to the hosts from the start and won a series of corners in the first few minutes of the game, they however failed to take full advantage though of these opportunities. Nevertheless they had set the tempo and with Stranraer struggling to get a foothold in the game it came as no surprise when the visitors opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Tom Walsh skipped past a couple of players on the edge of the box before firing a shot past David Mitchell and into the net. The usually reliable keeper will have felt that he should have done better as he managed to get a hand to the strike but could not divert it. Mitchell saved another Walsh effort from practically the same spot four minutes later.
Stranraer had a decent spell midway through the first half with Robbie Duncan doing well to sweep the ball away just as Sean Winter was about to pounce and this was followed by a Chris Aitken cross that just needed a touch but was missed by everyone and then Steven Bell headed just wide from distance with an effort that skidded off the turf and Greg Fleming was glad to see what looked an initial innocuous header go past the post.
It had not been one way traffic though as Stenhousemuir still had the bulk of the play but were just lacking in the final third though Duncan shot just wide in the 33rd minute after pouncing on a loose ball.
The second half started the same as the first with Stenhousemuir taking a grip of the game at the start and following a corner that wasn’t cleared properly the pressure stayed on the home side and Mitchell saved another effort from Walsh though this time a pass may have been the better option. Craig Malcolm brought out another Fleming save on the hour when he too may have been better passing it to someone else.
Stranraer made a double substitution in the 65th minute to try and force themselves back into the game but six minutes later their job was made much harder when Walsh picked out McMenamin with an exquisite pass and the captain took a couple of strides before coolly slotting the ball into the net.
Towards the end of the game Stranraer pushed forwards to try and get back into the game with Frank McKeown being a focal point of their attack but it was the more diminutive Malcolm that came closest with a diving header that Fleming tipped round the post in the 85th minute.
This was a well-deserved victory for a team that deserve the plaudits that they should receive for this game. This was the best performance of the season so far and the manager will be hoping to build on this for the future. It will be of no use though if they slip up against Stirling Albion next week and the players will need to remain focussed for the full game to make sure that they build on this game that sadly was only seen by a handful of the Stenhousemuir faithful.
Stranraer – Mitchell, Pettigrew [b55], Longridge, Rumsby [b80], McKeown, Aitken [Forde 73], Gallagher, Bell [Stoney 65][b90], Malcolm, Longworth [Stirling 65] and Winter. Subs not used – Tobin, Russell and Marenghi.
Stenhousemuir – Fleming, Duncan, Meechan, Lithgow, Summers, K.Millar, Hodge, Faulds [Watt 90], McMenamin, Walsh [Fotheringham 80] and Dickson [Eddington 68]. Subs not used – Sludden, R.Millar and Shaw.
Referee – Barry Cook Assistants – Stephen Mitchell and Mark Ainslie
|December 27, 2014||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2014/2015||90'|
|Stair Park, Stranraer|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|