Stranraer v Stenhousemuir at Stair Park, Stranraer on 23.2.13
Irn Bru Scottish Second Division Att 346
Stranraer 1 [Gribben 2] Stenhousemuir 1 [McKinlay 21]
Stenhousemuir have struggled in their games against Stranraer this season and although they have been the better team for large spells they had failed to secure a league victory against the Stair Park men. They went into this game with some confidence after recent results but Stranraer have picked up under the stewardship of ex-Warriors Stevie Aitken and Stephen Farrell and no one was going to under estimate the challenge ahead.
Travelling down to Stranraer there were a few snow flurries but luckily nothing heavier as the only thing worse than the winding road to Stranraer is having to go there in midweek instead. It was just as well the weather had been alright as the pitch in particular the goalmouths were bumpy despite the best efforts of the ground staff and this made the prospects of flowing passing football slim to say the least.
Stenhousemuir were still getting to grips with the game when they found themselves in arrears. The disappointing thing for the Warriors was that Stranraer didn’t have to work hard for the goal at all. Craig Malcolm was given acres of room to tee up a shot that Callum Reidford could only parry out to Darren Gribben to tap into the empty net much to the delight of the home support who would not have been expecting a gift after only two minutes play.
Stenhousemuir were rocked by this setback but they tested home keeper Colin Stewart in the 6th minute when Mark Corcoran fired in a decent shot but Stewart showed good hands to collect the ball with some degree of comfort. Stenhousemuir on the other hand were struggling to settle and Gribben almost made it two goals in the 8th minute after getting behind the defence but on this occasion the ball was scrambled clear.
As the game progressed though Stenhousemuir took over the midfield and began to dominate the play. They came close to equalising in the 17th minute when Sean Dickson and Darren Smith combined and the latter’s cross come shot just went past the post as well as just being missed by John Gemmell.
It was not much longer though before the scores were level. Stranraer struggled to clear a Corcoran corner that was initially headed off the bar by Gemmell and when the ball was played into the back post Kevin McKinlay was there to turn the ball into the net after 21 minutes. This was followed just afterwards by a Gemmell shot that was deflected just wide.
The Warriors looked to have scored in the 32nd minute when Darren Smith collected a Gemmell pass and fired past Stewart but the strike was disallowed for a tight offside decision.
Stranraer were rarely to be seen as an attacking force but they almost scored their second in the 40th minute when a long range drive by Ryan Borris was fumbled by Reidford, this time McKinlay was able to collect the rebound but he was almost dispossessed by Darren Gribben when he dwelt on the ball for too long. McKinlay was stung by this scare and within seconds he set up a chance at the other end but Sean Dickson’s drive was blocked by Frank McKeown and the danger was averted.
The lessons of the first half did not seem to be taken on board as the Warriors were almost punished just after the restart when a Stranraer corner was met by Michael Dunlop and his effort was cleared off the line by Ross McMillan. The home side had their best spell of the game after this but gradually Stenhousemuir gained the upper hand once more and David Rowson had a header cleared off the line following a Corcoran corner in the 55th minute. Gemmell then just failed to touch home a Rowson cross after good work by Sean Dickson. McKeown came to Stranraer’s rescue once again in the 73rd minute to clear a Bryan Hodge header off the line.
Sean Dickson and Ross McMillan had to leave the field through injury before the end of a game that although drawn felt like two points dropped as once more the Warriors failed to apply a cutting edge to their play.
Stranraer – Stewart, Kinnaird, Staunton, McKeown, Dunlop, Aitken, Malcolm [b57], Gallagher [b81], Moore [One 90], Gribben [Love 70] and Borris. Subs not used – Campbell Winter and Mitchell.
Stenhousemuir – Reidford, Ferguson [b53], McKinlay [b60], Buist, McMillan [Ross 81], Hodge, Dickson [Reid 78], Rowson [b90], Gemmell, Corcoran [Thomson 63][b83] and Smith. Subs not used – Duncan and Shaw
Referee – Paul Robertson Assistants – Frank Connor and Liam Butler.
|February 23, 2013||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2012/2013||90'|
|Stair Park, Stranraer|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|