Stranraer v Stenhousemuir at Stair Park, Stranraer on 22.3.14
SPFL League One Att 403
Stranraer 1[Longworth 7] Stenhousemuir 1 [Rowson 90]
Stranraer – Mitchell, Robertson, Docherty, Rumsby, McKeown, S.Stirling [so 53], Winter, Gallagher [b18], Grehan [McKenna 83], Longworth [Borris 66] and A.Stirling [MacGregor 89]. Subs not used –Kinnaird, Forde and Fahey.
Stenhousemuir – C.Smith, Devlin, Greacen, McMillan, Malone [McKinlay 64], Lynch [b20] [Gemmell 59], Dickson, Rowson [b87], Higgins, D.Smith and Watt [McNeil 75]. Subs not used – Douglas, Faulds, Brash and Shaw.
Referee – Alan Muir Assistants – Graham McNellie and Rodney Marshall.
This game started with a hail shower and ended in bright sunshine as the weather seemed to match the mood of the Warriors after they extended their unbeaten run to nine games thanks to a David Rowson strike in the fourth minute of added time.
The Warriors day had not started well with Bryan Hodge dropping out of the starting eleven in the warm up and he was replaced by Sean Lynch. There had already been two changes though they had been tactical with Sean Higgins and David Rowson coming into the team.
Stranraer took the lead in the 7th minute when an Andy Stirling corner was met by Grant Gallagher who fired a powerful strike towards goal before it was diverted past Chris Smith by Jamie Longworth,
Stenhousemuir came close in the 12th minute when Scott Robertson failed to clear his lines properly and Sean Dickson pounced but his effort went just wide of the target. Four minutes later Darren Smith created an opening down the right flank and his cross picked out Josh Watt whose header went agonisingly just past the post.
Stranraer had a decent chance to extend their lead in the 21st minute when Nicky Devlin lost possession to Sean Winter who dragged his effort just wide of the post.
There was a scare for the home side in the 28th minute when David Mitchell had to receive treatment following a collision with Sean Higgins as both tried to get on the end of a Darren Smith cross.
On the half hour Gallagher struck a powerful shot that looked to be going in the top corner but somehow Chris Smith threw himself across the goal to tip the effort round the post for a corner.
In the 35th minute a run through the middle by Nicky Devlin created a chance for Sean Higgins and his effort struck the base of the post before going out for a goal kick. This was the closest that either team came to scoring in the latter stages of the half though Smith had to save from Andy Stirling before the end of the half.
The Warriors tried to get back into the game after the resumption but Stranraer stood firm. The home side were not helped though when Steven Stirling was sent off in the 53rd minute for a tackle on Ross McMillan. He could he considered to be unfortunate as both players were fully committed in winning a loose ball and McMillan had got there before the Stranraer player.
Although this gave the Warriors a numerical advantage they still had to get a goal to get back on level terms and this was always going to be difficult against a side that pride themselves on their organisation. This meant that they were going to be difficult to break down and in the main Stenhousemuir struggled to create clear cut chances. This was typified by a superb block by Mark Docherty to deny Darren Smith equalising in the 63d minute.
The Warriors did come close in the 67th minute when Stewart Greacen headed a Kevin McKinlay corner just past the post. In the main though Stranraer weren’t really put under any pressure until the latter stages of the game.
In the last ten minutes the Stranraer goal seemed to have a charmed life with several goalmouth scrambles ending with the home side able to clear their lines as the ball seemed to fall just the wrong way for the Stenhousemuir players. It seemed as if Stenhousemuir would not get the equaliser that their play deserved as on the couple of times that David Mitchell was beaten a player would pop up to clear off the line.
To be fair to Stenhousemuir though they have made a habit of scoring late goals and they excelled themselves this time. A long throw in by Nicky Devlin was only cleared out to David Rowson and he fired a first time effort low into the net as the game entered the 94th minute.
This goal keeps Stenhousemuir’s hopes of a play-off alive but they know that they need to get something out of their meeting with Ayr next week to have a realistic chance.
|March 22, 2014||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2013/2014||90'|
|Stair Park, Stranraer|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|