Stranraer v Stenhousemuir at Stair Park, Stranraer on 18.4.15
SPFL Division One Att 552
Stranraer 3 [Gibson 13, Winter 41, Pettigrew 58] Stenhousemuir 2 [Grehan 65, Summers 88]
In the previous encounters this season the Warriors have been a bogey team for the Blues having been unbeaten in all three game and were hoping to complete the continue that run to put pressure on Ayr in the relegation play-offs. Stranraer though had their thoughts at the other end of the table as they were still challenging for the league title.
For this game the Warriors kept the same starting eleven that had played at Greenock the previous week and had for the majority of it had competed so well. This however didn’t come off as Stranraer dominated the early stages taking control from the first minute of the game with Willie Gibson being at the heart of the proceedings.
In the first minute of the game Gibson saw a shot deflected just wide by Alan Lithgow and in the 11th minute another effort hit the base of the post and the side net though Greg Fleming looked to have it covered. Two minutes later though Gibson had the reward for his efforts with a run through the middle of the Stenhousemuir midfield and then struck an effort that took a slight deflection as it went into the net. Stranraer were camped in the Stenhousemuir half of the pitch and Jamie Longworth will have felt that he should have done better with a free header after being picked out by Gibson. Gibson was being allowed to do what he wanted and in the 21st minute came close to adding a second from a free-kick but an acrobatic tip round the post by Fleming kept the score down. Totally against the run of play Stenhousemuir almost equalised with a build-up that was started by Fleming and ended at the other end with Paul McMullan picking out Josh Watt who was denied by David Mitchell saving with his feet. At the other end Gibson had another effort saved and Craig Pettigrew fired over from 25 yards, but there were glimpses of hope for Stenhousemuir when attacking albeit fleeting ones and Stranraer continued to be in charge. They eventually got their second when a lay-off to Sean Winter saw the Stranraer man fire into the roof of the net from 12 yards out.
At half time the Warriors made a double substitution with Bryan Hodge making his comeback after injury and Colin McMenamin who was absent last week coming on to try and add firepower to the Stenhousemuir attack. It took a while for the visitors to get going as once again Stranraer took control from the outset and although it was a team effort Gibson once again was the catalyst. A strong run by him in the 57th minute was brought to a sudden end by Kieran Millar just as the Stranraer player was about to enter the box. The Warrior was cautioned for the tackle and was doubly punished as the free-kick was converted by Pettigrew after a training ground move.
Stenhousemuir did get a goal back in the 65th minute when McMullan made a foray down the left and after a quick one two with Kris Faulds showed good balance and awareness to skip into the box before picking out Martin Grehan at the back post to tap home. There was a major scare at the other end in the 81st minute when Stranraer were almost gifted a goal after a break down in communications The reactions on the field showed the pressures as players almost came to blows. It was a more positive reaction though in the 88th minute when another one two down the left flank involving Ciaran Summers and Kieran Millar ended with Summers tucking the ball into the far corner of the net for his first senior goal.
Despite failing to get back on level terms that goal could be crucial as it lifted Stenhousemuir out of ninth place on goal difference, Ayr who have the same points and goals scored have now conceded one more goal.
Stranraer – Mitchell, Pettigrew, Longridge, Rumsby, McKeown, Bell, Winter, Stirling [b25] [Robertson 71], Malcolm [McShane 86], Longworth [b71][Stoney 76] and Gibson. Subs not used – Aitken, Russell and Tobin.
Stenhousemuir – Fleming, Meechan [b51], Summers, Lithgow, McMillan [b46], K.Millar [b56], Fotheringham [Hodge h/t] Faulds [Marenghi 84], Grehan, McMullan and Watt [McMenamin h/t]. Subs not used – Duncan, Gallacher, Smith and R.Miller
Referee – Gavin Duncan Assistants – Joseph Lawson and Chris Gentles.
|April 18, 2015||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2014/2015||90'|
|Stair Park, Stranraer|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|