Stranraer v Stenhousemuir at Stair Park, Stranraer on 1.8.15
Scottish League Cup First Round Att 345
Stranraer 2 [Malcom 15,90] Stenhousemuir 0
Stenhousemuir made the long trip to Stranraer for the first round of the Scottish League Cup. Both teams have made a number of changes during the close season with Stranraer’s pre-season being disrupted when manager Stephen Aitken joined Dumbarton and he was replaced by Brian Reid.
The Warriors saw nine players make their competitive debut for the club last week and they added two more in this game as Carlos Mazana Martinez had received international clearance and was able to start for the injured Mark Gilhaney whilst Jon Robertson came off the bench for the latter stages of the game to replace Stephen Stirling who had taken a knock.
Stenhousemuir had the first chance but were denied by a timely tackle by Scott Robertson to deny Alan Cook after only two minutes. Cook had a 25 yard effort saved shortly afterwards but it was the home side that took the lead after 15 minutes. Jamie Barclay had made a superb one handed save to deny Craig Malcolm at close range but was beaten by Malcolm who headed home the resultant corner.
Stephen Stirling created an opening in the 29th minute with a well worked move but his strike hit the side netting though the referee who was in a good position award a corner. Stirling once again hit a fine shot that Conor Brennan could only parry out to Allan Smith who tucked the ball into the net. Unfortunately though he was offside and the goal was disallowed.
Stranraer were looking the stronger team but neither keeper was called into action until the 41st minute when Barclay clutched an Andy Stirling strike. The play on both sides was fairly scrappy and although there was plenty of determination and effort from the players the game lacked quality or indeed a spark to ignite the match. Stranraer’s Scott Rumsby forced Barclay into a save in 59 minutes with a snapshot. At the other end Martinez fired just wide of the target but chances were few and far between.
The home side though should have extended their lead in the 70th minute when the Stenhousemuir defence was split open and Malcolm picked out Andy Stirling 12 yards out but with only the keeper to beat he fired wide of the target. Two minutes later Barclay was picking the ball out of the net following a Jamie Longworth header, luckily though for the Warriors it was to take a free kick after the Stranraer striker had strayed marginally offside.
With three minutes to go Colin McMenamin just failed to get on the end of a cross by Ross Meechan and with that the chance of an equaliser receded. With the game about to close Craig Malcolm was involved in a quick one two before dispatching the ball into the net with the last kick of the ball to make it two nil for the home side.
In truth that score flattered the home side but the Warriors know that they didn’t perform to their potential either though how much that was due to pressure from Stranraer is open to debate.
Stranraer – Brennan, S.Robertson, Keenan, Pettigrew, Rumsby, Thomson, Bell, a.Stirling [McCloskey 90], Longworth [Aitken 85], C.Malcolm and McGuigan. Subs not used – Currie and Mair.
Stenhousemuir – Barclay, Meechan, Henderson, S.Malcolm, Murray, Millar, Martinez [Eddington 86], S.Stirling [J.Robertson 62], McMenamin, Smith [McShane 77] and Cook. Subs not used – Shaw, McCormack and Summers
Referee – Don Robertson Assistants – Joseph Lawson and David Roome
|August 1, 2015||3:00 pm||Betfred Cup||2015/2016||90'|
|Stair Park, Stranraer|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|