Stirling Albion make the journey south to Stair Park to play League 1 leaders Stranraer on Saturday as we bid to bounce back from recent narrow defeats to Peterhead and Forfar. It’s the first of back-to-back away games for Stuart McLaren’s team – we face Morton at Cappielow on February 7 before welcoming Ayr United to Forthbank the following week.
Team news: Skipper Chris Smith is suspended after being sent off in last week’s 1-0 defeat to Forfar but Lewis Coult returns after a two-match ban. Steven Doris, Graham Weir and Darren Lee Smith remain out and David McClune this week left the club. U20 players Jordan Herron, Keiron Magennis and Chris Paton are likely to be in the squad.
Opponents: Stranraer are enjoying another excellent season under Stephen Aitken. They missed out on promotion in the play-offs last year and are a point clear of Forfar at the top of the table. Stranraer drew 1-1 at Airdrie in their most recent outing but were beaten 2-0 by in-form Brechin in their last home game. The Blues have a televised Scottish Cup tie at home to Dundee United to look forward to next Sunday.
Past meetings: Stranraer were comfortable 2-0 winners at the end of September, thanks to first-half goals from Jamie Longworth and Stephen Stirling. It was 1-1 at Forthbank in November – Phil Johnston’s opener was cancelled out by Steven Bell before half-time. Prior to this season, the clubs last met in 2008/09 when it was two wins apiece – including an 8-2 Albion victory at Stair Park in January 2009.
Last five league form: Stranraer LWWLD Stirling Albion LWDLL
Referee: Greg Aitken
Admission: Adults £13, Seniors £7, U16s £5
Our next game: Morton v Stirling Albion – Saturday February 7
Other League 1 games: Airdrie v Brechin, Ayr Utd v Dunfermline, Forfar v Morton, Peterhead v Stenhousemuir