I was gearing myself up for a nice treble in Shropshire this weekend but a simple text message at around 11pm on Friday put a halt to those particular plans. The text asked me would I like to a lift to Stranraer? Too right i'd like a lift to Stranraer! So it was an early start and yet another (unexpected) trip north of the border.
It only when you actually go to Stranraer that you truly comprehend how bloody far away it is. Once you hit Dumfries there is still another 78 miles to go. Geographically, the town is closer to Belfast than it is to Glasgow! The ground is just on the left hand side as you enter the town and is situated in Stair Park (hence the name). There is a childrens playing area and a bandstand alongside the ground, which is namechecked in the title of matchday programme "Beyond the Bandstand".
It has been a season of struggle for Stranraer and today they have nothing but pride to play for, though the Editors notes in the programme did say they would like to finish above Annan in the table (to avoid the Dumfries & Galloway wooden spoon). Forfar on the other hand are on course to finish runners-up in the league and take their place in the promotion play-offs.
The first half was largely dominated by Forfar, who created chance after chance after chance, but a combination of poor finishing and absolutely inspired goalkeeping from David Mitchell kept The Loons at bay and it was The Blues who went into the interval with a two goal lead. Murray Henderson gave the homesters the lead after 4 minutes when he turned and hooked home, after a Scott Agnew corner was parried by Euan McLean. On the half hour it was Agnew who doubled the advantage, when he tucked home from the penalty spot after a (harsh) handball decision.
The second half was, quite frankly, dross as Stranraer were content to sit back on their lead whilst Forfar slowly ran out of ideas, though on the odd occasion they broke through they still found Mitchell in top form. David Mitchell was unanimously voted man of match by the sponsors, media etc which tells you all you need to know how this game panned out.
Great trip out and all that was left now was the long journey home, but this fortunately was broken up by a couple of Sneck Lifters in the quite superb Agricultural in Penrith...hic!
|The Coo Shed Stand|
|The Town End|
|The Coo Shed Stand|
|Wooden seats in the Coo Shed Stand|