Stranraer v Alloa Athletic

2 - 3
Full Time

This was a game which is going to typify how teams will raise their game against Paul Hartley’s Alloa athletic side, after getting the perfect start with a goal in the opening two minutes, Stranraer went on to boss the first half, pressing the midfield and played well in the pouring rain, adapting well to the conditions which saw two or three of the Alloa players slip at vital moments. Scott Bain kept “The Wasps” in the first half with some excellent saves. In the second half Alloa Athletic certainly looked far more up for the match and started to play their game, Ben Gordon headed home an equaliser before Ryan Caddis was dismissed only eight minutes after coming on the pitch in an incident which looked far worse which the referee only two yards away initally waved on until the Stranraer players intervened. Reduced to ten players this seemed to calvanise the Alloa team even given Stranraer’s numerical advantage. Kevin Cawley who had been a thorn to the Stranraer defence scored an excellent winner in a game we had to battle hard to return with the three points, job done and a victory away from home on grass. There is still a lot of work to do but a welcome three points, next week we face Clyde who defeated favourites Peterhead, again we will need to up our game if we hope to start with a victory at home


paul hartley after victory at stranraer

It was quite an introduction to Scottish Division Three football, however I’m pleased with my players performance in the second half only, the first half after scoring very early in the game we were miles off the game and it was only for our goalkeeper Scott Bain that we stayed in the game, but in the second half the spirit, the attitude which had not been good enough in the first half, returned, we spoke about this at half-time, we know the way we can play and we showed that in the second half, then we went down to ten men and our energy was important, Kevin Cawley scored a great goal to win the match, he was our catalyst today he was absolutely outstanding, his work rate, his overall play and his goal was terrific.

It’s a start for us, we can only get better, in the first half we were poor but I’m delighted with the three points it’s a tough place to come and many other teams will get a hard game at Stair Park. A win was our main objective today, in the pre season we have played a lot of good football, everybody’s praising us but when the real stuff starts it is all about points and today it was so important to get three points on the board and get off and running, getting a good start and most importantly the three points, we will take the points and move on. Kevin Cawley today was up against a back four and he didn’t give them a minutes peace, when the ball came up to him it stuck to him and he deserved his goal, I’ve known Kevin from my Celtic days so I know what he is all about he’s had a few clubs and at times it maybe hasn’t always worked out but we believe in his ability and he can only get better, he was terrific today but he must maintain that till the end of the season, his work rate has never been in question – he was fantastic for us.

When you lose goals it is not all about the defence but everybody defending set pieces, but we were caught out again and we said the same last week but we just have to keep working at that, nobody likes losing goals but for our goalkeeper Scott Bain especially in the first half he kept us in the game with three or four excellent saves because it could have been four or five one at half-time, but that’s the way football goes, you stay in the game get lucky and look for to get back in the game which was shown only in the second half.
As soon as myself, Paddy and Tam Ritchie took the job one of the first and foremost things we worked at was trying to get a good spirit into the club and if you are successful there is always a spirit there, in the six weeks bringing in nineteen new players we hope we have installed a fighting spirit into them, today they were all fighting for each other, performance wise could have been better, but result wise terrific


Stair Park
Stair Park, Westwood Avenue, Whiteleys, Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, DG9 8BT, United Kingdom