Stranraer v Rangers U21 - Challenge Cup


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A LENGTHY absence list faces Stranraer ahead of their Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup clash with Rangers Under 21s on Tuesday night.

Max Currie is suspended while Cameron Elliott, Mark Stewart and Grant Gallagher are all injured, with Lee Hamilton struggling to make it as well having come off against Forfar Athletic at the weekend.

On top of that, new signing Robert Jones is on holiday and David Dangana is unable to play due to having already played in the competition for Aberdeen.

Stranraer boss Stevie Farrell said: “It’s pretty grim.

“Cami Elliott is out, Mark Stewart is out, Grant Gallagher is out, David Dangana is out, Robert Jones is out, Max Currie is out, Jordan Allan is out and Lee Hamilton remains a doubt.

“Cammy, Mark, Grant, Jordan and Lee are all injury-related, David Dangana is cup-tied, Max is suspended and Robert Jones is on holiday.

“Leon Murphy and Carlo Pignatiello are both available to play.

“I’ve spoken to Allan Jenkins and Gary McCutcheon so we will have five players from the South of Scotland on the bench.

“It is an opportunity for them to come and be round about the environment of a first team game.

“I know it is Rangers Colts but it is still Rangers Football Club so it is a great experience.

“An experience that you obviously do not get in the South of Scotland League.

“We are probably only going to have one first team player on the bench in Lee Hamilton so the law of averages tells you one or two of the reserves is going to get an opportunity.”

While the 11 players lining up for Stranraer will be familiar, it is likely to mean several players in positions that are perhaps unfamiliar to them.

The manager added: “I’m going to have to pop players in positions that are a wee bit unfamiliar to them.

“These things are sent to try you as a manager and you have just got to get on with it.

“I don’t really moan and groan about these things, I just get on with them.”

The Gers have already played one round in the competition, having overcome Berwick Rangers in the previous round.

Now, Graham Murty's side are getting ready to make the trip down the A77 for a 7.45pm kick-off.

Stranraer have done their homework ahead of the game, with a view to reaching the third round of the competition.

Farrell said: “Technically, they are very sound football players.

“We got them watched in the last game against Berwick and we have done some research on them in terms of asking people we know and trust who have watched the team and watched them play.

“They are going to have one or two first team players round about the squad tomorrow night as well.

“It will be a difficult game, playing against technically very, very good players but we want to go and impose that physical, League One style because that is something they are not used to playing in the level they play at and we’ve got to impose that tomorrow night.”

The Blues have taken one point from a possible six in the opening two league games, although they have been far from outclassed in the two games.

League action may be the priority but Farrell stressed his team were going for victory and cup progression.

He said: “It’s a cup tie and it is a cup you can win.

“It’s like I say to the players, every game you go into you want to win.”
Last meeting
Rangers 3-0 Stranraer
25 July 2016

RANGERS' youth teams and Stranraer have never met in competitive action.

The last meeting between the two first teams saw Stranraer travel to Ibrox under Brian Reid at the beginning of the 2016/17 season.

Rangers were understandably the favourites and went two goals up within 16 minutes.

First, Barrie McKay was brought down by Ross Barbour, with Martyn Waghorn scoring from the spot. The striker added a second soon after before Niko Kranjcar added number three after the break.

Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, Kiernan, Wallace, Wilson, Halliday (Dodoo 64), Barton (Rossiter 64), McKay (Miller 64), Forrester, Kranjcar, Waghorn.
Not used: Hill, Hodson, O’Halloran and Gilks.

Stranraer: Belford, Robertson, Dick, McKeown, Barbour (Turner 46), Bell, Agnew, Thomson, McGuigan (Morena 75), Gibson, Nade (Malcolm 46).
Not used: McCloskey, Osadolor, Kemp and Currie.

Last five meetings

Rangers 3 Stranraer 0 (Waghorn x2 (Pen x1) and Kranjcar) at Ibrox Stadium on July 25, 2016
Rangers 3 Stranraer 0 (Aird, Peralta and Shiels) at Ibrox Stadium on April 26, 2014
Stranraer 0 Rangers 2 (Wallace and Daly) at Stair Park on February 25, 2014
Rangers 1 Stranraer 1 (McCulloch (Pen); Longworth) at Ibrox Stadium on December 26, 2013
Stranraer 0 Rangers 3 (Little, MacLeod and McCulloch) at Stair Park on August 17, 2013

Last five games


LOSS v Forfar Athletic (A): 1-0
DRAW v Montrose (H): 2-2 (Hilton and Pignatiello)
DRAW v Ayr United (A): 2-2 (Stranraer win 6-5 on penalties) (Cummins x2)
LOSS v Livingston (H): 1-2 (Elliott)
WIN v Berwick Rangers (H): 6-0 (Elliott, Allan, McManus, Stewart (Pen x2) and Hilton)

Rangers Colts (last 5 Challenge Cup games)

WIN v Berwick Rangers (A): 1-2 (Awokoya-Mebude (Pen) and McPake)
LOSS v Falkirk (H): 1-2 (Rudden)
LOSS v Dumbarton (A): 2-1 (Hardie)
LOSS v Stenhousemuir (H): 1-3 (Hardie)
LOSS v Stirling University (H): 4-0 (Jeffries x2, Hardie and Burt)

Last time out

Stranraer v Forfar Athletic: Currie, Robertson, Cummins, Hamilton (Jones 63), D Smith, Hamill, McManus, Hilton (Murphy 74), Thomson, Pignatiello, Dangana (I Smith 80).
Not used: Burgess.

Rangers Colts v Berwick Rangers: Wright, Houston, Mayo (Finlayson 46), Breen (McKinnon 89), Thomson (Patterson 81), Maxwell, Grezda, Barjonas, Kennedy, Awokoya-Mebude, McPake.
Not used: Miller, Lowry, Balde and McAdams.

Gavin Ross

SEVEN yellow cards and one red card were brandished the last time Gavin Ross visited Stair Park.

Arbroath were the visitors and, although there were no goals, there was plenty of action. Max Currie was sent off following a clash with Michael McKenna right before the half time whistle. Lyle Avci came on for the ten-man home team but the visitors could not find a way through the substitute goalkeeper.

Mr Ross has taken charge of a game involving Rangers Colts. That came in this very competition two years ago. The Ibrox side made the trip to face a Dumbarton team which included former Stranraer man David Wilson, with David Smith and Christian Nadé among the substitutes. Callum Gallagher opened the scoring from the spot before another former – and future – Blue, Mark Stewart, doubled the advantage. Rounding off the Stranraer connections, Rangers pulled one goal back through Ryan Hardie.


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Young Carlo ex Rangers youth will be playing for Stranraer. Was tipped for big things for us and was there since a 9 year old. Got a few unlucky injuries and surprisingly got released.


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Lord above, we drew 1-1 at home with Stranraer on Boxing Day 2013? I can honestly remember nothing about that game, nada, ziltch. Must’ve been borderline comatose over the whole festive with the horror of it all.


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Stranraer have called up 5 players from the South league side for the bench. Only 11 first team available.


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Looked at RTV schedule and it looks as though it’s not on yet, when you click on the fixture beside it says LIVE?


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Lord above, we drew 1-1 at home with Stranraer on Boxing Day 2013? I can honestly remember nothing about that game, nada, ziltch. Must’ve been borderline comatose over the whole festive with the horror of it all.
I seem to recall Stranraer equalised in injury time as we were fannying about with the ball at the corner flag (their end). They broke up the park and scored. It was freezing and shite but we still filled Ibrox. Thank goodness those days are behind us.

This will be a far tougher tie tonight than against Berwick last week - they are woeful. Even money was a great bet but this will be much more difficult although if you managed to get 3/1 that is a very good price.

Hopefully the young team take their chances this week. I assume Grezda will play tonight?