The football season is back!, to say I am delighted is an understatement.
The first opportunity I got was taken when I headed to Stair Park on Saturday for the Open day, which was followed with a friendly against Northern Irish Side Glenavon FC.
Stranraer finished fifth in Scotland League 1 last season, which narrowly miss out on the play-offs. After going through a rough patch in the winter, they done incredibly well to finish where they did. After speaking to a couple of players during the open day, they clearly stated their desire to get reach the play offs.
It’s fair to say Manager Steve Farrell and the board have had a busy summer. The Blues have made 10 new signings and currently also have five trialists on trial with the club.
The Visitors, Glenavon have European football to look forward to this season. The Irish side face Norwegian giants Molde FK in a two legged tie next month. The Lurgan Blues finished third in the Northern Ireland Football League Premiership last season. One of the more recognisable faces in the Glenavon squad is former Nottingham Forest, Norwich and Kilmarnock star, Sammy Clingan. The Irishman has made 39 appearances for his country.
(Match Report Below)
It was a cagey and slow opening to the match in Stranraer with both sides still trying to find their feet and carelessly giving the ball away. Both teams had their fair share of possession and a couple of long-range efforts which sailed high over the bar.
The first real chance of the game came to the visitors. A long throw into the box caused all sorts of problems for the home defence, it fell to the feet of Stephen Donnelly who’s snapshot was deflected round for a corner. It was the away side who continued to dominate and 10 minutes later it was winger Josh Daniels who beat his man down the left and ran into the box chipping it over the out-coming keeper, Lyle Avci but no-one available to tap home.
It was the away side who continued to pressure and dominate and it finally paid off. The break through came after 29 minutes a corner was floated in and it was nodded home the Glenavon’s Andy Mitchell at the front post.
It was the Irish side who continued to press forward again, they had a chance to double their lead five minutes before the break, a fast counter attack sent goal scorer, Andy Mitchell through but his shot was blocked, the rebound fell to Andy Hall who’s powerful effort was saved by Avci.
The second half got underway and after both sides changing their whole squad it became a better game, it was the Host’s who started the half better. A couple of minutes after the re-start a ball from Mark Lamont was poorly controlled by the Glenavon Centre-back. It sent Kyle Turner through and his shot hit the right hand post .
After 58 minutes it was the away sides first chance of the half, Jack Omahon broke free down the right and put in a lovely cross, which landed at the feet of Robbie Norton who failed to control it and tuck it away from 6 yards out.
Stanraer’s best chance of the match came 25 minutes from time when trialist, Liam Donnelly drove into the box using smart footwork to beat a couple of defenders before unselfishly squaring it to other trialist, Hasim Bakar who failed to tap home from a few yards out.
It was the away side who had the final chance of the game to seal the win, a quick counter attack led to Jordan Jenkins being brought down just outside the box. It was Sammy Clingan who stepped up but failed to test the Stranraer keeper.
Full Time- Stranraer 0-1 Glenavon