Stenhousemuir 3-1 Stranraer: Stenny boss Stephen Swift delighted after club's first win over Stranraer since January 2017

Stephen Swift walks off a happy man after seeing his team beat Stranraer on Saturday (Pics by Scott Louden)Stephen Swift walks off a happy man after seeing his team beat Stranraer on Saturday (Pics by Scott Louden)
Stephen Swift walks off a happy man after seeing his team beat Stranraer on Saturday (Pics by Scott Louden)
Having lost four of their previous five matches against Stranraer – to an aggregate goals tally of 13-2 –Stenhousemuir gaffer Stephen Swift was relieved to end this ‘hoodoo’ with a 3-1 League Two home win for his side against the The Blues on Saturday.

First half goals from Will Sewell, Nicky Jamieson and Sean Crighton had Stenny on easy street with a 3-0 lead at half-time before James Hilton pulled one back for the visitors on 53 minutes, in a game which also saw Stranraer’s Matty Grant sent off late on for a foul on Adam Brown which led to a second booking and subsequent red card.

“I’m delighted,” Swift told Warriors TV after Stenny’s first success over Stranraer since a 1-0 home win in January 2017. “Obviously Stranraer has been a real tough game for us over the last year.

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"They have given us some hidings and we knew we had to go into it with the right mindset.

Ross Forbes shoots at goal for StennyRoss Forbes shoots at goal for Stenny
Ross Forbes shoots at goal for Stenny

"We worked really hard this week in terms of our shape and how we were wanting to press them.

"Obviously we conceded in certain areas but Stranraer are a very good side and I’m really delighted that in the first half we were ruthless. Although we could have had a couple more.

"It was one to get the monkey off the back and it was a terrific team performance once again.

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"We put massive emphasis on the setplays because Stranraer aren’t the biggest team. We had spotted that and they’ve maybe got a couple of centre backs that we thought we could get them tied up and go and attack it which we did.

Matty Yates set up two goals for the hostsMatty Yates set up two goals for the hosts
Matty Yates set up two goals for the hosts

"We emphathized today look: ‘Give ourselves a chance with the deliveries’.

"And I thought Matty Yates put in two unbelievable balls for the goals and that was really pleasing.”

Saturday’s win was achieved despite disruptions to Swift’s line-up before and during the match.

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Adam Corbett tweaked his calf in the warm-up, leading to an initial reshuffle, before Daniel Higgins was injured in the first-half and replaced by Michael Anderson at half-time.

Saturday’s win puts Stenny into a play-off position, in fourth spot with nine points from their six matches.

Their latest back-to-back victories have followed a poor run in August when they lost three consecutive league matches.

Swift added: "I said a few weeks ago when things weren’t going well that players were letting everybody down.

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"This time they deserve all the plaudits because they are the ones that have turned it around.

"We asked for better attitude, better effort levels because we believe we have got a better culture here.

"And to be honest the players have responded brilliantly over the last couple of weeks.

"We know there is a lot of work to be done, it’s a long, long season.

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"But we feel as if we are in a good place and we can go and kick on from here.”

Stenhousemuir – who this week announced that veteran Craig Bryson has retired after 610 senior professional appearances – resume their League Two campaign at third-placed East Fife this Saturday with kick-off at 3pm.

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