After our recent feasts at the top table of Scottish football it was time to savour some more lower league delicacies with Stranraer our next port of call. It threatened to be our first dreicht day when we set out but the weather picked up as we continued our way down the west coast.
Stranraer had been through a topsy-turvy time of late - for the eighth consecutive season they have played in a different division and their financial state remains precarious but it is nothing in comparison to their opponents Livingston. Just a few years ago the club was enjoying rich success in the Premier League, finishing 3rd behind the Old Firm, had an exciting adventure in Europe and won the League Cup. Since then however their very existence seemed doomed at one point as they stumbled from one financial disaster to another and they now find themselves demoted from division 1 to 3.
Stair Park is an odd mix of a shed, a hedge, benches and a tiny main stand accompanied by the most disturbing mascot we're likely to see all season - some sort of Scooby Doo character who's survived a nuclear fallout. The game itself was dominated completely by Livingston who stormed into a 3-0 lead after half an hour and never looked back. Stranraer were a complete shambles - no organisation at the back, no ability to retain possession of the ball and horribly short up front.
The second half saw little change with only the heroics of Stranraer keeper David Mitchell keeping the score respectable if nothing else. The strangest part of the day however occurred off the park after half time. Kieran's Oxford top had been the source of some confusion throughout being that it is the same colour as Livi's. In the first half a steward had suggested we move from the home end to be with the Livi supporters so we had to point out we didn't support the away side. In the second half we had moved round to behind the other goals when the same steward approached us again, this time asking us to leave the away end and re-join the Stranraer fans. A quick look round revealed the away end consisted of two fathers with their young boys so naturally we were baffled as to why we had to move. He persisted with his 'you can't stand here' line but we weren't for moving. He ended up walking 20 yards away and eyed us suspiciously for the remainder of the game. I'm not sure whether we're beginning to earn some sort of reputation at the grounds we visit.
In the end we were quite happy to leave Stranraer behind us and begin a beautiful coastal drive home in the evening sun.
Journey - 9/10
Pie - 6/10
Bovril - 6/10
Ground - 6/10
Game - 4/10