Ian Murray aims to make winning start at St Mirren

St Mirren manager Ian Murray. Picture: SNS Group

St Mirren manager Ian Murray. Picture: SNS Group

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St Mirren entertain Berwick Rangers in the west section of the Petrofac Cup as they return to the competition for the first time since winning it a decade ago.

Ian Murray begins his career as the Saints manager in a potential banana skin of a tie . He said: Berwick will enjoy coming here and they will fancy their chances as we are just getting going. I have watched them twice and I know this is a very tricky game.

Murray has signed Cameron Howieson and added Luke Conlon on loan from Burnley in time to face the Borderers, who attracted headlines during the week when the former Inverness, Hearts and Rangers midfielder, Ian Black, featured as a trialist. Black is not expected at St Mirren Park, with the Borderers also missing injured Stevie Notman and Ewan Bald.

New-look Queen of the South face Stranraer, with the Doonhamers missing injured Darren Brownlie and Callum Tapping. Stranraer have a full squad available for their first game under new manager Brian Reid.

Morton entertain Dumbarton without suspended Michael Miller and Ricki Lamie, with Frank McKeown out due to injury. New Dumbarton manager Stephen Aitken includes trialist Steven Craig, but Mark Docherty is banned.

Ayr United add Jamie Adams and Ross Caldwell against visitors Albion Rovers, while Alan Forrest misses out. Yami Misanjo is unavailable for Rovers, but new boy Andrew Barrowman is 
included, with Blair Lochhead playing in goal as a trialist.

Annan will look to shock Airdrie with only new recruit Jamie Watson missing due to holiday commitments. The Diamonds have added Taylor Morgan, although Jim Lister is out with 
injury and Marc Fitzpatrick is struggling to be fit.

Lowland League champions Edinburgh City, making their cup debut against Queen’s Park, are missing Ian McFarland who has a broken nose. Sean Muhsin, Joe Mbu and Ortega Deniran return. The Spiders are without the injured Gavin Mitchell, with Scott Gibson and Sean Burns doubtful.

In the east section, Arbroath are out to ruin Allan Johnston’s first competitive game in charge of Dunfermline, but are without injured Craig Johnstone and Mark Whatley as well as the banned Kieran McWalter. Dunfermline miss Jason Talbot, who was sent off in a friendly against Hibs last weekend.

Darren Dods kicks off his career as the player/manager of Brechin City against visitors Peterhead with a full squad, but the Blue Toon are without banned Andy Rodgers and injured Jamie Redman.

Falkirk take on East Fife with skipper David McCracken and striker Botti Biabi ruled out.

The Fifers have added Craig Sutherland and Jason Kerr, on loan from St Johnstone, with Stevie Campbell their only absentee due to an ankle injury.

The tie of the round in Fife features a tale of two new managers, with Cowdenbeath’s Colin Nish looking to outdo the new man at Raith Rovers, Ray McKinnon.

Nish has a full squad from which to choose, but McKinnon will be without the suspended Kyle Benedictus and the injured Craig Barr, Craig Wighton and Mark Stewart.

Recently appointed player/manager Richard Brittain will look to guide Highland League champions Brora Rangers to victory over Alloa without suspended Gavin Morrison. Alloa head north with only suspended Graeme Holmes missing from their newly assembled squad.

In an all-Angus affair, Forfar host Montrose, the Loons giving Craig Smith a start in place of the injured Chris Templeman.

Montrose miss banned Graham Webster as well as unavailable Ryan Kenneth and Ross Campbell.

Elgin have only 11 players available to face Stirling Albion, with Matthew Cooper banned and Archie MacPhee as well as George Hunter among the 
injured players ruled out.

The Forthbank side have signed Salim Kouider-Aissa and the former Scotland internationalist, Craig Beattie, but Ross McMillan, Ross Smith, Sean Dickson and Steven Doris are all injury doubts.

East Stirling host landlords Stenhousemuir, with Chris Townsley an injury doubt, although Billy Vidler should return, while the Warriors miss the injured Anthony Marenghi and Jon Robertson.

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