The SPFL League 1 side forced their way past Ross County and into today's third-round draw but it left Chris Aitken needing to haul himself out of bed again some nine hours after full-time, rousing from dreams of his goal and returning to a role as an engineer at Rolls Royce. Thoughts of who his side could face in the next round were left in neutral.
The realities of a part-time footballer can be stark, although Aitken's job is not without its perks. The midfielder converted a penalty for Stranraer's second goal before Martin Grehan's strike shattered County, and Aitken arrived at work to find colleagues eager to listen to his testimony of each incident. "I work with [County goalkeeper] Mark Brown's old man," he said. "He's back from holiday [today] so I'm looking forward to that . . ."
Their exchange will be gentle but Stranraer intend to be forthright in how the defeat of County is used to enliven their season with the Stair Park club still awaiting their first league win of the season. There is confidence to be taken from an ability to score three times past SPFL Premiership opposition and encouragement in how the home side responded to going behind right on half-time. "I don't think we had one fault from any of the 14 boys who were involved," said Aitken.
The 33-year-old was included among the collective praise and any individual acclaim could afford to go unsaid given Stranraer are managed by his older bother, Stephen. The pair have worked together in the past as they came through at Morton and have found a way to suspend their personal relationship when it comes to football. "When we're at training and in games I'm just one of the boys," said the midfielder. "We are best of friends but believe me I get it just as bad as anyone else in the squad when he's not happy. He was thrilled the other night . . ."