Scorer: Cameron (33)

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STRANRAER ground out an important three points with a gutsy performance at Ochilview.

The result saw the Blues creep four points clear of the relegation places, in a match which could otherwise have been postponed as the weather once again reared its ugly head.

Stenhousemuir supporters and staff worked tirelessly to clear snow which had fallen overnight to ensure the game could go ahead, only for their side to suffer another blow in their battle against relegation.

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Stevie Farrell stuck with the same Stranraer team which fell to defeat at East Fife seven days earlier.

18 year old Kilmarnock loanee Innes Cameron was tasked with a gruelling solo shift in front of a five-man midfield, as Kyle Turner slotted into the number ten role and Joao Victoria and Grant Anderson occupied either wing.

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Both sides could only carve half chances in the early stages of what was a nervy contest.

Blues defender Adam Cummins had to be alert to hook Greg Hurst's goalbound effort off the line after a well-worked move by Stenhousemuir.

Stranraer captain Jamie Hamill stepped up to hit a free kick from 25 yards out, but was unable to repeat his memorable goal against Brechin.

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The full back's strike was well-placed but lacked enough power to trouble home keeper Graeme Smith.

His defensive colleague Cummins was next to get an effort on target, rising to meet Turner's cross with a header which could only bring a straightforward save from the goalkeeper.

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Stenny would be first to find the net as Conor McBrearty's header from a free kick sailed into the top corner, but the linesman ruled out the goal for offside.

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Brave defending from David Brownlie and Hamill denied the hosts once more, before Max Currie made a good stop to turn away a Greg Hurst shot which seemed destined for the bottom corner.

Then just after the half hour mark, Stranraer took the lead.

Cameron applied the finishing touch to Turner's strike from the right hand side to give the Blues a crucial one-goal advantage.

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With the snow descending on Ochilview once more, former Blues striker Mark McGuigan rattled the advertising hoardings behind Currie's goal.

And Grant Anderson could only shoot wide on the turn for Stranraer.

With his team behind at the break, Stenhousemuir manager Colin McMenamin made a double change - and his side applied pressure throughout the second half.

Stranraer were stuffy in defence and chances were at a premium, but Currie was called into action just before the hour mark.

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The Blues goalkeeper stood firm to deny the hosts with two spectacular reflex saves after a wayward pass from Cummins.

Despite the hosts' dominance in terms of possession, Grant Anderson would create a couple of chances for Stranraer to increase their lead.

The former Stenny man sent a dangerous ball across goal which neither Turner nor Cameron could convert.

Then with around 20 minutes remaining, his volley flashed just wide of the post.

As Stranraer sat deep and soaked up pressure, Stenhousemuir threatened in the closing stages with Alan Cook, Connor Duthie and a number of others having decent chances.

And the nerves of the Stranraer travelling support were tested in the third minute of injury time, with the ball thankfully cleared off the line after a stramash in the box.

But the Blues hung on to record their second victory of 2019, and what could turn out to be an important three points.

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Next up for Stevie Farrell's side is a home double header, with runaway league leaders Arbroath the opponents on Saturday 23 March, before Brechin City visit Stair Park on Tuesday 26 March.

Stenhousemuir: G Smith, Reid, Munro, Marsh, Cook (Halleran 79), Gibbons (Duthie 45), McBrearty, Ferry, Neill (Donaldson 45), McGuigan, Hurst.
Not used: Dickson, McMinn, Dingwall, Watters.

Stranraer: Currie, Brownlie, Cummins, D Smith, Hamill, McManus, Turner, McCann, Victoria (O'Keefe 80), Cameron, Anderson.
Not used: McDonald, Avci, Elliott, Crossan.

Referee: Graham Beaton
Attendance: 362
HT: 0-1

Photos: Stranraer FC

betfred1

 Pos  Team  Pld   Pts 
1 Ayr United 3 6
2 Livingston
2 5
3 Falkirk 3 4
4 Stranraer 2 3
5 Berwick 2 0

Fixtures

2019/20 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Scott Robertson (DEF)
3 - Jordan Allan (DEF)
4 - Adam Cummins (DEF)
5 - Lee Hamilton (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (DEF/MID)
7 - James Hilton (MID)
8 - Grant Gallagher (MID)
9 - Mark Stewart (STR)
10 - Leon Murphy (MID)
11 - Ian Smith (MID)
12 - Carlo Pignatiello (MID)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID/STR)
17 - David Smith (DEF)
18 - David Dangana (STR)
21 - Dale Burgess (GK)
22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Ryan Thomson (MID)