Scorers: Montrose - Masson (21), Henderson (35), Watson (55); Stranraer - McDonald (58)

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STRANRAER were comfortably beaten by Montrose at Links Park, despite a spirited second half showing.

Stevie Farrell made one change from the starting lineup which suffered defeat against Brechin on Tuesday night, recalling Cameron Elliott in place of Joao Victoria.

Having dropped to 9th place in midweek the Blues were badly in need of points, but laboured to a disappointing result after another slow start.

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Stranraer had very few chances in the opening 45, with Kyle Turner and Connor McManus failing to trouble the goalkeeper.

And it was Montrose man Lewis Milne who opened the scoring.

The former Raith Rovers midfielder got the better of David Smith and kept his cool to slot past Blues keeper Lyle Avci into the bottom corner.

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The hosts would double their lead before the break through a Euan Henderson effort from close range.

Stranraer looked sharper after a double substitution at the interval.

Mark Lamont returned from injury to make a rare appearance, with Joao Victoria attacking the opposite wing.

Lamont saw a shot blocked in the opening minutes of the second half, but things would go from bad to worse for the Blues.

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Paul Watson capitalised on some hesitation in the Stranraer defence to turn and fire home a third for Montrose.

To their credit, Stranraer kept fighting.

Defender Andy McDonald blasted a powerful free kick into the bottom corner from 25 yards - a spectacular first goal for the club.

Unfortunately, it was to prove only a consolation.

Stranraer had two claims for penalties turned down in the final half hour, as Cameron Elliott and Innes Cameron went down in the opposition area.

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But the hosts controlled possession to see the game out and consign the Blues to back-to-back defeats.

Stranraer remain sandwiched between Brechin and Stenhousemuir at the foot of League 1, with a home match against Forfar Athletic up next.

Montrose: Fleming, Dillon, Bolochoweckyj, Campbell, Steeves, Masson, Redman, Watson (Callaghan 88), Henderson, Milne (Webster 75), Campbell (Cregg 82).
Not used: Rennie, Harrington, Antoniazzi, Matthews.

Stranraer: Avci, Hamill, Brownlie (Victoria 45), McDonald, Smith (O'Keefe 79), Anderson (Lamont 45), McManus, McCann, Turner, Cameron, Elliott.
Not used: Trialist.

Referee: Scott Millar
Attendance: 486
HT: 0-0

Photos: Stranraer FC

Gallery 1
Gallery 2

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Raith Rovers 28 53
2 Falkirk 28 52
3 Airdrieonians 28 48
4 Montrose 28 47
5 East Fife 28 45
6 Dumbarton 28 38
7 Clyde 28 34
8 Peterhead 27 26
9 Forfar Athletic 28 24
10 Stranraer 27 16

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 (MID)
7 - James Hilton (MID/STR)
8 - Grant Gallagher (MID)
9 - Ryan Stevenson (STR)
10 - Denny Johnstone (STR)
11 - Joao Victoria (MID/STR)

12 - Carlo Pignatiello (DEF/MID)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID/STR)
16 - Lewis McIntyre (DEF)
20 - Jordan Ross (MID)

21 - Dale Burgess (GK)
22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF/MID)
23 - Ryan Thomson (MID)
77 - Andy Stirling (MID)