Scorers: McPake (58), Barjonas (82)

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BARE BONES Stranraer were left to rue their missed chances as Rangers Colts advanced in the Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup.


With seven first team players missing, Stevie Farrell handed places on the bench to five of the Blues' South of Scotland League squad, as Dale Burgess, Ian Smith and Leon Murphy came into the starting lineup.

Adedapo Mebude fired over the bar early on for the Ibrox side after capitalising on a Jamie Hamill slip, with Josh McPake also shooting off target in the early going.

But the hosts would have the better chances of the first half.

Good work from Murphy released Ryan Thomson one on one, but the lone frontman fired straight at Gers keeper Kieran Wright.

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Ian Smith twice came close, before Hamill saw a shot blocked from a well-worked Hilton short corner.

Murphy almost wrote his name on the scoresheet shortly before the half hour mark, jinking past a few challenges before seeing his strike turned away by Wright at the bottom corner.

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Ryan Thomson headed over, with the one-way traffic only halted momentarily by Jack Thomson's decent effort for Rangers.

The scoreline remained level at the break however, and the second half was a different story as the full-time Gers youngsters began to push the pace and creep into the game.

Stranraer had early chances through Thomson and Ian Smith, with Daniel Finlayson coming close at the other end.

But the Colts would seize the advantage shortly before the hour mark.

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A misplaced Ian Smith pass was intercepted by Josh McPake, who cut inside and rifled a shot past Burgess into the bottom corner.

Rangers could have almost immediately doubled their lead, but Burgess saved well from Eros Grezda after a swift counter attack.

The Blues rallied and continued to create chances as the half wore on, with Murphy and Thomson both trying and failing to find the net.

And Stevie Farrell's men would be denied a penalty after Hilton went down under heavy scrutiny in the box.

Local youngster Harry Mitchell was introduced with twenty minutes remaining, and he would come closest to finding the all-important equaliser.

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The reserves forward rose to meet a Hilton corner, only to see his powerful header pushed away on the goal line by Rangers keeper Wright.

As Stranraer pushed up in search of a late leveller, Rangers looked increasingly threatening on the counter attack.

And they would kill the tie with eight minutes remaining, as Adam Cummins' clearance fell kindly for former Raith Rovers loanee Jamie Barjonas to blast home his side's second goal.

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McPake and Hilton would come close at either end in the dying moments, but Stranraer were left to rue their missed chances as Rangers saw the game out.

With his side now out of the competition, Stevie Farrell will hope to have a few of his first team regulars back for a tough home league fixture against promotion hopefuls Raith Rovers on Saturday.

Stranraer: Burgess, Robertson, Cummins, Hamill, McManus, I Smith (Mitchell 69), Pignatiello, D Smith, Hilton, Murphy, R Thomson (Agnew 81).
Not used: Brown, Adair, McIntyre.

Rangers Colts: Wright, Patterson, Finlayson, Breen, J Thomson, Grezda (Lowry 84), Barjonas, Mebude, Kennedy (Maxwell 78), McPake.
Not used: Kinnear, McClelland, Balde, Butterworth, Miller.

Referee: Gavin Ross
Attendance: 524
HT: 0-0

Photos: Stranraer FC

Gallery
Highlights

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Raith Rovers 16 31
2 Airdrieonians 16 29
3 Falkirk 16 27
4 East Fife 16 26
5 Montrose 16 23
6 Dumbarton 16 21
7 Peterhead 16 19
8 Clyde 16 18
9 Forfar Athletic 16 15
10 Stranraer 16 10


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 (MID)
7 - James Hilton (MID)
8 - Grant Gallagher (MID)
10 - Leon Murphy (MID)
11 - Ian Smith (MID)
12 - Carlo Pignatiello (MID)
14 - Cameron Elliott (STR)
15 - Robert Jones (STR)

17 - David Smith (DEF)
18 - David Dangana (STR)
21 - Dale Burgess (GK)
22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Ryan Thomson (MID)
77 - Andy Stirling (MID)