Livingston 11 Feb 2017 b 002A BATTLING defensive display at a sleet soaked Tony Macaroni Arena helped Stranraer move off the bottom of the table.

Stevie Farrell took charge of the Blues for the third time and for the third game in a row they kept a clean sheet, with the back four, as well as the two holding midfielders and Cameron Belford deserving special praise.

The manager was forced into one change with Morgyn Neill unable to face his parent club and Craig Pettigrew coming back into the team.

It was an even first half with the Blues more than holding their own and Liam Kelly in the home goal had to be alert to deny Scott Agnew.
Livingston 11 Feb 2017 003
Michael Donald found his fellow midfielder, who got a yard of space but his deflected shot was well held by Kelly.

Livingston were enjoying plenty of possession as well but failing to conjure up genuine chances.

Belford had to deal with a couple of testing free-kicks in the final five minutes but the visitors could be content with their performance over the opening 45 minutes and with the score remaining 0-0.

Livingston turned up the heat in increasingly wet, windy and sleety conditions after the break and forced Stranraer onto the back foot.

Belford was becoming increasingly busy and did superbly well to push away Daniel Mullen's effort.
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Moments later and Scott Pittman missed the target, before Amadou Kassaraté was introduced for his Stranraer debut.

However, it would be the hosts again who came close to breaking the deadlock through Shaun Byrne.

The midfielder skipped inside two challenges on the right wing and curled a sumptuous effort off the crossbar with Belford beaten.

Then, with the game entering the final stages, Belford was the hero when he got down low to claw former Stranraer man Declan Gallagher's header out from the base off the post.

The defence may have creaked at times, particularly in the second half, but they held firm.

The point was deserved and enough to see Farrell's men move off the bottom of the table, above Stenhousemuir on goal difference.

Belford 1Belford's performance also meant it was the first time Stranraer have kept three clean sheets in a row since this time last year.

Livingston: Kelly, Lithgow, Crighton, Halkett, Gallagher, Byrne, Pittman, Cadden (De Vita 64), Millar (Mullin 73), Buchanan, Mullen.
Not used: Longridge, Jacobs, Knox, Todorov and Maley.

Stranraer: Belford, Robertson, Dick, Barron, Pettigrew, Bell, Agnew, Donald (Turner 70), Thomson, Gibson, Malcolm (Kassarate 77).
Not used: Morena, Wilson, McGuigan, Kemp and Currie.

Referee: Graham Beaton
Attendance: 677
HT: 0-0


SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Arbroath 25 59
2 Raith Rovers 25 43
3 Forfar Athletic 26 43
4 East Fife 23 38
5 Montrose 26 35
6 Airdrieonians 26 31
7 Dumbarton 25 27
8 Stranraer 24 27
9 Brechin City 24 25
10 Stenhousemuir 24 22


2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andy McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
9 - Joao Victoria (STR)
10 - Ali McCann (MID)

11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
20 - PJ Crossan (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)
24 - Conor O'Keefe (MID)