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Scorers: Stranraer - Neill (5), Agnew (33 pen); Livingston - Robertson OG (10), Carrick (32), Todorov (61), Robinson (80)

CHAMPIONSHIP side Livingston eventually proved too much for Stranraer at a sun-swept Stair Park, despite a battling display from the Blues.

Stevie Farrell made four changes from the side which suffered a 3-1 loss at Airdrie a week prior, bringing in young goalkeeper Max Currie for the suspended Cameron Belford, along with former Livi defender Morgyn Neill, Scott Agnew and Grant Anderson.

With Tom Lang, Steven Bell and David Barron also missing from a depleted first team squad, the manager handed places on the bench to Under 20s players Ryan McLaren, Adam Caldwell, Kieran McLaughlin and Fraser Burns.

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Neill was playing against his former club for the very first time, having been at Stair Park on loan from the West Lothian side last season, and would waste no time in reminding the visitors what they were missing.

The big centre back rose highest to meet an in-swinging cross from Ryan Wallace, powering a header off the frame of the goal and in.

The defender's first goal in the blue of Stranraer was just reward for the hosts' bright start.

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But if the Blues were in dreamland, they would come crashing back to reality just five minutes later.

South African playmaker Keaghan Jacobs swung in a free kick from 40 yards, and from the sea of bodies, the leg of Stranraer defender Scott Robertson would poke the ball past a helpless Currie.

The Championship side were back on level terms, and had a handful of chances to take the lead, notably with former Blues man Declan Gallagher heading over on two occasions, and Craig Halkett's header bringing a save from Max Currie.

The visitors finally seized the initiative just after the half hour mark, again from a set piece.

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It would be Rafa de Vita this time with the cross, and with Currie stranded, former Cowdenbeath loanee Dale Carrick produced a diving header into an empty net from Gallagher's flick on.

Stranraer weren't going down without a fight, however.

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Referee John McKendrick awarded a spot kick almost immediately after the Livi goal, as Ryan Thomson had his shirt pulled in the box, and Blues midfielder Scott Agnew duly tucked it away on his 100th start for the club.

Agnew's pinpoint finish was just what the doctor ordered for Stranraer.

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The Blues came close to going ahead as Woods teed up Wallace for a volley from the edge of the box, only for Alexander to make the save.

The crowd at Stair Park showed their appreciation at half time for what was a stirring opening 45 minutes.

However, after the interval, Livingston took control of the match - and two substitutions from visiting boss David Hopkin proved pivotal in the result.

Nikolay Todorov replaced Dylan Mackin on 55 minutes, with the ex-Hearts striker rewarding his manager just five minutes later.

Former Dunfermline man Shaun Byrne did the hard work, evading the attention of the Blues defence before squaring to the big Bulgarian to fire home.

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Hopkin's final change was to introduce another former Hearts player, Scott Robinson, and this time, it took only 2 minutes for the Livi boss' decision to come good.

Robinson found himself in space at the back post and converted with his first touch to give the visitors an unassailable lead.

Stevie Farrell spoke before the game about the positives on display in the first hour against Airdrieonians last week, and Stranraer can take heart from another strong start and a spirited showing.

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But whilst the Blues have scored in every game of their Betfred Cup campaign, it's the 11 goals conceded that will give the manager cause for concern.

The group stage will be complete with a trip to Firhill on Saturday to face Partick Thistle, before league action begins at home to East Fife on Saturday 5 August.

Stranraer: Currie, Hamill, Robertson, Neill, Dick, Thomson, Turner (Stoney 78), Anderson, Agnew, Woods (Okoh 67), Wallace.
Not used: McLaren, McGowan, Caldwell, McLaughlin, Burns.

Livingston: Alexander, Lithgow, Halkett, Gallagher, Longridge, Byrne, Pittman, Jacobs, De Vita (Robinson 79), Mackin (Todorov 56), Carrick (Mullin 61).
Not used: Cadden, Maley, Peters.

HT: 2-2
Attendance: 341
Referee: John McKendrick

SPFL 3L1 6474

 Pos  Team  Pld   Pts 
1 Ayr United 16 38
2 Raith Rovers 14 32
3 Alloa Athletic 16 24
4 Arbroath 15 23
5 East Fife 16 22
6 STRANRAER 14 21
7 Airdrieonians 15 18
8 Albion Rovers 14 16
9 Forfar Athletic 16 12
10 Queen's Park 16 11

Updated 9/12/17 at 10pm

Fixtures


00 Stranraer FC 2015 Logo
3 Number Lotto
Sunday 10 December 2017

Numbers: 1, 14, 20
1 winner at £2000:

Congratulations to:
Iain, Kilmirren Avenue, Stranraer