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Scorers: Arbroath - McCord (15); Stranraer - Turner (53), Beith (78)

TWO WEEKS on from their Scottish Cup setback, Stranraer bounced back in style to collect a deserved three points away to Arbroath.

And it would be a dream start for newcomer Angus Beith, who hit the winner for his new team to round off a composed and classy performance from the youngster.

With Scott Robertson serving the final game of a three match suspension, Stevie Farrell handed a debut to Hearts loanee Beith alongside captain Steven Bell in midfield, as Kyle Turner made his first start since the Ayr United defeat on 28 October.

Both sides would have their fair share of chances early on.

Ryan Thomson and Ryan Wallace were denied by former Ayr keeper David Hutton, with home striker Leighton McIntosh firing over for the hosts on the volley.

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A dipping left-footed strike from Grant Anderson from 20 yards came close to putting Stranraer in front, but Hutton produced an acrobatic save to deny the winger at the top left corner.

But just 3 minutes later, the home side took the lead against the run of play.

Ryan McCord had scored a hat trick in the Lichties' 6-2 win at Stair Park in September, and he was in the right place again to backheel the ball into the net at the back post after Stranraer keeper Cameron Belford had spilled a long range shot from Bobby Linn.

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The goal had the potential to dampen the Blues spirits, but instead it provided the catalyst for the visitors to seize the initiative.

New boy Beith appeared to be settling in quickly, and he found Wallace in space in the box, the striker opting instead to square it to full back Liam Dick who clawed his shot just past the foot of the right hand post.

Turner's shot would nestle in the side netting in the last meaningful effort of what had been a promising half from the Blues, despite going in a goal down.

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But there would be no drop-off in performance from Farrell's men, as the small band of travelling fans were treated to an exciting, swashbuckling comeback on the edge of the North Sea.

And 8 minutes into the second half, the equaliser duly arrived.

Bell released Jamie Hamill down the right, and the full back swung in a pinpoint cross to the near post for the recalled Turner.

The youngster rose higher than his marker to direct a perfectly placed header into the top right corner, leaving goalkeeper Hutton no chance at all.

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The goal - Turner's first of the season - would herald a frenetic pace in the closing stages of what was a riveting encounter.

Thomson had the chance to double the Blues' lead but poked the ball wide, before the hosts had a goal ruled out for offside.

A point on the road would normally be considered a good result, but Stranraer were pushing for all three, as Anderson was twice denied by the goalkeeping of Hutton, and Wallace drilled a strike past the post from distance.

Hamill was an attacking threat throughout the second half, but a 5 minute spell in particular could have earned him a hat trick.

The defender hit the side netting with a deflected strike from 25 yards, crashed a header against the bar, and blasted just wide after more swift attacking play from Stranraer.

But another man from Hearts would steal the headlines with a late winner.

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Wallace's corner was only cleared as far as Beith, who made no mistake in blasting his shot low and hard from the edge of the box through a sea of legs.

With the ball buried firmly in the bottom right corner of the net, the new signing raced over to the travelling fans as his team-mates rushed to congratulate him.

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It set up a nervy climax to what had been a thrilling afternoon, but Stranraer saw the game out in the closing stages to record their first away win since 16 September, despite losing Anderson and Wallace to injury late on.

The Blues are on the road again next weekend against East Fife, before returning home for clashes with Forfar and Albion Rovers on Saturday 16 and Tuesday 19 December.

Stranraer: Belford, Dick, Barron, Neill, Hamill, Bell, Anderson (Woods 81), Turner, Beith, Thomson, Wallace (Stoney 90).
Not used: Currie, Lang, McGowan, Okoh, Elliott.

Arbroath: Hutton, Little, Yule, O'Brien, Henry, Whatley, Gold, Swankie (Hester 69), Linn, McCord (Denholm 45), McIntosh (Prunty 75).
Not used: Gomes, Hamilton.

Referee: Graham Beaton
Attendance: 642
 
HT: 1-0

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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