ef 20180203 015

Scorers: Linton (Pen 57) and Lamont (62)

TWO goals, including a debateable penalty, in five second half minutes ensured Stranraer's impressive recent run was brought to an end.

Scott Linton's spot kick and Mark Lamont's quickfire second gave East Fife their first league win on their travels since mid-September.

Unsurprisingly, Stevie Farrell made no changes from the side that had picked up three points at Cliftonhill a week earlier.

ef 20180203 014

That meant places on the bench for new signings Cameron MacPherson and Dean Hawkshaw, as well as Ryan Thomson, who was free of suspension.

The visitors had the ball in the net in the opening quarter of an hour.

East Fife's own new signing Adam Livingstone lifted the ball over the home defence and Chris Duggan curled round goalkeeper Max Currie but the effort was ruled out for offside.

There were not many chances in the opening period, with Stranraer's best coming midway through the first half.

Scott Robertson's surging run had won a corner and Stephen Okoh was only denied by a combination of Chris Kane and Ryan Goodfellow on the goal line after a scramble.

ef 20180203 005

Angus Beith curled one wide before the break and then the visitors almost took the lead in odd circumstances.

Stranraer had a man down in the box and play ground to a halt, without referee Colin Steven stopping play.

Connor McManus was invited to play on and lifted another ball over the defence.

This time it was substitute Robert Jones who found himself through on goal and Currie did well to make the block.

The breakthrough would come on 57 minutes.

Kieran Millar burst through the Stranraer defence and headed straight for Currie's goal.

Only Chris McGowan could get near him and the defender made a last ditch tackle, which sent Millar tumbling in the box.

ef 20180203 009

There was undoubtedly contact between the defender and the East Fife man, the only question was whether there was contact with the ball first.

Mr Steven clearly felt there had been no contact with the ball and pointed to the spot, with Linton beating Currie, who guessed the right way.

ef 20180203 011

Before Stranraer could react or try to get back into the tie, they found themselves 2-0 down.

Again, the defence was split wide open, with Millar this time turning provider.

He picked out Mark Lamont, who had plenty of time and space to run into the box and fire across Currie.

ef 20180203 013

It was always going to be a tough ask for the hosts to bounce back and the closest they came was with just over 15 minutes left to play.

Substitute Grant Anderson put in a teasing cross, which was only half cleared and fell straight to Beith.

The on-loan Hearts man got his shot away but could not keep the effort on target and blasted over the crossbar.

It was a sub-par performance from the home side compared to recent games, with Farrell keen to see the team bounce back with another home game this coming weekend, against Arbroath.

ef 20180203 016

Stranraer: Currie, Robertson, Neill, McGowan, Hamill, Agnew (Hawkshaw 63), Turner, Beith, Woods (Anderson 63), Okoh, Dykes (Lyon 63).
Not used: MacPherson, Barron, Thomson and McLaren.

East Fife: Goodfellow, Dunsmore, Kane, Page, Linton, Lamont (Watson 75), Millar, McManus, Livingstone, Duggan (Jones 41), Smith (Slattery 85).
Not used: Knox, Mutch, Wilson and MacKenzie.

Referee: Colin Steven
Attendance: 383
HT: 0-0