Scorers: Raith Rovers - Murray (5), Buchanan (44), Vaughan (78)

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Stranraer's four-game winning streak came to an end as Raith Rovers kept their title hopes alive with a win at a sunny Stair Park.

Stevie Farrell made one change from the side which dented Ayr United's championship credentials last weekend, replacing the injured Ross Lyon with Cameron Elliott.

Rovers were ahead after only five minutes, as defender Euan Murray rose highest at the near post to head into the top corner.

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And the visitors came within a whisker of doubling their advantage soon after.

Top scorer Lewis Vaughan stepped up to fire a free kick at goal from 20 yards, rattling the crossbar.

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At the other end, Cameron MacPherson cut inside and teed up Blues captain Scott Robertson, but his powerful effort was clawed off the line by Rovers keeper Graeme Smith.

Raith's league campaign has been boosted by the weath of attacking options at their disposal, and another of those - Liam Buchanan - had a pair of excellent opportunities to increase the visitors' lead.

First, he conspired to shoot over from close range at the near post, before firing wide after seizing upon a wayward defensive header from Morgyn Neill.

Neill almost atoned for his mistake immediately by powering a header at goal from MacPherson's free kick, but his effort was deflected over.

But Buchanan would write his name onto the scoresheet as Stranraer again failed to pick up in the box, heading past home keeper Max Currie to send the visitors into the break 2-0 up.

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To their credit, Stranraer came out strongly in the second half, with Turner firing over and Elliott finding the target with a header, but denied by the goalkeeper.

Local boy Jonathan Baxter was amongst the substitutes for the Blues, and didn't look at all out of place in his half-hour of League 1 action.

The best chance for the hosts fell to Turner, who pounced on a perfectly-placed through ball from substitute Dean Hawkshaw and slid a shot past the keeper, only to see it hacked clear.

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But despite their best efforts, Stranraer just couldn't find a way into the game.

And Rovers would wrap things up as Vaughan completed a swift counter attack by converting at tthe back post for his 23rd goal of the season.

It meant an end to the Blues' impressive run of results, with one game remaining next week away to East Fife.

Finally, a special mention to Wilson Hamilton, who retires from his post as groundsman at Stair Park with the appreciation of everyone at the cllub.

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Stranraer: Currie, Robertson, Neill, McGowan, Hamill, MacPherson (Hawkshaw 74), Agnew, Turner, Elliott (Baxter 62), Anderson, Okoh (Dykes 62).
Not used: McLaren, Barron, Scott, Gray.

Raith Rovers: Smith, Thomson, McHattie, Murray, Davidson, Robertson, Barr, Zanatta (Matthews 88), Hendry, Buchanan (Spence 79), Vaughan (Furtado 90).
Not used: Herron, Benedictus, Court, Brian.

Referee: Kevin Graham
Attendance: 524
HT: 0-2

Photos: Stranraer FC

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