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Scorers: East Fife - Duggan (23); Stranraer - Wallace (70)

IT WAS a tale of two goalkeepers at Bayview Stadium as the spoils were shared between East Fife and Stranraer.

Cameron Belford made three key saves for the visitors while Mark Hurst's impressive save six minutes from time ensured the Blues had to settle for a point.

Stevie Farrell, who, unsurprisingly, named an unchanged side from the victory against Arbroath, and his Stranraer team set the tempo in the early stages.

The visitors enjoyed much of the ball with Ryan Wallace firing straight at Hurst after good play by Kyle Turner and Angus Beith.

At the other end, Belford did very well to get down low and used his fingertips to divert Christopher Duggan's shot round the right upright.

However, there was nothing the number one could do to deny the East Fife man midway through the first half.

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Aaron Dunsmore found Duggan on the edge of the box and his clever turn gave him just enough room to find space and fire in off the right hand post.

It was a goal which stung the Blues, who had been enjoying a decent first half.

Stranraer had trailed 1-0 at Gayfield seven days earlier and had shown character to bounce back and take all three points.

They would have to show those qualities again if they wanted to leapfrog their opponents in the League One table with Darren Young's men ahead at the break.

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The hosts almost doubled their lead just before the hour mark in fortunate circumstances.

Kyle Wilkie's cross looked like it was going out of play but hung up in the air and came down on the crossbar before striking Jamie Hamill and dropping wide of the post at the expense of a corner.

From the set piece, Belford made an astonishing close range double save.

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First, he blocked Kevin Smith's header before picking himself up to deny Jonathan Page.

The ball broke to Smith for a second time but this time the striker fired over the bar.

It was a big let off for the Blues, who were given another warning five minutes later.

David Barron slipped at the worst possible moment, which allowed Smith clean through on goal.

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The striker only had Belford to beat and did so but put his effort wide of the target.

Stranraer were huffing and puffing in an attempt to get back into the game and they did just that with 20 minutes left to play.

Substitute Paul Woods had only been on the park four minutes when he found Wallace.

The striker's shot was on target but the sizeable deflection certainly helped deceive Hurst and draw the Blues level.

From then on, it was Stranraer back on top in a bid to find that vital winner.

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First, Wallace fired over the bar after good build up play, and then Dunsmore made a goal saving clearance to deny Beith his second goal in as many weeks.

Scott Linton's free kick flew past the post at the other end but the main talking point would come from Woods and Hurst.

The substitute's clever one-two with Wallace culminated with a swerving shot which looked destined for the top corner.

Somehow, Hurst used every inch of his frame to get a fingertip to the ball and tip it round the post for a corner.

It was a stunning save and one which ensured both teams had to settle for just the one point each.

The final talking point came in stoppage time when Liam Dick was shown a second yellow card - and the first sending off of his career - after a tackle on Kieron Millar.

Ultimately, a point was probably a fair result with both sides having chances for all three, but Belford and Hurst ensuring it was just the one.

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Stranraer now prepare for a home double header, with Forfar and Albion Rovers the visitors on Saturday 16 and Tuesday 19 December respectively.

East Fife: M Hurst, Dunsmore, Page, Piggott, Linton, Docherty, Lamont (Mutch 88), Smith (Willis 65), Wilkie (G Hurst 81), Millar, Duggan.
Not used: Watson, Wilson, Flanagan and Goodfellow.

Stranraer: Belford, Dick, Barron, Neill, Hamill, Bell, Anderson (Okoh 86), Turner (Woods 66), Beith (Robertson 90+1), Thomson, Wallace.
Not used: Lang, McGowan, Stoney and McLaren

Referee: Steven Kirkland
Attendance: 521
HT: 1-0


Photos: East Fife FC