Scorers: Annan Athletic - Smith (79 and Pen 84); Stranraer - Anderson (51), Trialist (70) and Elliott (72 and 86)

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A SECOND half goal blitz saw Stranraer emerge victorious at Galabank.


There seemed little to suggest there would be six goals with the scoreline blank at the half time interval.

However, an action-packed final 40 minutes saw the Blues come through 4-2 winners on a warm night in Annan.

As could be expected, Stevie Farrell made a number of changes from Saturday’s friendly defeat to Glenavon.

Max Currie came into the team alongside three trialists, with Kyle Turner and Mark Lamont also starting, with Sam Lidington also making his first appearance since last year’s pre-season.

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Both sides had chances in the first half, with Annan’s left back hitting the side netting from distance while Turner came close at the other end when he lobbed just wide of the left post from inside the box.

Stranraer’s trialist frontman also hit the roof of the net and then nodded over the crossbar inside the six yard box before the end of the opening period.

As is common in pre-season, there were changes aplenty at the interval with six swaps.

Currie, David Smith, Lidington, Jamie Hamill, Turner and Lamont all made way with Lyle Avci, Grant Anderson, Christopher McGowan, Conor McManus and two trialists coming on.

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The travelling fans did not then have long to wait for the first goal of the game.

Only six minutes had been played before Anderson found the net.

The Annan defence failed to deal with a cross from the left and, when it found its way to the former Raith Rovers man, he smashed it back across goal and in off the post.

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It was exactly what the game was needing and signalled the start of an entertaining final 40 minutes.

Aiden Smith and Chris Johnston both went close for the hosts before Stranraer used their final two substitutions.

That meant Max Ashmore and Cameron Elliott coming on with two trialists making way.

Ashmore’s impact was immediate as he flashed in a free-kick, with David Brownlie’s header coming back off the crossbar.

Twenty minutes left and Stranraer doubled their advantage through one of the half time trialists.

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The frontman picked up the ball outside the box and his effort flew into the left hand corner of the net.

Two minutes later and the trialist turned provider as he crossed in for Elliott, whose looping header dropped into the net.

Stranraer had looked impressive during that spell – scoring two and also striking the bar for the second time – but Annan closed the gap.

First, Smith tapped home at the back post after good play down the right before he slotted home from the penalty spot.

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Fittingly though, Stranraer would have the final word and it would come from Elliott.

The midfielder, who made his debut last season, got on the end of a corner and his volley was too hot to handle as it squeezed beyond the goalkeeper.

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It was an enjoyable workout for both teams on what was a very stuffy and warm evening at Galabank.

Attention now turns to this weekend and a trip to Broadwood where the Blues will face Cumbernauld Colts for the second pre-season in a row.

Stranraer: Currie (Avci 46), McDonald, A Trialist, Brownlie, Smith (Anderson 46), Lidington (E Trialist 46), B Trialist (Ashmore 57), Hamill (McGowan 46), Turner (McManus 46), Lamont (D Trialist 46), C Trialist (Elliott 57).

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Arbroath 10 24
2 Raith Rovers 10 20
3 East Fife 10 19
4 Airdrieonians 10 13
5 Brechin City 10 13
6 Stranraer 10 12
7 Forfar Athletic 10 12
8 Stenhousemuir 10
9
9 Dumbarton 10 8
10 Montrose 10 8