Scorers: Stranraer - Layne; Ayr United - Shankland x2, ForrestScorers: Stranraer - Layne; Ayr United - Shankland x2, Forrest

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NEWCOMER Isaac Layne found the net on his home introduction for Stranraer at a sunny Stair Park.

The goal was the highlight of a much improved second half performance from an experimental Blues side, who set up initially in a 4-3-2-1 formation before switching to 3-5-2.

But Stevie Farrell's men were ultimately outshone by an impressive first half display from worthy winners Ayr United.

All the friendlies so far have provided an excellent workout for the players, and this one was no exception.

Played in sweltering conditions at a lively pace, and with a few meaty challenges thrown in, there wasn't much to suggest that either side were taking it easy.

Despite the competitive nature of the match, the visitors would assemble a commanding lead.

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Lawrence Shankland fired into the top corner early on after some neat play in the box, with Robbie Crawford, Alan Forrest, Michael Moffat and Daniel Harvie all having chances to add to that lead.

Max Ashmore profited from a fine interception from fellow midfielder Connor McManus to float a shot a few feet over the bar in the Blues' only decent effort of the first 45.

Ayr winger Craig McGuffie cracked the post with a curling free kick from the edge of the box, before the Championship side recorded their second goal of the game.

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It was Forrest this time who found the top corner with a sublime strike from 20 yards which left Stranraer goalkeeper Max Currie no chance.

The Blues management team sent on Layne, Grant Anderson, Lyle Avci and a trialist midfielder for the second half, but once again Ayr struck early.

The referee awarded a penalty for an apparent shirt pull in the box, and last season's top SPFL scorer Shankland sent Avci the wrong way from the spot.

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Despite that setback, the second half was largely dominated by Stranraer.

New boy Layne drilled an inviting ball across goal, but neither Anderson nor the trialist midfielder could prod it over the line from close range.

Anderson capitalised on confusion in the Ayr defence to break down the right hand side, but skewed his shot wide.

However, the Blues would get the goal their improved play deserved.

A quick free kick caught the visitors napping, and Layne was left all alone to round the keeper and slot the ball into the net from a tight angle.

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Stranraer made three changes in the closing stages, one of whom was Chris McGowan.

The full back nearly added to his goal on Saturday with a close range finish but he was flagged offside.

But that would be as close as Stranraer would come to decreasing the deficit.

A local double header this weekend will bring an end to the Blues' busy pre-season fixture schedule.

First up is a testimonial match away to Newton Stewart on Friday 6 July (7.30pm), before a home friendly against Stirling Albion on the Saturday (3pm).

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

Ayr United: Hare-Reid, Harvie, Rose, Moffat, Crawford, Forrest, McGuffie, Adams, Shankland, F Trialist, Geggan.Subs: G Trialist, Moore, McDaid, Murphy, McCowan, Baird, Hilton.

HT: 0-2

Gallery

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Arbroath 17 45
2 Raith Rovers 17 32
3 East Fife 17 26
4 Forfar Athletic 17 24
5 Montrose 17 21
6 Airdrieonians 17 20
7 Stranraer 16 20
8 Dumbarton 17
18
9 Brechin City 16 16
10 Stenhousemuir 17 15