Scorers: Arbroath - Little (10), McKenna (77), Wallace (81); Stranraer - Donnelly (24)

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ARBROATH eventually made their dominance count as two second half goals brought an end to Stranraer's shut-out at Gayfield.

The hosts - tipped for title contention by many - were on top throughout the 90 minutes, and could really have won by more.

Stranraer had goalkeeper Max Currie to thank for his efforts in keeping the Red Lichties' attackers at bay for so long.

Blues boss Stevie Farrell made one change from the side which achieved a commendable draw against Raith Rovers a week prior, with Kyle Turner returning from injury at the expense of Mark Lamont.

Ricky Little opened the scoring with only 10 minutes on the clock, rising to meet former Stranraer forward Ryan Wallace's cross and powering a header into the top corner.

Currie produced a string of impressive saves to prevent further damage, with Wallace and Bobby Linn spurning further opportunities.

But out of nowhere, Stranraer would find a way back into the game.

Luke Donnelly showed great footwork to strut his way past a couple of Arbroath defenders on his way to goal, kept his cool to round the keeper and slotted home.

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Whilst the Blues would get the odd sniff of a chance on the counter attack in the opening period, Currie was again the busiest man on the park.

The shot-stopper came to the rescue to deny Wallace and Michael McKenna, with Grant Anderson's acrobatic shot the best the Blues could muster heading into the break.

Connor McManus brought a save from home custodian Darren Jamieson early in the second half with a powerful effort from 20 yards.

Anderson had a good chance to put the Blues in front as he raced onto a long ball, and had the right idea to square it for Turner, but his pass left the midfielder with too much to do.

With the counter attack breaking down, the eventual shot from Anderson failed to test the keeper.

Unfortunately for the visitors, Dick Campbell's side would then continue where they left off.

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Currie got a strong hand up to brilliantly divert McKenna's goalbound strike over the bar, with the Stranraer defence withstanding extreme pressure as the match wore on.

But just as it looked like the Blues would hold on, a mistake from Andrew McDonald handed the hosts a gilt-edged opportunity.

Pouncing on the loose ball, McKenna - who had been thwarted by Currie throughout - fired confidently into the bottom corner.

And Wallace put the game to bed soon after, sweeping home a Bobby Linn cross at the back post after a swift counter attack.

Stranraer could have no complaints about the result and will now move on to a Tuesday night IRN-BRU Cup clash with Partick Thistle at Stair Park.

Arbroath: Jamieson, Little, O'Brien, Hamilton, Kader (Denholm 67), Gold (Thomson 61), Whatley, Swankie (Graham 82), Linn, McKenna, Wallace.
Not used: Hester, McCord, Hill.

Stranraer: Currie, Cummins, Hamill (Lamont 79), McDonald, D Smith, McGowan, Turner, McManus (Ashmore 82), I Smith (Elliott 70), Donnelly, Anderson.
Not used: Avci, Brownlie, Layne, Lidington.

Referee: Craig Napier
Attendance: 582
HT: 1-1

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