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AN IMPROVED performance saw Stranraer take a point from one of the more difficult venues in League 1.

Stevie Farrell welcomed back Isaac Layne from injury, with the striker partnering Luke Donnelly up top.

The visitors looked a much improved outfit from the side which lost heavily to Partick Thistle in midweek and were on the front foot from the first whistle.

Chances fell to both Blues strikers, but it was Grant Anderson - reverting to a more familiar midfield following his exploits as understudy striker in recent weeks - who came closest to opening the scoring.

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Layne strode onto Adam Cummins' perfectly-weighted long ball and teed it up nicely, but Anderson's powerful effort struck the outside of the post.

Forfar's danger man Dale Hilson threatened at the other end, hitting a dipping strike which could only find the top of the net, before firing a 30 yard free kick low into the side netting.

Blues keeper Max Currie was then called into action by Jamie Bain, who escaped his marker at the back post but saw his header saved.

Unfortunately for Stranraer, Layne's return lasted only 41 minutes.

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The forward went off with a suspected recurrence of the knee injury that has kept him out in recent weeks.

His departure meant an opportunity for youngster Cameron Elliott to make his fourth appearance of the season from the bench.

The Blues continued to create chances as the half wore on.

Defender David Brownlie had space and time as he met Anderson's delivery at the back post, but headed just wide.

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Connor McManus sent fellow former Celtic man Donnelly through down the left, but his effort was turned away at the near post as the half drew to a close.

With both sides lacking a cutting edge in the final third, a stalemate looked all the more likely as the game progressed.

Kyle Turner, Anderson, Donnelly and McManus were off target for the Blues, as John Baird and substitute Dylan Easton spurned chances for the hosts.

Elliott's flick on for Ian Smith in the closing stages was promising, but Forfar keeper Marc McCallum was equal to the substitute's attempt on goal.

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There was almost a cruel twist in stoppage time as Easton created an opportunity for Forfar to grab all three points, but Brownlie did brilliantly to block.

With a point and a very welcome clean sheet on the board, Stevie Farrell's men face their third Angus opponents in as many weeks as Montrose visit Stair Park on Saturday 25 August.

Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Meechan, Whyte, WIlson, Travis, Reilly (Fraser 78), Bain, Mackintosh, Hilson (Easton 68), Baird, Moore.
Not used: Muir, Malone, Munro, Coupe, Kennedy.

Stranraer: Currie, D Smith, Cummins, Hamill, Brownlie, McDonald, McManus, Turner, Anderson (I Smith 82), Donnelly (Ashmore 87), Layne (Elliott 41).
Not used: Avci, Lidington, Lamont, McGowan.

Referee: John McKendrick
Attendance: 459
HT: 0-0

Gallery

L04 Montrose W

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