Scorers: Stranraer – Brownlie (12), Anderson (17)

montrose 20180825 g2b

GOALS from David Brownlie and Grant Anderson helped Stranraer to their first victory of the season.

The Blues welcomed Montrose to Stair Park and were missing Isaac Layne, who limped off against Forfar last weekend.

That meant Cameron Elliott, who replaced Layne at Station Park, moved from the bench to the first team, with new signing Ciaran Diver among the substitutes.

It was game Stranraer fans and players alike were keen to win, with the team’s performances meriting more than their two points before the game.

The hosts started out of the blocks fast and Elliott had already headed straight at Allan Fleming before the deadlock was broken.

Only 12 minutes were on the clock when Adam Cummins rose highest to direct Connor McManus’ corner towards goal.

montrose 20180825 brownlie 2

Elliott chested the ball down and Brownlie rifled the ball home from just outside the six yard box.

It was an ideal start and things would get even better just five minutes later.

Again, McManus was involved with his corner causing mayhem in the Montrose box.

Anderson quickly solved that by collecting the loose ball and firing home an acrobatic volley, which left Fleming with no chance.

montrose 20180825 g1

The hosts were enjoying most of the play, with Kyle Turner firing straight at Fleming, before Montrose finished the half the stronger.

First, Craig Johnston capitalised on a Cummins mistake before powering towards the edge of the box, only to slice his effort high and wide of the target.

Then, two minutes before the break, Montrose again came close when Euan Henderson got to a through ball only to flick it against the chest of the onrushing Max Currie.

The goalkeeper was involved in the very first chance of the second half as well.

montrose 20180825 ld

Cummins’ back pass had Currie scrambling and he smashed an attempted clearance off Johnston but the ball spun wide of the goal.

It was a reminder that the tie was not over just yet, although Stranraer very almost put it to bed before the hour.

This time, Luke Donnelly linked up with Anderson, with the midfielder smashing a powerful shot at Fleming.

The goalkeeper was then out of position and when the ball rebounded to Donnelly, he floated a terrific lob over the Montrose number one but it was not to be.

Diver made his Stranraer debut from the bench for the final 20 minutes. as Montrose pushed forward in an attempt to get something from the game.

montrose 20180825 diver

Paddy Cregg called Currie into action but the best save would come from an Andrew Steeves effort 15 minutes from time.

The full back seemed to have done everything right with his fierce shot destined for the net but for a fantastic reaction save.

montrose 20180825 currie

Montrose had one last effort, with Currie doing just enough to tip Sean Dillon’s header onto the crossbar.

That save almost seemed to deflate the visitors, with Stranraer beginning to look more comfortable again at the back on their way to three points and a clean sheet.

Next up for Stevie Farrell’s young side is a trip to Airdrie, with Stenhousemuir the visitors on Saturday 15 September after a two-week layoff.

montrose 20180825 faz max

Stranraer: Currie, McDonald, Brownlie, D Smith, Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Turner (I Smith 87), Anderson, Donnelly (Ashmore 79), Elliott (Diver 70).
Not used: McGowan, I Smith, Lidington and Avci.

Montrose: Fleming, Harrington, Steeves, Cregg, Dillon, Campbell, Cavanagh (Rennie 62), Watson (Allan 46), Henderson (Masson 70), Johnston, Callaghan.
Not used: Webster, Redman, Antoniazzi and Millar.

Attendance: 360
Referee: Alan Muir
HT: 2-0

Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish


SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Raith Rovers 28 53
2 Falkirk 28 52
3 Airdrieonians 28 48
4 Montrose 28 47
5 East Fife 28 45
6 Dumbarton 28 38
7 Clyde 28 34
8 Peterhead 27 26
9 Forfar Athletic 28 24
10 Stranraer 27 16