Scorers: Arbroath – Cummins OG (17)

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AN ADAM Cummins own goal was all that separated Stranraer and league leaders Arbroath at Stair Park.

The Gayfield side put ten goals past Stranraer at Stair Park last season but that never looked on the cards today.

A tight contest over 90 minutes, both teams will likely feel they could have added to the single goal scored.

The Blues made one change from the narrow defeat at Stark’s Park last weekend, with Connor McManus missing through injury and Daniel Higgins coming into the starting line-up.

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The absence of McManus, along with Isaac Layne and Christopher McGowan through injury, as well as Cameron Elliott being out on loan, meant just six substitutes with Max Ashmore back in contention.

Dick Campbell’s men have yet to taste defeat in the league this season but they were almost behind with 11 minutes on the clock.

Luke Donnelly played the ball through for Grant Anderson and Stranraer’s top scorer slotted the ball through the legs of Darren Jamieson – only to be denied by the offside flag.

However, Arbroath had chances of their own with Callum Smith unable to fully capitalise on Jamie Hamill’s poor pass along the defence.

Smith would, however, be involved in the game’s only goal.

A cross to the back post found the on-loan Dunfermline man but before he could pull the trigger the unfortunate Cummins got their first, only succeeding in diverting the ball beyond Max Currie.

Stranraer were creating chances though and probably felt a little hard done by to go in a goal down at the break.

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PJ Crossan, goalscorer last time out at Stair Park, was on the end of a fine move involving Kyle Turner and Donnelly but could not keep his shot down.

Then, Turner was denied by a brave block before Jamieson was called into action on the half time whistle.

Again, Donnelly was involved and this time it was Anderson who was frustrated with the goalkeeper palming the effort to safety.

Stranraer tried to keep up the pace after the break but increasingly Arbroath came into the tie and were happy to soak up pressure and attempt to hit the hosts on the break.

Ryan Wallace headed wide on the hour mark after a scramble in the box and Steven Doris really should have put the game to bed with quarter of an hour left.

Stranraer’s defence parted and the experienced frontman was clean through on goal, only to roll his shot wide of the upright.

While the score remained 1-0, it always offered that glimpse of hope for the Blues.

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Unfortunately, they could not find that leveller and Arbroath would ease to victory.

Two tough ties against the top two in the league have resulted in good performances but zero points, with attention now turning to Ochilview and Stenhousemuir next weekend.

Stranraer: Currie, McDonald (Lamont 65), Brownlie, D Smith, Hamill, Cummins, Higgins, Turner, Anderson (Diver 65), Crossan, Donnelly (I Smith 76).
Not used: Ashmore, Cameron and Avci.

Arbroath: Jamieson, Thomson, Hamilton, Little, O’Brien, Gold, McKenna, C Smith (Doris 59), Wallace (Kader 90), Swankie, Linn (Denholm 46).
Not used: McCord, Graham and Hill.

Referee: Grant Irvine
Attendance: 393
HT: 0-1


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