Scorers: Anderson (47) and Crossan (90+1)

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A GOAL just ninety seconds into the second half set Stranraer on their way for their first away win of the season.

Grant Anderson’s strike, along with a stoppage time clincher from PJ Crossan, ensured the Blues moved up to fifth in the league.

Hosts Stenhousemuir were reduced to ten men midway through the second half with Alan Cook sent off for his tackle on Anderson, which saw the goalscorer needing a trip to hospital.

Stevie Farrell was able to name an unchanged side from the one that narrowly lost out to league leaders Arbroath seven days ago.

The only alteration came on the bench, with Chris McGowan recovering from a virus.

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The Warriors enjoyed plenty of possession in the first 45 minutes but Max Currie was rarely tested.

At the other end, the Blues had two really good chances but did not take either.

The two opportunities fell to Anderson within the space of four minutes.

First, Kyle Turner cut open the home defence, with Anderson racing clean through on goal.

He beat Graeme Smith but pulled his shot from the edge of the box across the goal and wide of the left post.

Minutes later and it was Luke Donnelly who was providing the pass.

This time, Anderson got his shot on target but it was blocked by Smith.

Both teams could argue they should have had an advantage when the half time whistle blew but it did not take long for Stranraer to get their noses in front.

Just ninety seconds had been played before Crossan battled well in midfield and rolled the ball across the edge of the box.

Anderson collected the pass, cut inside and placed his finish beyond the reach of Smith.

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The goal sparked Stenhousemuir’s best period of the game and they could have been level just three minutes later.

A corner was flicked on and Connor McBrearty was inches away from poking home at the back post.

Brown Ferguson’s men were forcing a number of corners but could not find that pass which would pose questions of Currie.

Equally, Stranraer’s defence held firm and snuffed out any real opportunities.

Stenhousemuir’s chances of getting back into the tie were effectively killed off on 72 minutes.

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Stranraer attempted to break and Cook brought down Anderson, with referee Gavin Ross immediately pulling out the red card.

Anderson required lengthy medical treatment before leaving on a stretcher, suffering ruptured ligaments but thankfully no breaks or long term damage.

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Stranraer could have doubled their advantage in the final ten minutes through unusual circumstances.

David Smith’s cross hung in the wind and his namesake, Graeme Smith, did well to touch it over the bar.

At this stage, if any team looked like getting on the scoresheet it was Stranraer and Innes Cameron fired an overhead kick over the bar as the clock ticked onto ninety minutes.

That just left time for Crossan to wrap up the win with his second goal for the club.

David Smith pressured well down the right, with substitute Ian Smith then finding Crossan.

The striker’s deflected effort then beat Graeme Smith to wrap up the victory.

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And Ian Smith could have added his name to the list of goalscorers late on.

This time, he collected the ball in midfield before feeding Crossan, who returned a low cross.

Unfortunately, the substitute was on the stretch and could only lift his effort over the crossbar.

It was a professional performance and one which saw the Blues move up the table to fifth.

Next Saturday is back at Stair Park, with fellow play-off contenders Airdrie, featuring ex-Blues in Grant Gallagher and Scott Robertson, the opponents.

Stenhousemuir: G Smith, Donaldson, Neill, Ferry (Ross 88), McBrearty, McGuigan, Duthie (McMenamin 88), Cook, Dickson, O’Hara, Paton (Vaughan 88).
Not used: Reid, Tena, Halleran and McMinn.

Stranraer: Currie, McDonald, Brownlie (Lamont 79), D Smith, Hamill, Cummins, Higgins, Turner, Anderson (Cameron 79), Donnelly (I Smith 88), Crossan.
Not used: McGowan, Ashmore, Diver and Avci.

Referee: Gavin Ross
Attendance: 461
HT: 0-0


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