Scorers: East Fife – Dunsmore (21), Meggatt (25) and Watson (54); Stranraer – Cummins (Pen 61), Cameron (80) and McGowan (85).

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A STUNNING 30-minute comeback saw Stranraer rescue a point at Bayview Stadium in a dramatic finale, which saw both teams finish with ten men.

The game looked beyond the Blues with East Fife 3-0 up with just half an hour left to play.

Instead, Stevie Farrell’s men fought back with two goals in the final ten minutes to make it four games unbeaten.

Stranraer stuck with the team that had defeated Forfar Athletic seven days earlier, with top scorer Grant Anderson again among the substitutes.

The Blues started like a team full of confidence and PJ Crossan could have opened the scoring with just ten minutes on the clock.

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He broke clean through but Craig McDowall made the save, and moments later Jamie Hamill bulleted a header over the bar from close range.

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However, the Fifers would be the team to break the deadlock.

The ball was worked from left to right and Aaron Dunsmore fired home a superb swerving first-time effort from the corner of the box.

Max Currie then prevented an immediate second when he tipped over Ross Davidson’s header but the home fans did not have long to wait.

Just four minutes after taking the lead, East Fife doubled their advantage when Daryll Meggatt headed home from close range.

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It was perhaps slightly harsh on the visitors, who thought they had found a way back into the game just before the break.

Kyle Bell fouled Crossan and Mark Lamont whipped in a dangerous free-kick.

There was a bit of a scramble and the ball was forced home but the offside flag went up against David Brownlie, who got the last touch.

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With the score 2-0 at half time, the Blues introduced Anderson.

The next goal was always going to be crucial and it fell to the home side.

Currie did brilliantly to deny Kevin Smith but Stranraer could not get the ball clear and a cross to the back post found the unmarked Craig Watson to head home for the third game in a row against Stranraer.

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It looked like game over but Farrell introduced Innes Cameron in place of Crossan and the substitute had an immediate impact.

He had only touched the ball once before Ross Dunlop brought him down in the box.

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Adam Cummins blasted home the spot kick and gave Stranraer the faintest of hopes.

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It was enough to give the visitors belief and Lamont then played a great ball through for Cameron, with McDowall blocking at his near post.

Lamont then tested the goalkeeper before Stranraer found goal number two.

Substitute Chris McGowan, on for the booked Andy McDonald, whipped in a teasing cross and Cameron was in the right place to bullet home a header from six yards.

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Momentum was well and truly with the visitors and it looked a case of whether East Fife could hold on for the final ten minutes.

Seven minutes left and the travelling pocket of Stranraer fans were screaming for a second penalty of the afternoon.

Meggatt hesitated on the edge of his box and Cameron nipped in to rob the defender, who pulled him down.

Referee Steven Reid consulted his assistant and after a lengthy delay gave a straight red card to the defender.

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Frustratingly for the Stranraer fans, the reward was just a free-kick on the edge of the box.

Those frustrations were quickly forgotten though when McGowan curled home a free-kick for his first-ever league goal.

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Incredibly, the drama was not quite over as Cummins was sent off in the aftermath for an apparent gesture off the ball.

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It was a breathless finale, which saw the Blues salvage a point when it looked increasingly unlikely.

The Blues will welcome Brechin City to Stair Park next weekend for the final home game of 2018.

East Fife: McDowall, Dunsmore, Docherty, Dunlop, Watson, Meggatt, Agnew (Dowds 88), McBride, Davidson, Bell (Slattery 75), K Smith (Court 60).
Not used: Linton, Watt, Currie and Long.

Stranraer: Currie, McDonald (McGowan 65), Brownlie, Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Turner, Donnelly, Lamont, I Smith (Anderson 46), Crossan (Cameron 60).
Not used: Higgins, D Smith, Diver and Avci.

Referee: Steven Reid
Attendance: 482
HT: 2-0

Photos: Stranraer FC

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