Scorers: McIntosh (5 and 43) and Duffy (85)

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2018 ended with defeat for Stranraer, as Airdrie picked up a comfortable three points at the Penny Cars Stadium.

Stevie Farrell stuck with the team that had defeated Dumbarton last time out and stretched the Blues undefeated record to five games.

Luke Donnelly and David Brownlie both returned to the Stranraer bench, with Ian Smith missing out through injury.

The visiting boss had stressed the importance of starting quickly against Ian Murray’s men but they were behind with just five minutes on the clock.

A long ball down the touchline was flicked on by Dale Carrick and collected by Scott Stewart.

He had the beating of Chris McGowan and, although Stewart’s cross was partially blocked by Andy McDonald, the ball fell kindly to Leighton McIntosh.

The frontman took his time before cutting inside and firing past Max Currie from 12 yards.

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Stranraer attempted to get back into it with a series of corners but too often failed to test Ben McKenzie in the home goal.

The best of the efforts came from former Airdrie man Daniel Higgins but his low shot was tipped round the post at the expense of another corner.

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Just before half time, the hosts doubled their advantage and again it came down their right wing.

Kyle Wilkie was the creator this time as he rolled the ball into Stewart.

His shot was blocked by the legs of Currie but fell kindly into the path of McIntosh who reacted in time to fire home number two.

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Understandably, Stranraer pushed forward early in the second half in a bid to get back into the game.

Innes Cameron flicked a header wide before a combination of McKenzie and the woodwork prevented Stranraer from halving the deficit.

Mark Lamont’s corner was only cleared as far as Kyle Turner on the edge of the box.

The goalscorer last week again found the target but the fingertips of McKenzie pushed the ball onto the post and Airdrie survived.

That was Stranraer’s best opportunity of the day, with Lamont blazing over moments later.

Instead, Airdrie threatened to extend their advantage with Carrick nodding over with 66 minutes on the clock.

The Diamonds would put the game to bed with five minutes left through substitute Darryl Duffy.

The frontman cut inside and slotted the ball home from 20 yards, with Currie only able to watch the shot hit the upright and cross the line.

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A disappointing end to the year for Stranraer, who will look to start another undefeated run when they welcome Montrose to Stair Park on Saturday 5 January.

Airdrieonians: MaKenzie, O’Neil, MacDonald, Crighton, Edwards, Millar, Gallagher, Stewart (Robertson 76), Wilkie (Duffy 68), Carrick (Cairns 85), McIntosh.
Not used: Page, Victoria, Russell and McNeil.

Stranraer: Currie, Higgins, McGowan (Diver 79), McDonald, Hamill, McManus, Turner, Anderson, Cameron, Lamont, Crossan (Donnelly 62).
Not used: Brownlie, D Smith, Ashmore and Avci.

Referee: David Lowe
Attendance: 725
HT: 2-0

Photos: Stranraer FC

Gallery

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 Pos  Team  Pld   Pts 
1 Ayr United 3 6
2 Livingston
2 5
3 Falkirk 3 4
4 Stranraer 2 3
5 Berwick 2 0