Scorers: Stranraer – Cameron (57); Montrose – Rennie (Pen 4 and Pen 16)

montrose 20190105 002

SLOW starting Stranraer were made to pay after giving away two penalties in the opening 16 minutes.

The Blues came into the tie looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat last time out to Airdrie but found themselves a goal down with just four minutes on the clock.

Referee Lloyd Wilson was quick to point to the spot after David Brownlie brought down Craig Johnston, who tried to turn in the box.

montrose 20190105 004

Striker Martin Rennie, who had been named December’s Player of the Month, made no mistake from 12 yards, with Max Currie’s fingertips not quite enough to keep the ball out.

That goal came after an early promising run from Kyle Turner, who beat a couple of players before Allan Fleming blocked his shot with his feet.

montrose 20190105 b004

However, Montrose were boosted by that early goal and Ross Campbell was inches away with a header before the visitors were given their second spot kick of the afternoon.

Terry Masson worked a clever one-two on the edge of the box before he was sent tumbling by Adam Cummins.

Again, it was Rennie versus Currie and the striker came out on top, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.

montrose 20190105 005

Cummins came close to making amends at the other end just after the half hour mark.

He got on the end of Mark Lamont’s corner but the defender’s header was cleared in the six-yard box, which allowed Montrose to break forward.

montrose 20190105 b003

Eventually, it was worked to Andrew Steeves and his fierce drive was blocked well by Currie at the other end.

Stevie Farrell made a double change before the break with Daniel Higgins and Luke Donnelly coming off for Grant Anderson and PJ Crossan.

montrose 20190105 007

However, the Blues were still find it tough going and it took a brave double block from Cummins to deny Rennie and then Ross Campbell on the follow-up.

Finally, Stranraer managed their best spell of the game.

Lamont had already seen a free-kick blocked in the box before the home side’s best chance of the game so far fell to substitute Anderson.

montrose 20190105 008

A ball over the top of the Montrose defence found the club’s top scorer but he scuffed his shot across goal and wide of the right post.

Sixty seconds later and Stranraer had a similar chance, which was taken.

This time, Connor McManus’ long ball was misjudged by Sean Dillon and Innes Cameron capitalised.

montrose 20190105 b006

He beat Fleming to the loose ball before rounding the goalkeeper and nudging the ball into the empty net from a tight angle.

It was a goal which, understandably, gave the hosts confidence and they immediately began piling forward in a bid to find a leveller.

montrose 20190105 010

Cameron was denied by Fleming before Lamont fired wide of the right post as time ticked away.

Brownlie and Cummins were pushed up front, with Ciaran Diver also thrown on in place of Lamont, but they could not find a way through the Montrose defence.

Attention now turns to Montrose’s Angus neighbours Forfar, with the Blues back on their travels next Saturday.

Stranraer: Currie, Brownlie, Smith, Hamill, Cummins, Higgins (Anderson 40), McManus, Lamont (Diver 86), Turner, Donnelly (Crossan 40), Cameron.
Not used: McGowan, McDonald and Avci.

Montrose: Fleming, Masson, Steeves, I Campbell, Dillon, Harrington, Callaghan, Johnston (Henderson 65), Rennie (Antoniazzi 88), R Campbell (Webster 61), Redman.
Not used: MacLeod, Terrell and Millar.

Referee: Lloyd Wilson
Attendance: 317
HT: 0-2

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