Scorers: Stranraer - D Smith (45+12); Stenhousemuir - Duthie (45+7)

stenny 20190226 006

DAVID SMITH was the half time hero as Stranraer came from behind to secure a point at home to Stenhousemuir.

The Blues were second best at times in a scrappy match which faced a long delay, but found an equaliser to maintain a five point gap to bottom side Stenny.

Reserves standout Alistair McColm made the bench for the first time along with the returning Andy McDonald, as Stevie Farrell kept faith with the side which defeated Brechin City at Glebe Park just three days earlier.

Stranraer had some half chances in the early going, with Kyle Turner, Innes Cameron and Grant Anderson failing to cause visiting keeper Graeme Smith any problems.

However, the game would be put on hold after an injury to the standside linesman just minutes into the first half.

stenny 20190226 009

A call was put out by the matchday announcer to any suitable replacements in the crowd, and fortunately a South of Scotland League official stepped forward to save the day.

With the match back underway, home keeper Max Currie was forced into his first save of the evening, turning away a Connor Duthie effort with his legs.

Cameron Elliott would come close for Stranraer after Cameron's header landed in his path, but keeper Smith stood firm, and the Warriors looked the sharper side for the remainder of the first half.

Former Blues striker Mark McGuigan was proving the danger man for Stenhousemuir, and he brought another good stop from Currie after a long ball split the Stranraer defence.

And the visitors would take the lead in the seventh minute of first half stoppage time.

stenny 20190226 004

Duthie seized upon a loose ball for Stenny, turned in the box and slotted home a well placed shot into the bottom corner.

But just like on Saturday, the Blues responded immediately.

First, Cameron rattled the crossbar with an unmarked header at the back post.

Then, with the last kick of the first half, David Smith notched up his first goal for Stranraer.

The full back, who was impressive throughout the evening, cut inside from the left wing.

His strike from a tight angle took a deflection as it passed through the sea of Stenny bodies and found the net, with the referee then calling time on an extended first half.

stenny 20190226 005

McGuigan almost put the visitors back in front within a few minutes of the restart as his toepoked volley flashed inches over the crossbar, with Conor McBrearty and Alan Cook keeping Currie busy in the Stranraer goal.

And the former Blues striker would have another chance to steal all three points for Stenny.

After a slip up at the back from McManus, McGuigan latched onto a through ball but opted to cut it back, allowing home midfielder Ali McCann to rob the ball and hook it clear.

Substitutions and cheap bookings broke up play for the remainder of the match, with only speculative efforts from either side.

Joao Victoria was on the hunt for his second Stranraer goal after being introduced for the closing stages, but his header from Cameron's cross sailed wide.

stenny 20190226 008

In the end a draw was probably a fair result in a tight contest which failed to showcase much quality from either team.

After a difficult spell, the Blues are now unbeaten in 3 of their last 4 games - a record which will give Stevie Farrell's side confidence heading into Saturday's home game against promotion contenders Raith Rovers.

Stranraer: Currie, Hamill, Brownlie, Cummins, D Smith, Anderson (Victoria 64), McManus, McCann, Turner, Elliott (O'Keefe 71), Cameron.
Not used: McDonald, Lamont, Avci, McColm.

Stenhousemuir: G Smith, Reid, McBrearty, Munro, Marsh, Duthie, Ferry, Dingwall (Donaldson 70), Cook (Dickson 85), McGuigan, Hurst.
Not used: Gibbons, Halleran, McMinn, Watters.

Referee: Lloyd Wilson
Attendance: 219
HT: 1-1

Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish

Gallery 1
Gallery 2

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