Scorers: Forfar Athletic - Hilson (76 pen)

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STRANRAER paid the penalty as Forfar continued their winning ways at a soaked Station Park.

Veteran striker Andy Jackson went down under the challenge of Blues keeper Max Currie, with Dale Hilson converting from the spot.

And unlike in previous weeks, the Blues were unable to strike back before time ran out.

With Mark Stewart, Jordan Allan, Cameron Elliott and Grant Gallagher all injured, Stevie Farrell made two changes from the side which drew with Montrose at Stair Park the previous weekend.

Scott Robertson returned from suspension, with Carlo Pignatiello - goal hero last time out against Montrose - joining him in the starting eleven.

Despite those absences, Stranraer started brightly, with James Hilton looking the likeliest scorer.

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The Wigtownshire youngster twice came close in the early going, but was denied first by Forfar keeper Marc McCallum, before flashing a shot over.

Young Aberdeen striker David Dangana, making his second start for the Blues, brought a save from the keeper after shrugging off some close attention in the Forfar box.

The hosts threatened at the other end, with Hilson the target of most of their play.

The former Championship forward tested Max Currie in the Stranraer goal after intercepting at the feet of Jamie Hamill, and was denied by the Blues defence on a number of occasions.

Forfar's best chance of the first half arrived on 40 minutes, as ex-Morton and Dumbarton playmaker Ross Forbes saw a powerful strike punched over the bar by Currie.

As the heavens opened for the second half, both sides had chances to take the lead.

Hilson volleyed wide for Forfar, before Hilton was denied at the other end as Loons keeper Marc McCallum turned away his free kick.

The conditions were quickly becoming treacherous - demonstrated best by Forbes as he slipped and skied the ball when through on goal.

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Stevie Farrell introduced trialist Robert Jones just after the hour mark, but the big frontman was unable to impact the game as Forfar took the contest by the scruff of the neck.

The chances were mounting up for Jim Weir's men, with Jordan Kirkpatrick and Ross Meechan both keeping Currie and his defence busy.

Hilton had one last chance before being substituted, but could only flash his shot past the post after good hold up play from Jones.

The turning point came with a quarter of an hour to go, as Forfar were awarded a penalty for Currie's foul on Jackson after the keeper was unable to hold on to the initial shot.

This time Hilson made no mistake, stepping up to bury the ball in the back of the net.

Currie was called into action again a few minutes later, but saved well at the feet of goalscorer Hilson.

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Ryan Thomson headed agonisingly wide and Leon Murphy dragged a shot past the post, but unfortunately that would be close as Stranraer would come to an elusive equaliser.

The Blues will be back in action on Tuesday night for a Challenge Cup second round tie at home to a young Rangers side, before taking on Raith Rovers in the league on Saturday 17 August at Stair Park.

Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Meechan, Whyte, Docherty, Burns, Forbes, Irvine, Tapping, Kirkpatrick (Coupe 84), Hilson (Robertson 90), Jackson (Aitken 85).
Not used: Bain, MacKintosh, McGuff.

Stranraer: Currie, Robertson, Cummins, Hamilton (Jones 63), D Smith, Hamill, McManus, Hilton (Murphy 74), Thomson, Pignatiello, Dangana (I Smith 80).
Not used: Burgess.

Referee: David Munro
Attendance: 523
HT: 0-0

Photos: Bill McCandlish, Stranraer FC