Scorer: Hilton (Pen 60)

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JAMES Hilton’s second half penalty ensured League One Stranraer knocked out the Championship’s Dunfermline Athletic.

The Blues, sitting bottom of the third tier of Scottish football, made one change from the side that had lost to Airdrie seven days ago.

Mark Stewart was unavailable due to work commitments but Adam Cummins was back from injury.

Stevie Farrell mixed things up with the players at his disposal, going with Scott Robertson, Cummins and Lee Hamilton in defence and club captain Jamie Hamill in midfield.

Meanwhile, Hilton partnered Cameron Elliott up front.

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From the word go, Stranraer were full of intensity and desire as they took the game to their visitors.

Dunfermline goalkeeper Ryan Scully was called into action with just seven minutes on the clock when Hilton got on the end of Carlo Pignatiello’s cross.

Hilton’s diving header was good but Scully managed to turn it round the post at the expense of a corner.

Stranraer were cursing their luck from the set piece when a combination of the woodwork and a goal line clearance denied them the league.

First, Hamill outjumped the defence and nodded the ball onto the left post and then Hamilton’s goalbound effort was cleared.

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Unfortunately for Dunfermline their hopes suffered a sizeable dent when Scully was forced off with a head injury.

The goalkeeper and Jordan Allan collided and there was a near-ten minute delay while the Dunfermline number one underwent treatment.

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He was stretchered off and replaced by Cammy Gill and it took time for the game to return to the same tempo.

Pignatiello and Elliott both had mis-hit shots as the game entered first half stoppage time and Stranraer had shouts for a penalty waved away but the deadlock remained unbroken at the break.

Stranraer fans could have been forgiven for expecting a much improved Dunfermline in the second half.

The Pars were certainly better but the hosts continued to match their visitors.

The only goal of the game would come on the hour mark when Lewis Martin was judged to have handled former Dunfermline man Andy Stirling’s corner.

Stewart took the last penalty awarded to the Blues while Cummins has also stepped up to take aim from 12 yards.

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On this occasion, it was Hilton who kept his cool to rifle the ball home.

Dunfermline had rarely threatened Max Currie’s goal but they came within a whisker of levelling things just three minutes later.

A free-kick just outside the box was smashed at goal by Kevin Nesbit and Currie could only watch as the ball clipped the junction of bar and post.

Stevie Crawford’s men pushed and pushed in the last 15 minutes but could not find a way through with Nesbit hooking an overhead kick wide of the goal in injury time.

Instead, Stranraer held firm and secured their place in the fourth round of the competition.

Stranraer: Currie, Robertson, Allan, Cummins, Hamilton, Pignatiello (Murphy 87), McManus, Hamill, Stirling, Hilton (Dangana 81), Elliott (Jones 90).
Not used: Smith and Burgess.

Dunfermline Athletic: Scully (Gill 23), Comrie, Martin, Ryan, Dow (Beadling 74), Turner, Devine, Nesbit, Paton, Edwards, McCann (Thomson 55).
Not used: McGill, Morrison, Todd and Fenton.

Referee: Alan Newlands
Attendance: 431
HT: 0-0

Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish

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