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Stranraer 0-2 Forfar Athletic

  • Post published:23 September 2023

Scorers: Paterson (9) and Skelly (38)

First half strikes from Ryan Paterson and Josh Skelly gave Forfar Athletic a well-deserved three points at Stair Park.

Stranraer, looking to respond after a disappointing defeat to Stenhousemuir seven days earlier, failed to truly work Marc McCallum in the visiting goal and conceded two soft goals at the other end.

Scott Agnew made a double change from that side that lost at Ochilview with Deryn Lang given a first start and Cammy Williamson brought back into the starting line-up.

Josh Walker and Ben Hughes dropped to the bench, where they were joined by a couple of new signings – the on-loan Rangers duo of Lewis Budinauckas and MacKenzie Strachan.

The visitors had already threatened the Stranraer goal with Skelly calling Martin McDonald into action in the third minute before the goalkeeper also kept out a fierce drive from Mark Whatley.

That only delayed the opening goal until the ninth minute, though.

McDonald came out of his goal to clear but played the ball straight to Paterson.

The Forfar man still had plenty to do but McDonald was never getting to his lobbed effort from 35 yards, which gave the visitors the lead.

It took until closer to the half hour mark for Stranraer to really work their way into any kind of dangerous territory.

Sean McIntosh drove into the side netting and then McCallum got down well to a Tom Orr header, which lacked the real necessary power to truly test the visiting number one.

Those signs of encouragement were quickly extinguished when Forfar doubled their advantage.

Stranraer surrendered possession cheaply on the left and the ball was played back to Skelly, who caught out McDonald at his near post with a shot from the edge of the box.

Clearly, Stranraer would need to improve after the break and again there were promising signs.

Ben Armour saw a shot from outside the box well saved and Dylan Forrest also saw an effort dealt with by McCallum.

Equally, as the hosts attempted to push forward it left gaps at the back and McDonald did well to keep out a Paterson effort, with Scott Robertson then smashing clear the loose ball.

Increasingly, it looked like the next goal would be vital.

Stranraer were getting caught at the back and Paterson probably should have done better than pull his shot across goal and wide of the target as the game entered the final quarter.

In the end, Forfar held out quite comfortably and could have even extended their advantage as Roberto Nditi, who kept James Dolan at bay at the other end, smashed his fierce drive straight at McDonald.

A trip to Dumbarton awaits the Blues, who will be looking to get back to the impressive play they demonstrated in the opening five league contests.

Stranraer: M McDonald, Robertson, Williamson, C Ross, McIntosh, Armour (O McDonald 82), Dolan, Forrest, Fleming (Strachan 78), Orr (Walker 61), Lang.
Not used: Hughes and Budinauckas.

Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Nditi, Allan, Morrison, Moore, Whatley, Robson, Paterson (S Ross 78), Munro, MacLeod (Watson 78), Skelly (Ferguson 53).
Not used: Whyte, Hutchinson, Brindley, Inglis and Paris.

Referee: Ryan Lee
Attendance: 368
HT: 0-2