Stranraer soar to third place

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Arbroath 1 Stranraer 2

On the weekend that Stephen Aitken picked up his second consecutive Manager of the Month award for Division One, it was sibling Chris who scored the winner for the Blues.

The win at Gayfield propel Stranraer into third place in the table.

Barring a 10-minute period at the start of the second half this was a game Stranraer totally dominated and the solitary Jamie Longworth goal at the break was scant reward for their first-half endeavours.

The raptures of applause dedicated to world statesman Nelson Mandela had hardly subsided when the Blues took the lead. Sean Winter’s attempted cross was blocked but broke back to the winger. His second effort was much more telling as he whipped the ball in. Top scorer Longworth leaped high above the Arbroath’s Travis to flick a header past Morrison in the home goal.

Stunned by this early reversal the Red Lichties tried to get back into the game. Linn and Chisholm combined with some deft touches down the left, the ball was played back to Johnny Lindsay, son of former Stranraer assistant manager Colin, but his cross was held by a confident Mitchell.

Stranraer attacked in waves. Aitken played in Longworth who headed on, the hitman pulled the trigger only for a last-minute block from Travis to send it out for a corner. Aitken’s corner was headed goalwards by McKeown but cleared off the line by Donaldson.

Andy Stirling burst into action, showing a clean pair of heals to Donaldson and slipping the ball into the path of Longworth whose shot was deflected for yet another corner.

Amazingly there was half an hour on the clock when Scott fired in his team’s first shot of the match. Then the first real scare for the visitors and it came as no surprise that it involved Bobby Linn. The ball broke to the winger in the Stranraer box and he connected well but Mitchell saved down to his right.

The half finished with a neat passing move from Arbroath and a little bit of home pressure, no doubt encouraged by the fact that although Stranraer had had the majority of the first half possession they were still very much in the game.

It did not take the home team long to punish Stranraer for not extending their lead in first half. In the first minute of the second period Linn broke up the left, cut inside and fired at goal. Mitchell parried but the ball flew into the air and Dorris headed home from close range.

But Stranraer were back in front after 62 minutes, against the run of play. Aitken with a free kick in line with the left of the box curled in the ball, and Morrison could do nothing as it nestled in the top corner.

Stranraer had a great chance to add to their tally late on as substitute Forde combined well with Longworth. The former broke clear, one on one with the keeper, but Morrison thwarted the striker but it mattered not as the clock ran down and another three valuable points had been secured by Stranraer.

Arbroath: Morrison, Donaldson, Lindsay, Chisholm, Travis, Hamilton, Linn, Smith, Scott (Yao 87), Doris, Cook, (Bayne 73) Subs not used: McWalter, Banjo, Sibanda, Sheerin, Wilson.

Scorers: Dorris (47)

Stranraer: David Mitchell, Scott Robertson (Lloyd Kinnaird 85), Mark Docherty, Scott Rumsby, Frank McKeown, Chris Aitken, Sean Winter, Grant Gallagher, Jamie Longworth, David McKenna (Adam Forde 80), Andrew Stirling (Ryan Borris 84). Subs not used: David MacGregor, Steven Bell, Chris Fahey

Scorers: Longworth (2), Aitken (62)

Referee: Stevie O’Reilly

Attendance: 521