Stranraer win south west league one derby

Martin Grehan brought down for a penalty
Martin Grehan brought down for a penalty

Stranraer ran out comfortable 4-0 winners in the south west derby against Ayr on Saturday at Stair Park.

Martin Grehan was the hero for Stephen Aitken’s men scoring in each half as the home side cemented their third placed position in the League One table and continued on from drawing 1-1 with Rangers at Ibrox on Boxing Day.

In front of a bumper 1097 crowd, it was infact Ayr who started the brighter in the opening ten minutes of the game but they were unable to find the breakthrough.

Sean Winter was the man to provide the opening goal for Stranraer on 14 minutes when he slotted past David Hutton in the visitors goal and from then on Stranraer took almost all of their chances.

Ayr were left to rue missed opportunities whilst they also found Stranraer keeper David Mitchell in inspired form as he held onto his clean sheet.

A controversial penalty doubled Stranraer’s lead shortly after the half-hour when Alan Lithgow’s foul was judged to have taken place inside the box despite Ayr’s protests.

Martin Grehan duly stepped up to the spot and slotted home his first of the afternoon.

And the home side killed the game off shortly after time with two quick fire goals.

Grehan claimed his second from close range after some good work by Andrew Stirling, before Stirling himself got on the scoresheet to complete the rout on 49 minutes with another goal from inside the box.

Martyn Campbell made a welcome return to action for Ayr for the first time since October when he came on after 63 minutes but this was another big win for Stranraer against Ayr having beaten them 6-3 at Somerset Park back in November.

The win leaves Stranraer third in the table on 33 points with Ayr four points back in fourth on 29 points.

Speaking to Ayr United’s club website after the match, Ayr manager Mark Roberts said: “It was a poor result but we actually created more goal scoring opportunities during the game than we have in matches that we’ve won.

“We had chance after chance after chance but couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.

“The reason we lost the game was that we didn’t defend well enough and didn’t take our chances.

“On the grand scale of things though, it’s not really changed our league position.”