Scorers: L McIntosh (52) and Victoria (88)

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SECOND half strikes from Leighton McIntosh and Joao Victoria stopped Stranraer from making it three games unbeaten.

The first half was an even contest but the Blues simply did not get going in the second half with Airdrie, ultimately, running out comfortable winners.

Stevie Farrell made one change from the side which defeated Montrose seven days earlier, with Cameron Elliott unavailable and Chris McGowan brought back into the team.

The change did little to stop the visitors from coming out of the blocks on the attack.

They won their first corner after three minutes, with Kyle Turner firing wide from outside the box before Luke Donnelly called David Hutton into action and Grant Anderson then fired at the Airdrie number one – all with less than ten minutes on the clock.

Airdrie came back into the game and Victoria was a constant threat with his pace and direct style.

He teed up Ryan Conroy early doors and Max Currie did well to beat the shot away at the near post.

Moments later and Dale Carrick fired wide of the upright as chances began to mount up for both sides.

Adam Cummins, involved in a goal last week, was heavily involved at the other end as well, throwing himself twice in front of chances.

Airdrie were certainly conjuring up chances and Carrick was denied by a fine Currie save when the striker’s header looked destined for the net.

Anderson and Donnelly were again linking up well, with Anderson finding Andy McDonald, who blasted over before Anderson had the ball in the net in first half stoppage time.

The midfielder did well to bring down a long ball and lifted a delicate lob over Hutton but the assistant’s flag was already up for offside.

It was an even game, with, perhaps, Stranraer just about edging the first half.

Both sides had created plenty of chances, with that first goal always looking crucial.

It would come seven minutes after the restart and would come for the visitors.

Carrick did well on the left and skipped by a rash challenge from Jamie Hamill before squaring for McIntosh to tap home from close range.

It left Stranraer needing to show some fighting spirit but they struggled to match the first half display.

McGowan flashed a header across goal before Donnelly blasted over from the edge of the box.

Time was ticking away and so were Stranraer’s chances of getting something from the tie.

Any chance of a comeback suffered a blow with eight minutes left.

McDonald has not missed a minute this season but his game was cut short when he was shown a straight red for a lunge on Kieran Millar.

Then, with two minutes left, Airdrie got their killer second.

Substitute Mark Lamont gave the ball away and Victoria burst forward, like he did for most of the afternoon.

He made it into the box and fired at goal, with the shot taking a deflection off Hamill before spinning beyond a helpless Currie.

Stranraer’s second half performance ultimately did not match that which had come in the first half, with Airdrie doing enough to take the three points.

Airdrieonians: Hutton, Robertson (Millar 75), Crighton, Page, MacDonald, Stewart, Conroy, Gallagher, Victoria, L McIntosh, Carrick.
Not used: Wilkie, Cairns, Edwards, McKenzie, Russell and S McIntosh.

Stranraer: Currie, Cummins, Hamill, Brownlie, McGowan (Diver 61), McManus, Turner, D Smith, McDonald, Donnelly (I Smith 77), Anderson (Lamont 70).
Not used: Lidington, Ashmore and Avci.

Referee: Greg Aitken
Attendance: 815
HT: 0-0

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Arbroath 9 21
2 Raith Rovers 9 17
3 East Fife 9 16
4 Brechin City 9 13
5 Stranraer 9 12
6 Airdrieonians 9 10
7 Stenhousemuir 9 9
8 Forfar Athletic 9
9
9 Dumbarton 9 8
10 Montrose 9 8


Fixtures

2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Daniel Higgins (DEF)

3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andy McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
9 - Isaac Layne (STR)

10 - Luke Donnelly (STR)
11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
16 - Max Ashmore (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
19 - Ciaran Diver (STR)
20 - PJ Crossan (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)