Scorers: Raith Rovers - Nisbet (5, 39); Stranraer - Donnelly (28)

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STRANRAER couldn't break down stubborn Raith Rovers at Stark's Park, despite having an extra man for most of the game.

The Blues had much of the possession throughout, and will curse their luck at not coming away with any points after creating several second half chances.

Rovers went into a dream start with only 4 minutes on the clock.

Nathan Flanagan won the ball for the hosts, and top scorer Kevin Nisbet made the most of the delivery to break the deadlock.

Rovers looked threatening on the break, but the Blues would find that all-important equaliser after a tight opening half hour.

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Luke Donnelly was in the right place at the right time to capitalise on a loose ball in the box from a Blues free kick, and the frontman slammed home a strike into the top corner to level the scoring.

But less than 10 minutes later, Rovers were in front again.

With Flanagan again involved in the build-up, Nisbet found himself on the end of a flick from Ross Matthews to tuck home a shot into the bottom corner, despite Stranraer keeper Max Currie getting a hand to it.

The game would take a twist in the closing stages of the first half.

Raith defender Euan Murray was booked twice in three minutes - the first for a clear foul, and the second for what was adjudged to be a dive in the Blues box - to receive his marching orders.

Stranraer had a good chance early in the second period as former Rovers man Grant Anderson was denied by a point blank save from the home keeper.

However, Rovers defended resolutely, and proved difficult for the visitors to break down.

Kyle Turner wasn't far away with a lashed volley, before goalscorer Donnelly was denied by a goal line clearance after cutting inside, and PJ Crossan fired wide after some sharp footwork.

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With Stranraer increasing the pressure, both Jamie Hamill and substitute Innes Cameron headed off target in the closing stages.

But the Kirkcaldy side held on to take all three points.

Next for the Blues is a home clash with league leaders Arbroath on Saturday 27 October.

Raith Rovers: Thomson, Crane, Davidson, Murray, Benedictus, Hendry, Matthews, Wedderburn, Nisbet (Berry 88), Stevenson (Watson 49), Flanagan (Buchanan 82).
Not used: Silva, McKay, Valentine.

Stranraer: Currie, McDonald, Brownlie, D Smith (Lamont 65), Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Turner (Cameron 84), Anderson (Layne 72), Donnelly, Crossan.
Not used: Avci, Higgins, I Smith, Diver.

Referee: Steven Kirkland
Attendance: 1,285
HT: 2-1

Photos: Bill McCandlish

Gallery

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Arbroath 13 33
2 Raith Rovers 13 23
3 East Fife 13 22
4 Forfar Athletic 13 18
5 Brechin City 13 16
6 Airdrieonians 13 16
7 Stranraer 13 15
8 Dumbarton 13
14
9 Montrose 13 14
10 Stenhousemuir 13 12


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)