East Fife 6 May 2017 010Scorers: Stranraer - Malcolm (63) and Kassarate (83); East Fife - Kerr (76)

AMADOU Kassarate's strike seven minutes from time brought the curtain down on another season at Stair Park.

The on-loan frontman's goal saw Stranraer not only avoid the relegation play-off, which was an unlikely possibility before kick-off, but leapfrog Albion Rovers into seventh spot on the final day.

Demotion to League Two avoided, the Blues will be hoping their fine end of season run continues when the action gets back under way in July.

Stevie Farrell named the same starting XI which had narrowly lost last time out at the Indodrill Stadium, with youngster Christopher McGowan added to the bench.

East Fife 6 May 2017 007Barry Smith's East Fife side came into the tie hoping to reach the promotion play-offs and knew only a win would do that, with results elsewhere also needing to go in their favour.

They were almost handed a dream start when a cross from the left found Pat Slattery but his header came back off the post.

Stranraer collected the loose ball and made their way up the park, with some good play by Scott Agnew eventually seeing the ball worked to Scott Robertson.

The full back did not need to break his stride and Mark Hurst did well to parry the thunderous drive to safety.
East Fife 6 May 2017 006
That was pretty much it in a relatively low key first half, although Chris Duggan did have a deflected drive past the post for the visitors before the break.

East Fife's start to the second half mirrored their start to the opening 45 minutes, with Chris Kane heading Nicki Paterson's free-kick onto the post.

The visitors were turning up the pressure and Morgyn Neill was in the right place to block Duggan's effort moments later before Jesse Curran fired the wrong side of the post after a clever one-two.

Neill was in the right place at the right time for a second time to deny Scott Robinson and Cameron Belford pulled off an impressive one handed save from Robinson before Stranraer got their noses in front.

Willie Gibson did superbly out on the left wing as he weaved past a couple of defenders.
East Fife 6 May 2017 005
Then, he found the room to squeeze in a low cross and Craig Malcolm was on hand to mark his 250th game for the club with his 104th goal.

It was a real sucker punch for East Fife but, to their credit, they kept going and found their leveller with quarter of an hour to play.

Stranraer failed to deal with the free-kick and Jason Kerr's overhead kick from close range left Belford with no chance.

There was still time for a winner though and again Gibson had a hand in it.

The midfielder actually gave the ball away with a stray pass but redeemed himself with a crunching tackle before picking himself up, striding towards the goal and stinging the palms of Hurst.
East Fife 6 May 2017 011
It was a shot which proved too hot to handle and Kassaraté reacted quickest to bundle home the rebound.

Agnew could have added to the score before the end but was denied by Hurst before Kerr miscued at the other end.

And that was that - another season over at Stair Park with thrills and spills along the way but one which saw them end in mid table.

Stranraer: Belford, Robertson, Dick (McGowan 90), Barron, Neill, Bell, Thomson, Agnew, Donald (Wilson 72), Gibson, Malcolm (Kassaraté 81).
Not used: Morena, McGuigan, Kemp and Currie.

East Fife: Hurst, Slattery, Kane, Kerr, Duggan, Curran, Robinson, Penrice, Duffie, Paterson (Smith 70), Watt (Reilly 55).
Not used: Brown, Lamont, Cooper, Austin and Gordon.

Referee: Steven Reid
Attendance: 462
HT: 0-0
Photos: Morgan Images

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Arbroath 16 42
2 Raith Rovers 16 29
3 East Fife 16 23
4 Montrose 16 21
5 Forfar Athletic 16 21
6 Airdrieonians 16 20
7 Stranraer 16 20
8 Dumbarton 16
9 Brechin City 16 16
10 Stenhousemuir 16 15


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)
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)