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Scorer: Beith (9)

ANGUS Beith's sixth goal in ten games gave Stranraer their first win over Raith Rovers in more than a decade.

The Blues were in front in the opening ten minutes and, despite sustained Raith pressure at times, remained reasonably comfortable throughout much of the match.

Stevie Farrell made one change from the side that had defeated Airdrie at Stair Park seven days earlier.

Dylan Dykes made his full debut, with Grant Anderson dropping to the bench.

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Last weekend, the visitors had started the quicker but it was the hosts who took the game to their Kirkcaldy opposition.

Decent early pressure paid off with just nine minutes on the clock when Graeme Smith dropped a cross under pressure from Stephen Okoh and David McKay.

Beith continued his fine goalscoring by stretching out a boot and poking the loose ball into the empty net from 12 yards.

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It was a goal which woke the visitors, who had barely been out of their own half in the opening ten minutes.

Barry Smith's men enjoyed plenty of possession but the defensive back four of Jamie Hamill, Scott Robertson, Morgyn Neill and Chris McGowan stood firm.

On the rare occasion they were cut open, like ten minutes before the break, it was Cameron Belford to the rescue.

Lewis Vaughan's clever flick had sent Liam Buchanan clean through but the striker's effort was palmed to safety by the home goalkeeper.

In fact, Stranraer could have doubled their lead just before the break.

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Paul Woods was putting in an impressive showing on the left and delivered a delicate through ball to Okoh.

The striker's shot was powerful but, like Buchanan found, it was the goalkeeper who emerged victorious in that particular battle.

After the break and it was more of the same, with Raith perhaps edging things in terms of possession but failing to truly create clear cut chances.

Kyle Turner, another who was impressing in the Stranraer midfield, did well to find space on the edge of the box after Hamill's free kick.

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However, on this occasion his shot was tame and easily dealt with by Smith.

Thomson was the next to be denied as he saw his header cleared off the line after hitting the woodwork, and the midfielder was then desperately unlucky for a second time when Smith blocked his shot after Turner's corner.

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Time was fasting ticking away and Raith continued to throw more men forward in a bid to get something from the game.

As had been the story of the game though, the home defence held firm to wrap up a first league win over their opponents since April 2003, when Kevin Finlayson scored the only goal.

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It would be unfair to pick out a single Stranraer player more worthy of praise than others as it was a superb battling team performance which saw the three points remain at Stair Park.

Stranraer: Belford, Robertson, Neill, Woods (Agnew 90), Okoh (Anderson 67), Dykes (Lyon 84), McGowan, Turner, Beith, Hamill, R Thomson.
Not used: Gray, Elliott, Holland and McLaren.

Raith Rovers: Smith, J Thomson, Murray, Spence, Robertson (Court 70), Buchanan (Furtado 57), Vaughan, Barr, Matthews, Davidson, McKay.
Not used: Herron, Osei-Opoku, Hendry, Watson and Lennox.

Referee: Scott Millar
Attendance: 449
HT: 1-0

Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish

SPFL 3L1 6474

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


Fixtures

2018/19 Squad

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

3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andrew 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)

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