DSC 0023Scorers: Andreu (68)

TONY Andreu's header midway through the second half was enough to ensure Dundee United squeezed past Stranraer.

The Blues were defeated but far from disgraced against their full-time Championship opposition.

Brian Reid resisted the urge to change the team, with Giuliano Morena and Liam Dick shaking off knocks, while Ryan Thomson was fit enough for a place on the bench.

Meanwhile, Ray McKinnon had the luxury of being able to make four changes and still name a full bench.

After no chances in the first 15 minutes, the game came to life, with United's top scorer Simon Murray coming close.

The home defence switched off for a split second and Murray found himself with just Cameron Belford to beat. The goalkeeper was equal to the low shot though and palmed the ball to safety.

There was nothing Belford could do moments later as the visitors came within a whisker of opening the scoring. Andreu's free-kick from 25 yards cracked the post with the goalkeeper well beaten before bouncing to safety.

However, the Blues came back into the tie and it took a great stop from Luis Zwick to deny Willie Gibson. The Stranraer winger looked in the mood and skipped by two defenders before curling a shot towards goal, which Zwick did well to turn behind for a corner.

The second half was a more drab affair, with United increasingly finding room down the left wing.DSC 0016

It was no surprise that the only goal of the game came down that flank and Andreu was in the right place to nod home Paul Dixon's cross.

Reid's men pushed for a leveller with Christian Nadé and Frank McKeown thrown up front in the closing stages. It was Nade who had the Blues' best chance but he blazed an injury time volley over the bar from a tight angle.

Stranraer: Belford, Robertson, Dick, Barron, Bell, Morena (R Thomson 81), Turner (McKeown 87), C Thomson (Nade 69), Gibson, Malcolm, McGuigan.
Not used: Agnew and Currie.

Dundee United: Zwick, Dillon, Dixon, Durnan, Spittal, Murray, Fraser, Telfer, Edjenguele, C Smith (Coote 80), Andreu.
Not used: Donaldson, Van der Struijk, Robson, B Smith, M Smith and Long.

Referee: Greg Aitken
Attendance: 629
HT: 0-0

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Raith Rovers 35 74
2 Ayr United 34 73
3 Arbroath 35 59
4 Alloa Athletic 34 56
5 Stranraer 35 50
6 East Fife 35 42
7 Airdrieonians 35 41
8 Forfar Athletic 35
9 Albion Rovers 35 30
10 Queen's Park 35 28

Updated 21/4/18 at 5pm