A Stair defeat to take for Fifers ...

Misfire: East Fife striker Paul McManus (pictured in a previous game) had little opportunity to add to his tally against Stranraer.
Misfire: East Fife striker Paul McManus (pictured in a previous game) had little opportunity to add to his tally against Stranraer.

ALTHOUGH it was their first defeat in five games, this was a bad one to lose for East Fife, against a team below them in the league.

And it means that since thrashing Stranraer at Stair Park earlier in the season, the Fifers have lost the last two games between the sides.

Although still sitting in sixth spot in the table, the Fifers are now only four points ahead of their second bottom opponents, with a game more played.

The visitors just never got going, despite having what looked like a much stronger squad available, and when they did manage to get back into the game early in the second half, the home side soon snuffed that out and it was more or less game over.

Paul Willis, Collin Samuel and new signing Dale Keenan were in the starting line up with Sean Jamieson, Scott McBride and Robert Sloan back on the bench.

It was Stranraer who pushed on from the kick off and the visitors showed very little as an attacking force.

The home side took the lead after nine minutes when new signing Darren Gribben was allowed far too much space inside the box to collect a Gallagher pass and slot past Antell.

Stranraer continued to push forward and shots from Winter and Aitken showed their intent to add to their lead.

East Fife on the other hand offered little. Willis tried to get things moving in the middle of the park but neither McManus or Samuel could hold on to the ball when it did get forward.

The second home goal came just before the half hour. A Kinnaird cross found former Arbroath player Gribben and he got his second, scrambling the ball home.

Soon after the goal the injured Craig Johnstone had to leave the field and was replaced by Robert Sloan.

The second half began with the home side looking to add to their tally but East Fife were handed an unlikely lifeline when Barr and Scott Durie set up Paul Willis and his shot from 20 yards somehow evaded Mitchell.

However, any thoughts of a comeback were extinguished soon after when Gribben turned provider, setting up Winter to restore his side’s two goal advantage.

The home side comfortably saw out the game to record their first win at home to East Fife since the play-offs in 2007.

Stranraer: Mitchell, Kinnaird, MacGregor, (Campbell), McKeown, Dunlop, Aitken, Winter (Love 85), Gallagher, Gribben (Moore 72), Malcolm, Morris. Subs not used: One, Caldwell.

East Fife: Antell, Durie, Johnstone (Sloan 30), McCormack, White (Muir 68), Campbell, Barr, Willis, Samuel (Jamieson 64), McManus, Keenan. Subs not used: McBride, M. Brown.

Referee: B. Colvin, Edinburgh.

Attendance: 254.