Boss Brown Ferguson’s game plan was to soak up the Blues’ pressure and counter attack. What the Warriors got was pressure from the home side that they soaked to a point, but they couldn’t create enough to inflict a significant blow on Stranraer.
An early blow for Stenhousemuir was the loss of Fraser Kerr to injury after just 19 minutes and Colin McCabe having to be alert to head away a Ross Meechan back pass that could have caused him some trouble otherwise.
The Blues pressure finally paid off in the 37th minute when Gibson earned and then delivered a corner which was flicked on at the front post for Steven Bell to turn home and put the home side deservedly in front.
Right on the stroke of the interval the Warriors were level. McMenamin moved forward, picking up a loose pass from David Barron and eventually rolling into the path of Alistair Roy who beat the offside trap and slotted calmly past Cameron Belford.
Within seconds of the restart, Stranraer had forced McCabe into a good save from a driven McGuigan cross and had a couple of corners to follow but the Warriors cleared their lines eventually.
The Blues continued to press and Joe Nuttall headed over from a free kick but finally the hosts’ pressure paid off. Great work by Nuttall on the right got the ball to Ryan Thomson and he controlled the ball before deftly beating McCabe from close range. The Warriors tried to respond and earned a free kick but Cook wasted it by blasting it into the wall. As the Warriors piled forward Cook was unlucky to drag his volley from a dropping ball just wide of the target.
It was Stranraer who struck next when Joe Nuttall ran on to Frank McKeown’s ball out of defence and calmly rolled the ball under the advancing McCabe to double their advantage.
Stenhousemuir tried to respond and when Jamie McCormack found trialist Carlos Mazana in the box he did everything right only to be denied by a superb one handed save by Belford.
Warriors boss Brown Ferguson reflected on a game “which ended disappointingly but had given some positives. The game plan had been to soak up pressure and produce a cutting edge on the counter when possession was gained and the first half had seen that plan well executed and the defence had defended really well and limited the chances created against.”
However it wasn’t maintained and “unfortunately we conceded two poor goals in the second half which has proved pivotal as we didn’t create enough throughout but can look forward to a tough match in the cup next week and another chance to build some confidence and form.”
Brian Reid was understandably delighted with the hosts performance and felt that Stranraer were worthy winners.