ANDY Geggan performed the role of Captain Courageous as Dunfermline stayed on course for promotion to the Championship.
Dunfermline Athletic 3-0 Stranraer after extra time, Dunfermline win 4-2 on aggregate
Scorers: Dunfermline Athletic - Geggan (59, 98), El Bakhtaoui (103)
Geggan spent the night in hospital after the first leg with a kidney problem but returned to lead his team in their hour of need and responded by scoring two of their goals to set up a play-off final with derby rivals Cowdenbeath.
The Pars skipper revealed: “In the first leg one of their players hit my kidney and I went to hospital with chest pains.
“I thought I would miss the second leg but I felt alright and I wanted to play through any pain barrier to get us through.
“Stranraer defended strongly, but we knew one goal would take it to extra time and the boys were tremendous.
“We missed a lot of chances in the first half but when we levelled the tie it gave us the impetus to go on.
“We face two of the biggest games of our lives against Cowdenbeath, as getting to the Championship with Rangers and Hearts there is massive.
“I do not know a lot about Cowdenbeath other than Kane Hemmings is very good but we are confident we can win promotion.” Dunfermline laid siege to the Blues’ goal from the start and Geggan came close when he smacked the bar with a 25-yard shot.
The all-action captain then saw a bullet header kept out by an unorthodox save by David Mitchell.
But Geggan was not to be denied and on 59 minutes he converted from six yards after Faissal El Bakhtaoui’s shot deflected off Scott Rumsby.
Dunfermline needed a spell of overtime to kill off stubborn Stranraer and Geggan put his side ahead in the tie when he thundered a header past Mitchell from Danny Grainger’s free-kick.
The Pars sealed victory when El Bakhtaoui pounced on a mix-up between Rumsby and Mitchell to shoot home.
Jim Jefferies, the contented Dunfermline manager, said: “That’s the best we have played this season as we passed the ball well and had them under pressure.
“We were in the fortunate position recently of being able to make several changes and bring young players in.
“The bigger picture is good as a year ago the future of Dunfermline was bleak and the club’s survival was under threat.
“If we can keep these boys, the club’s future looks good and a win like today is to repay the fans who helped the club survive.”
Stephen Aitken, the Stranraer manager, said: “I am proud of my players as we were tipped for relegation, yet we came close to promotion.
“Playing against a full-time team eventually told but it’s been a good season.”