Stranraer 1 - 1 Forfar: Loons in play-off final

Dick Campbell's side will meet Alloa in the final. Picture: SNS
Dick Campbell's side will meet Alloa in the final. Picture: SNS
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Delighted Forfar boss Dick Campbell praised his own team but also Stranraer for being a credit to the league and part-time teams.

Campbell, pictured, said: “I would never get carried away and tread on Stranraer’s suffering even although this is a great day for us.

“Both Forfar and Stranraer have been a credit to League One and deserve all the compliments going.

“For 36 games both sides went at it tooth and nail for the title and did better than bigger clubs like Dunfermline, Airdrie and Ayr.

“Like us, Stranraer have been magnificent over so many games and Stephen Aitken and his players can be proud of themselves.

“We were playing well but gave away a stupid penalty to Willie Gibson, who is the most exciting player in this league. At half-time I decided we would go for them as I have been in football a long time and I did not come this far to defend.”

Despite the aggregate defeat Stranraer boss Stephen Aitken praised his players for their good season: “We were so close to winning the title but we have ran out of steam.

“We left ourselves with a mountain to climb after the first leg but at half-time I thought the comeback was on.

“Forfar killed us off with their goal, but I am proud of the players for their efforts over what has been a good season.”

Stranraer, with a three-goal deficit to claw back from the first leg, were first to threaten with Willie Gibson curling a 22-yard free-kick over.

In the eighth minute, Chris Aitken sent the ball across the six-yard box with Jon McShane just out of reach.

On 28 minutes, David Mitchell kept his side in the tie by tipping over the bar from a Darren Dods shot on the turn.

Sean Winter got to the Forfar byeline and sent over a menacing cross, which Michael Dunlop diverted just wide of his own goal.

Gibson went on a run on before being tripped by Michael Travis inside the box, and Aitken sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot.

It was the lifeline Stranraer needed, and it lifted their Stair Park support, who gave them an ovation at the break.

On 53 minutes, Winter tripped Omar Kader and Gavin Swankie sent the penalty into the bottom corner to make it 4-1 on aggregate.

The Blues kept attacking, however they were nearly caught on the break a few times by Forfar.

Rab Douglas made a couple of great saves to thwart any hopes of a late Blues comeback.

He dived bravely at Gibson’s feet on 79 minutes, then, with eight minutes left, he brilliantly clawed out a shot from Daniel Stoney.