Stranraer 2-2 Dunfermline: The Blues battled back

Jim Jefferies's side let a two goal lead slip away. Picture: Robert Perry
Jim Jefferies's side let a two goal lead slip away. Picture: Robert Perry
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STRANRAER produced a stirring fightback to salvage a replay after a thrilling Scottish Cup-tie.

Dunfermline looked to be heading into the next round after securing a two-goal cushion through Andy Geggan and Gregor Buchanan.

But Willie Gibson threw the hosts a late lifeline and Geggan’s own-goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time meant it finished all square.

The Blues made a bright start and it looked as if this would be a rocky ride for the visitors. In the second minute, Frank McKeown, from Gibson’s cross, rose above the Dunfermline defence, but headed over.

The visitors’ goalkeeper, Ryan Scully, then made a fine save to push away Steven Bell’s diving header from Sean Winter’s corner.

As the Stair Park men continued to enjoy the bulk of the pressure, Gibson, the former Queen of the South attacker, curled a 20-yard shot just over the crossbar.

Dunfermline then woke up to the challenge and moved up a couple of gears, Ross Millen signalling intent with a 22-yard free-kick that dipped narrowly over goalkeeper David Mitchell’s bar.

The opening goal was cheaply conceded by Stranraer, Geggan out-jumping Mitchell to glance a Lewis Martin free-kick over the stranded goalkeeper.

Stranraer seemed visibly stung by the goal. Another free-kick from Millen led to a goalmouth scramble, while Stair Park defender McKeown did a great job to put the lively Ryan Thomson off on 32 minutes, his shot going wide.

After the break, the Blues brought striker Jamie Longworth on from the substitute’s bench, and the play opened up.

Stranraer pushed for the equaliser, with Gibson nearly catching out Scully with a near-post shot, but the hosts ruined their good work by again letting themselves down at a set-piece when Buchanan headed home from Millen’s delivery.

It looked all over for Stranraer until Gibson, who has always been capable of something out of the ordinary, produced just that on 80 minutes to set up a grandstand finish.

He caught out Scully with a 30-yard screamer which suddenly put the visitors under pressure.

It all proved too much the Dunfermline manager, Jim Jefferies, who was sent to the stand for talking out of turn, and his worst fears were realised at the death when Geggan, under pressure from Craig Malcolm, headed a Chris Aitken corner into his own net