Stranraer take significant lead over Livingston in play-off semi-final
Stranraer took control of the Ladbrokes Championship play-off semi-final with a 5-2 win over Livingston at Stair Park in the first leg.
The Lions, who finished ninth in the Championship, have it all to do in the second leg on Saturday against a confident Blues team that finished fourth in League One.
Livingston had two early chances before taking a 10th-minute lead as the unmarked Jordan White finished from the centre of the area.
Yet the visitors were only ahead for four minutes as Mark McGuigan, an injury doubt before the match, levelled from a similar position.
Four minutes later the hosts took the lead, Andy Stirling letting fly with a powerful drive from 20 yards out that flew into the top-left of the goal.
Stranraer's Scott Robertson flashed a header over soon after but Brian Reid's side had to wait until the 40th minute for their third goal. Willie Gibson curled a 25-yard free-kick into the bottom right-hand corner.
Early in the second half Stranraer goalkeeper Cameron Belford palmed away Sam Stanton's effort before Craig Malcolm made a fine interception and played in McGuigan, who looked for support but had no choice but to shoot at Livi custodian Marc McCallum.
With so much at stake, tempers flared and referee Steven McLean spoke to Livi's Osman Kakay and Mark Fotheringham.
Liam Buchanan's 68th-minute header pulled a goal back for the Lions but two minutes later McGuigan restored Stranraer's two-goal advantage, again from the centre of the area.
With 10 minutes to go it was 5-2 when Gibson finished from a difficult angle on the right.
It could have been six had McCallum not made a fine double save late on.