MONTROSE took away another valuable three points from Saturday’s home fixture against Stranraer.
Three goals from the Gable Endies were enough to secure the win after the fourth placed visitors responded with two in the second half.
Manager Ray Farningham made two changes to his starting line-up by bringing in Chris Hegarty and Hugh Davidson to replace Alan Campbell and Gordon Pope who both started against Berwick the previous weekend.
A crowd of 316 turned out to Links Park on a gloriously sunny day to watch the Gable Endies move six points clear of ninth place East Stirlingshire.
Montrose started the more confident of the two sides and they looked keen to carry on the good form they have picked up in recent weeks.
Aaron Sinclair forced Stranraer ‘keeper David Mitchell into making a save within the first two minutes of the game and from there Montrose kept up the pressure.
Two minutes later Gallagher tried his luck at the home goal, but Sean Crighton cleared the effort away easily.
In the 11th minute Montrose took the lead in strange circumstances. Ross McCord had sent the ball into the net but referee John Beaton called play back because of a foul on Hugh Davidson. Youngster Daryl NICOL took the subsequent penalty and slotted the ball away with ease bringing the score to 1-0.
Play resumed with Montrose in a positive mindset and the confidence paid off just two minutes after the first goal when Douglas CAMERON gave Montrose a two-goal lead in the 13th minute.
The Gable Endies continued the first half as the stronger side by far but another Ross McCord attempt was saved by Mitchell just after 20 minutes.
Stranraer had a couple of attempts to pull back a goal but ‘keeper Gonzalez made numerous excellent saves.
Mitchell saved good attempts by both Sinclair and Nicol just before the half-hour mark.
Stranraer were first to make a substitution in the game when they replaced an ineffective Armand One with Stuart McColm in the 40th minute.
The away side made another attempt to score three minutes later, but Gonzalez easily caught the Ryan Kennedy effort.
Half-time: Montrose 2, Stranraer 0.
Neither side came out looking positive in the second half and Montrose’s performance was lacking the same energy as the first.
It was Stranraer who looked the most dangerous but a Scott Agnew left-footed volley went over the bar.
In the 53rd minute, Stranraer took away Montrose’s two-goal advantage when substitute McColm sent the ball trickling over the line from six yards.
Two minutes later McColm tried again but Gonzalez punched the ball away to safety.
Agnew threatened again but his left-footed effort was also cleared away.
In the 61st minute Cameron, who had a less successful second half than his first, was booked for unsporting behaviour.
Two minutes later the home side regained their two-goal lead with another excellent goal by NICOL.
Aaron Sinclair, who looked to be back on the form he had earlier this season, almost found the net but was again denied by Mitchell.
Stranraer picked up their first booking in the 69th minute when Steven Noble was shown the yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
Two minutes later Farningham replaced goalscorer Nicol with new signing Sean Pierce.
Stranraer again denied Montrose of a two-goal lead when Gallagher headed the ball into the Montrose net from the penalty area.
Gonzalez ensured Montrose stayed in the lead, however, when he made a fantastic effort to stop another Agnew attempt.
With 10 minutes left to go, Sinclair picked up a booking for unsporting behaviour swiftly followed by Kennedy of Stranraer.
In the 86th minute Stranraer made a final substitution by replacing Steven Noble with Daniel Mitchell.
Montrose are now looking ahead to this Saturday’s derby fixture away against Arbroath.
Montrose: Ramiro Gonzalez, Chris Hegarty, Aaron Sinclair, Sean Crighton, Johnathan Crawford, Douglas Cameron, Terry Masson, Hugh Davidson, Ross McCord, Daryl Nicol (71), Conor Thomson. Subs : Nicky Smith, Sean Pierce (71), Fraser Milligan, Simon Murray and Sandy Wood.
Stranraer: David Mitchell, Kevin Nicoll, Anton Kurakins, Ryan Kennedy, Declan Gallagher, Scott Agnew, Armand One (41), Paul Murphy, Craig Malcolm, Sean Winter, Steven Noble (86). Subs: Stuart McColm (41) , Danny Mitchell (86), Lee Sharp, Angus Cochrane and Ryan Marshall.