Stranraer went goal crazy last weekend, running in six goals without reply.
The amazing score was only the third time the Blues had scored six or more away from home since joining the league in 1955 and the first since a cup victory against Threave Rovers at Castle Douglas in 1987.
It could have been so different, however. Montrose enjoyed the better of the exchanges in the opening half-hour and had a penalty awarded after only seven minutes. An innocuous challenge by David Mitchell on Martin Boyle seemed to have been at the expense of a corner but the spot kick resulted. Jonathan Crawford should be embarrassed by his effort as he hit it well wide of the target. Montrose looked more dangerous, particularly from set pieces with Sean Crighton guilty of failing to trouble Mitchell from great positions.
Stranraer finally served notice of their intentions when Craig Malcolm flicked a David MacGregor ball into the path of Stuart McColm but the big striker struck the outside the post. Then Stranraer punished the home team ruthlessly with a double blow as half-time approached, and it was McColm who did the damage on both occasions. He nipped the ball away from Alan Campbell, drove into the penalty area from the right, set himself and lifted the ball over keeper Michael Andrews. Minutes later, Mark Durnan played the ball through and, when Jonathan Smart delayed, McColm robbed him and powered through on goal to finish clinically.
After half-time, Stranraer ruthlessly despatched their opponents. Chris Aitken finished off great work on the left by Malcolm to smash the third goal home. On the hour came the end of a dreadful day for Smart as the central defender was ordered off after a high challenge on Danny Mitchell. Michael Moore replaced McColm and it took him only 12 minutes to open his account for the season by bundling the ball in from close range. For his all-round performance, Malcolm deserved a goal and five minutes later it arrived when he split the defence courtesy of a lovely one-two with Aitken and slotted past the helpless Andrews.
Eventually, Stranraer experienced the joy of six with 11 minutes to go when a Shepherd corner was turned past Andrews by Mark Durnan for his first senior goal.
Keith Knox was delighted with such an emphatic win but exercised caution as the opening exchanges could have gone either way. However, Stranraer had shown them how it was done with clinical finishing and turned in an excellent performance in all areas.
This weekend sees a break in the action for the international fixtures before things resume next weekend when top of the table Annan Athletic bring their 100% record to Stair Park for what is sure to be another entertaining tussle between local rivals.
Stranraer: David Mitchell, John Kane, David MacGregor (Steven Noble 45), Mark Durnan, Frank McKeown, Chris Aitken, Grant Gallagher (Sean Winter 67), Danny Mitchell, Craig Malcolm, Stuart McColm (Michael Moore 57), Nathan Shepherd. Subs not used: Paul Murphy, Ryan Marshall.
Booked: Gallagher, Danny Mitchell.
Goals: McColm 38, 42, Aitken 47, Moore 69, Malcolm 74, Durnan 79.