Arbroath manager Dick Campbell had no complaints after Stranraer condemned the Lichties to their fourth home defeat of the season at Gayfield on Saturday.
A cool piece of finishing from Ryan McCord had given the maroons a 15th-minute lead, but second-half strikes from Kyle Turner and Angus Beith earned the visitors victory.
Campbell said: “Stranraer deserved to win the game. You could see their delight at the final whistle.
“They took 10 minutes at every set-piece, but I would have done the same.
“All credit to them. They were better than us.
“I am disappointed, so it’s back to the drawing board.
The Lichties boss didn’t want to make any excuses, but pointed out that his squad has been stretched to the limit because of injuries.
He said: “We are without Steven Doris, Omar Kader and Josh Skelly. Colin Hamilton wasn’t able to play either, and Gavin Swankie has just come back from injury and only lasted 60 minutes.
“I also had to put on Danny Denholm, who isn’t fully fit,” he added.
Arbroath took the lead in the 15th minute when Bobby Linn cut in from the left and fired against Cameron Belford’s right-hand post. The ball rolled along the face of the goal and Ryan McCord was on hand to deftly back-heel it over the line.
The visitors then took control of the middle of the park. Despite dominating possession they couldn’t find a way past David Hutton before the interval.
That all changed eight minutes after the break when Turner rose to power a header beyond the keeper to level matters.
The home defence was struggling to cope with the free-running Stranraer forwards, and the inevitable second goal came 12 minutes from time when Beith, making his debut as an emergency loan signing from Hearts, shot home from 16 yards.