It was an assured performance by Raith Rovers as they continued their unbeaten start to League One with a home win over Stranraer.
Greig Spence missed an early one-on-one opportunity before Belford dropped a Jason Thomson cross, which he needed to gather on the line.
Kyle Turner forced Aaron Lennox into a save while Thomson flashed a header wide from a corner at the other end.
The opener came when Lewis Vaughan slid a through ball into the box. As the home side protested for a penalty, Vaughan got onto the end of his own pass to coolly fire past Belford to open the scoring.
A long ball caught out the Stranraer defence and as Vaughan chased down, Belford raced from his goal; Vaughan got there first and his prod into the penalty area reached Greig Spence who slotted into the empty net to double Raith’s lead.
The promotion-hopeful’s sealed victory by adding a third just a few minutes later when another long ball allowed Bobby Barr to run free. The winger squared the ball across the box for Vaughan to tap home for his second of the afternoon.
Bobby Barr had two opportunities to add to the Kirkcaldy sides lead but Belford saved well both times – one from a rasping drive from outside the area while the other was another one-on-one chance.
Despite not giving up, Stranraer were unable to find the back of the net; Kyle Turner had a lofted effort expertly cleared off the line while Scott Agnew chipped over Lennox but couldn’t hit the target despite Ryan Wallace’s through ball slicing open the Rovers defence.
FULL TIME: Raith Rovers 3-0 Stranraer
Speaking to the media after the match, Raith manager Barry Smith said: “Stranraer were good opposition today; we scored a good goal in the first half and then people get frustrated because we keep passing and moving the ball but that is how the second goal comes about, us waiting and looking for that opportunity and that will happen during the season, we will need to be patient at times.”
While Stranraer boss Stevie Farrell, was left frustrated: “It was a game of two halves, for us. I thought first half we were the better side and arguably were unlucky to be behind at half-time. We came out in the second half and the two goals we gave away were so cheap. I am not sure it is a three-nil game but well done to Raith, they took their chances and deserved to win the game.”