TEN-MAN Stranraer remain on the hunt for their first win of 2019 after falling to defeat against Dumbarton.
The Blues came into the game buoyed by a point at league leaders Arbroath during the week.
Stevie Farrell made one change with Adam Cummins missing out through injury and PJ Crossan returning to the team.
There was also a place on the bench for new signing Alistair McCann, signed on loan from St Johnstone until the end of the season.
Slow starts have hindered Stranraer and it was the visitors who set the tempo.
Dumbarton had already tested Max Currie through Calum Gallagher and Bobby Barr before the impressive Dom Thomas came close.
The on-loan Kilmarnock man did well out on the right before cutting in and curling an effort just over Currie’s crossbar.
Currie was beaten just before the half hour mark, with the woodwork coming to Stranraer’s rescue.
Ross Forbes cut in and flighted a ball over the goalkeeper, only for it to come back off the crossbar and then post.
Fortune favoured Stranraer as the ball then bounced up and over the onrushing Gallagher.
Immediately, the hosts carved out their best chance of the first half.
The ball was worked to Joao Victoria on the edge of the box and he managed to find a pocket of space but could only drill the ball at Grant Adam.
Thomas again tested Currie before the half time interval but there was a sense that Stranraer were lucky to be going in at half time with the scores still blank.
Home fans surely thought their side would improve after the break but the pace of the game was being set by Jim Duffy’s men.
Thomas fired a warning shot over the bar before Currie did well to deny Barr.
Finally, on 56 minutes, the deadlock was broken and it was no surprise that it came from Dumbarton.
A swift counter attack saw the ball worked to Forbes on the edge of the box and he fired home a stunning shot from 20 yards.
It was a goal which finally sparked Stranraer into life.
Four minutes later and they should have been level with Crossan sliding the ball through to Turner.
The midfielder beat his man but then fired the shot wide of the goal.
Unfortunately, that was as good as it got, with Currie again doing well to keep out Thomas.
Things got even worse moments later when Andy McDonald was shown two yellow cards in three minutes.
Dumbarton now held the upper hand and it took another stunning Currie save to deny Gallagher before the visitors finally extended their lead.
Fittingly, Thomas found the net with a crisp 20-yard drive and it was well and truly over when the third goal finished three minutes later.
Forbes’ corner was met at the back post and nodded back across goal for the waiting Ross Perry to smash home from close range.
Stranraer: Currie, McDonald, Brownlie, Smith (Lamont 72), Hamill, McManus, Turner, Anderson, Victoria (Elliott 60), Cameron, Crossan (O’Keefe 60).
Not used: McCann and Avci.
Dumbarton: Adam, Ballantyne, Perry, Carswell, Hutton, Gallagher (Melingui 81), Forbes, Barr, Ferguson (Thomson 77), van Schaik, Thomas.
Not used: Paton, Armour and Brennan.
Referee: Grant Irvine
Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish