THE WAIT for a win continues for Stranraer after a late suckerpunch at Links Park.
James Hilton had levelled the scoring after a first half Sean Dillon goal, but defender Cammy Ballantyne slotted in the winner minutes from time to end the Blues' run of three games without defeat.
Stevie Farrell made no changes from the previous week's lineup, with captain Jamie Hamill still absent due to a hamstring injury.
The hosts had the ball in the net after only three minutes, but the linesman ruled out Graham Webster's headed goal for offside.
Hilton whipped a shot over for Stranraer but it was largely Montrose who had the better of the first half, with Paul Watson flashing a header wide from a corner.
Veteran defender Dillon then reacted quickest to belt home a loose ball at the back post to give the Angus side the lead on 17 minutes.
Stranraer almost responded five minutes later as Ryan Thomson latched onto a well-timed pass from Andy Stirling, but the midfielder couldn't find the target.
And Montrose could have doubled their lead through Webster's swerving strike, if not for a top-drawer tip over from Blues keeper Max Currie.
With chances at a premium in the first half, Stranraer came out from the dressing room with purpose and looked sharper in the second.
Again it was Thomson who came closest for the Wigtownshire men in the early going.
The midfielder hooked an excellent shot at goal which looked bound for the top corner, only to look on agonisingly as Montrose goalkeeper Aaron Lennox managed to somehow touch it over at full stretch.
The equaliser would eventually arrive for Stranraer via the boot of their top goalscorer.
Scott Robertson rose highest to meet a Jordan Allan corner, with Hilton on hand to sweep home on the rebound.
However it would be Montrose who inflicted the knockout blow.
Currie had earlier denied Ballantyne after a strong run through the heart of the Blues defence, but he could do nothing to stop the full back's low strike in the 84th minute after indecision at the back for Stranraer.
The result means the Blues remain bottom of the league, with a home match up next against Clyde on Saturday 2 November.
Stranraer: Currie, Robertson, Hamilton, Cummins, J Allan (Dangana 87), McManus, Thomson (Jones 69), Pignatiello, Hilton, Stirling, Elliott (Stewart 69).
Not used: Murphy, I Smith, D Smith, Burgess.
Montrose: Lennox, C Ballantyne, M Allan, Dillon, Steeves, Webster, Watson, Callaghan (Masson 83), CF Ballantyne (Niang 61), MacBeath, Lyons (Struthers 71).
Not used: Fleming, Waddell, Johnston, Campbell.
Referee: John McKendrick
Photos: Stranraer FC