Scorers: Dumbarton - Tierney (85), Stranraer - Hilton (88)

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STRANRAER closed out the year by edging closer to their league rivals with a hard earned point.

Ryan Tierney's 85th minute goal looked to have sealed all three points for Jim Duffy's men, but an even later equaliser from James Hilton meant the spoils were shared.

With both sides in the midst of an injury crisis and able to name only a few substitutes, Stevie Farrell handed a first team debut to Lewis McIntyre from the club's South of Scotland League team.

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McIntyre's team mates Reece Agnew and Lewis Dunn also turned out for their hometown club as the Blues finished with four local footballers on the park.

Although Stranraer largely controlled the first half they didn't have it all their own way, with Max Currie twice rising to the occasion early on.

The goalkeeper caught Ryan McGeever's powerful header, before later denying Ruaridh Langan and Conor Scullion in quick succession.

As has often been the case in previous weeks, the scoreline did not quite tell the full story in terms of the number of chances created.

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Cameron Elliott saw two efforts deflected wide, with Jordan Allan crashing a header off the crossbar just before the half hour mark.

Blues midfielder Connor McManus fired past the post after rushing onto Robert Jones' tidy layoff as the scores remained level at the break.

Dumbarton had a big chance to take the lead after the restart as Ryan Tierney squared for Stuart Carswell, but the Stranraer defence recovered to make the block.

Both teams would be limited to half chances until the closing stages.

But Dumbarton inflicted what looked like the knockout blow with just five minutes left, as Currie parried Joe McKee's effort from the edge of the box.

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The rebound fell kindly at the feet of striker Tierney, who pounced to fire the hosts in front against the run of the play.

Thankfully for Stranraer, there would be one final twist in the tale.

With his side staring defeat in the face, James Hilton met Allan's cross with a looping header which sailed over the helpless Conor Brennan and into the corner of the net.

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Having ended their barren spell, Stevie Farrell's men travel to Broadwood next weekend aiming to kick off the new year in style.

Stranraer: Currie, Pignatiello (Dunn 85), McIntyre, Cummins, Allan, Hilton, McManus, Stirling, Elliott, Jones, Dangana (Agnew 76).
Not used: Burgess, Phillips.

Dumbarton: Brennan, Tumilty, McGeever, Neill, Quitongo, McKee, Hutton, Carswell, Langan (McCluskey 65), Scullion, Tierney.
Not used: Pettigrew.

Referee: Barry Cook
Attendance: 656
HT: 0-0

Photos: Bill McCandlish, Stranraer FC