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  • Post published:29 December 2023

Six weeks is a long time in football and Ben Armour is hoping he is firmly on the home straight to getting back playing.

The frontman will be watching from the stands once again tomorrow (Saturday) when his former club Dumbarton visit Stair Park.

However, Armour, who scored Stranraer’s goal in the 3-1 defeat to the Sons earlier in the season, is hoping to put a frustrating time behind him in the near future.

A horrible injury in the opening quarter of an hour against Stenhousemuir in the middle of November left him on crutches.

Two torn ligaments, two fractures and a serious case of bone bruising on his right ankle has kept him on the sidelines but this weekend marks another milestone in the comeback trail.

He said: “I think my six weeks are up on Saturday.

“That will be six weeks since I’ve done it which means I am clear of the fracture.

“That means I can crack on with no reaction.

Armour was injured against Stenhousemuir

“I am going to be honest and say I am hoping I am going to be back against Peterhead at home (January 13) or the week after that.

“I would like to be involved against Peterhead at home but that is everything going absolutely perfectly.

“If not, it will probably be the week after.”

Armour knew immediately that it was a serious injury but quickly tried to push negative thoughts aside and plot his comeback.

He said: “I would probably say I’m not one of the softer ones on the pitch.

“I will try to play through things as much as I can.

“I’ve played through things plenty of times in my career but I knew straight away, as soon as I had done it, that it was not good.

“As I say, I have been through them before and I know how to deal with it.

“There is nothing you can do once it has happened.

“I know it is a shock to the system and I was obviously heartbroken but it is just a case of picking your head up and trying to get yourself going again.

The forward was a regular prior to his injury

“That was all I was thinking about – even when I was sitting at the hospital with my dad, Andy.”

Surgery had looked a potential option for Armour, who had notched up his third goal of the season just days before injury struck.

Fortunately, he has been able to rehab without going under the knife but he admitted the injury had been a stressful time.

Armour is not the only player hoping to return from injury over the coming weeks.

Fellow striker Tom Orr returned last week during the second half against The Spartans.

Meanwhile, Sean McIntosh and Grant Gallagher are also hoping to get back involved.

The 25-year-old felt the injuries had hampered the team but was hopeful players returning, along with the addition of Chris Johnston and potentially others, would strengthen the club’s bid for a play-off push.

He said: “It is just a case of getting that consistency back.

“You’ve got Chris Johnston coming in as well and he has played in a lot of games.

“You have got myself, Grant and Sean filtering back into it and hopefully it will give the boys a lift.

“It will probably be like new signings in a way because there are obviously four or five of us coming back.”

Last meeting

Ben Armour scored against Dumbarton in September

Former Dumbarton man Ben Armour opened the scoring in the first meeting between the two sides this season.

Scott Robertson’s low cross was missed at the near post by Craig Ross but Armour did not pass up the opportunity just a few yards behind his team-mate.

The leveller came four minutes later in controversial circumstances. It looked as if Ryan Wallace was offside when he played the ball across goal to Tony Wallace, who was denied by Lewis Budinauckas. The rebound fell back to Wallace who fired home. Before half time, the goalkeeper failed to hold on to a cross and Ryan Wallace scored.

The decisive goal came 11 minutes after the restart when the ball was cut back to Michael Ruth to sweep home.

Dumbarton: Long, Durnan, Pignatiello, Shiels, Crighton, Malcolm, Orsi, Wilson (Blair 80), T Wallace, R Wallace (Hilton 75), Ruth.
Not used: Lynas, Vata, Byrne, MacLean and Broun.

Stranraer: Budinauckas, Robertson, Williamson, Ross, McIntosh, Walker (Sneddon 56), Dolan, Forrest, Fleming, Strachan (Orr 61), Armour (Lang 61).
Not used: McDonald.

Last five meetings

  • Dumbarton 3 Stranraer 1 (T Wallace, R Wallace and Ruth; Armour) at Dumbarton FC Stadium on September 30, 2023
  • Dumbarton 1 Stranraer 1 (Lynch; Own goal) at Dumbarton FC Stadium on May 6, 2023
  • Stranraer 0 Dumbarton 2 (MacLean and Buchanan) at Stair Park on March 4, 2023
  • Dumbarton 2 Stranraer 0 (Buchanan and Garrity) at Dumbarton FC Stadium on November 5, 2022
  • Stranraer 3 Dumbarton 2 (Hilton, Grant and Woods (Pen); McNiff and McKee (Pen)) at Stair Park on September 20, 2022

Last five games

The Blues were victorious in their last Stair Park contest


  • LOSS v The Spartans (A): 3-0
  • WIN v Bonnyrigg Rose (H): 3-1 (Own goal, Grant and Ross)
  • DRAW v Clyde (A): 2-2 (Ross and Dolan)
  • DRAW v Forfar Athletic (A): 1-1 (McDonald)
  • LOSS v Airdrieonians (H): 0-1


  • DRAW v Clyde (H): 4-4 (T Wallace (Pen), Own goal, R Wallace and Lynas)
  • WIN v Forfar Athletic (A): 2-4 (Hilton, Gray, Shiels and T Wallace)
  • LOSS v Stenhousemuir (H): 0-1
  • WIN v Annan Athletic (A): 4-5 (Own goal, R Wallace, Gray, Ruth and Hilton)
  • WIN v Elgin City (H): 1-0 (T Wallace (Pen))

Last time out

Tam Orr returned from injury against The Spartans


Lineup v The Spartans: Budinauckas, Robertson, Williamson, Girvan (Orr 46), Ross, Dolan, Hawkshaw, Forrest, Fleming, Grant, Lang (McDonald 76).
Not used: Walker, Strachan and Downie.


Lineup v Clyde: Broun, Lynas, Blair, Shiels, Crighton, Malcolm (Wilson 66), Orsi (MacLean 71), T Wallace (R Wallace 65), Gray, Hilton, Ruth (Byrne 89).
Not used: Durnan, Vata and Trialist.

Five facts

Gregory Tadé scored in three of the Blues’ four games against Dumbarton during the 2007/08 season

1. Stranraer have not won consecutive home games since the end of August/beginning of September when they defeated Clyde 1-0 (Olly McDonald) and Peterhead 2-1 (Tom Orr and Kyle Fleming).

2. Former Stranraer goalkeeping coach – and current Dumbarton goalkeeping coach – Eric Phillips is the birthday boy tomorrow (Saturday). The former Ayr United number one turns 54 and was almost called into action for the Blues in March 2018. He was named as a trialist when Stranraer defeated Forfar Athletic 2-0, thanks to goals from Scott Agnew and Ross Lyon.

3. Stranraer have not won a league game between Christmas and New Year since Hogmanay 2016. Willie Gibson’s strike at Hampden Park was enough to give the visitors a 1-0 win over a Queen’s Park side featuring future Blues in Adam Cummins, Sean Burns and Anton Brady. The visiting team was: Belford, Robertson, Dick, Barron, Bell, Agnew, Morena, Turner, Thomson (Watt 82), Gibson, Nuttall (Malcolm 67). Not used: Johnston, Sherry, Maley and Currie.

4. Stranraer have not had a goalless league game at Stair Park since February 2022 when there was a stalemate with Albion Rovers. Meanwhile, Dumbarton have not had a 0-0 away draw in the league since a trip to Forfar in October last year.

5. In the 2007/08 season, Stranraer took 12 points out of a possible 12 against Dumbarton and did not concede a goal. It was the last time either side recorded four wins out of four. Strikes from Michael Mullen and Gregory Tadé gave them a 2-0 win at Stair Park before Mark Stewart and Danny Mitchell scored in the reverse fixture before Christmas. Tadé and Ian Cashmore scored in a third 2-0 win before Tadé again found the net as Stranraer won the last of the four contests.


Admission at Stair Park is on a ‘pay at the gate’ basis, with pricing as follows:

  • Adult – £15
  • Concession – £10
  • 5 to 16 Years Old – £5
  • Under 5 – FREE

Stranraer FC merchandise is available, and the Pavilion Bar at the ground is open from 1pm for pre and post-match refreshments.

As always, you can follow our social media channels for live updates, interviews and highlights across the weekend.

Photos: Bill McCandlish