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Dumbarton preview

Please note: This fixture will have an early kickoff time of 2pm

Looking to the future has to be the priority for Stranraer after disappointment last weekend.

Tom Orr’s first half strike had the Blues on course for three points against Spartans at Stair Park.

However, Ayrton Sonkur returned to haunt his former club with a stoppage time double to ensure it was the visitors travelling home with the win and the points.

Attention now switches to a trip to Dumbarton on Saturday, and Cammy Williamson is keen to get back to winning ways after the stunning loss.

He said: “Once the game is done, it is done and you are not going to change it.

“I think, as a collective, the group, we believe in ourselves, the manager believes in us and the staff believe in us.

“We have just got to look ourselves in the mirror and believe we are good enough.

“We take what we have worked on for the last six or seven months and trust it.

“We go into (the match) with no reason other than to win the game.

Williamson has seen his game time limited in recent weeks

“We should not be looking to play for draws, hanging onto games, we should be looking to win games.

“Dumbarton is a good chance.

“They are a team up the table where we want to be.

“If we can go and take points off of them, then we can maybe start to forget about looking behind us and look at where we want to be.”

Williamson spoke to the club website just minutes after the full-time whistle.

He said “everybody is hurting” after Sonkur’s stoppage time double denied the Blues back-to-back home wins.

The 20-year-old said: “Getting beat any week, it does not matter when it is, it is hard.

“But the circumstances there, every single person to a man has knocked their pan in.

“We played the conditions, probably, quite well.

“I think we lose the first one and we probably should take our foot off the gas and maybe, not accept the draw, but be a bit more mature about it.

A resolute defensive display was undone by two late Spartans goals

“It is a young dressing room, I get it.

“I think we need to accept a point is better than not taking a point.”

Williamson’s substitute appearance last weekend was his first in a Stranraer shirt since the defeat to Spartans two days before Christmas last year.

The full back was happy to be back and vowed to keep doing everything he could to force his way back into the team.

He said: “I have kept myself fit and tried to do the best I can.

“I have always been available.

“Personally, it has been quite frustrating – that was my first minutes since the last time we played against Spartans.

“I have kept myself fit, trained to the best I can and I have not given the gaffer any excuses to turn his nose up at me.

“That’s all I can do on my side and when I get the opportunity then hopefully I will take it and give him another headache.”

Last meeting

Ben Armour got the Blues off to a perfect start, but the hosts fought back to win

Ben Armour opened the scoring against his former club, who came back to take the win at the end of September.

The striker was lurking at the back post to tap in a low cross from Scott Robertson in the first half.

The lead would not last until the break though. Goalkeeper Lewis Budinauckas had already pulled off a good save but Tony Wallace was on hand to fire the ball home.

The shotstopper could then only palm out a Matty Shiels cross and Ryan Wallace had the simple task of making it 2-1.

Three points were wrapped up when David Wilson cut the ball back for Michael Ruth after the break.

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, Williamson, Ross, McIntosh, Robertson, 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 Football Club Stadium on September 30, 2023
  • Dumbarton 1 Stranraer 1 (Own goal; Lynch) at Dumbarton Football Club 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 Football Club Stadium on November 5, 2023
  • Stranraer 3 Dumbarton 2 (Hilton, Grant and Woods (Pen); McNiff and McKee (Pen)) at Stair Park on September 20, 2022

Last five games

Tam Orr struck first for Stranraer against The Spartans

Stranraer

  • LOSS v Spartans (H): 1-2 (Orr)
  • WIN v Clyde (H): 2-0 (Fleming and Ecrepont)
  • DRAW v Bonnyrigg Rose (A): 0-0
  • LOSS v East Fife (H): 0-1
  • LOSS v Stenhousemuir (A): 1-0

Dumbarton

  • LOSS v Clyde (A): 2-0
  • DRAW v Spartans (H): 0-0
  • DRAW v Forfar Athletic (H): 2-2 (Ruth and Kelly)
  • LOSS v Stenhousemuir (A): 1-0
  • WIN v Elgin City (A): 0-1 (T Wallace)

Last time out

Scott Agnew named an unchanged starting lineup for the visit of Spartans

Stranraer

Lineup v Spartans: Budinauckas, Girvan, Ross, McQueen, Ecrepont, Robertson, Dolan, Forrest, Fleming (Armour 84), Grant (Williamson 81), Orr (Lang 58).
Not used: Johnston, Gilmartin and Downie.

Dumbarton

Lineup v Clyde: Hogarth, Pignatiello, Newbury, Crighton, Lennon, Malcolm (Blair 46), Orsi, Wilson (Kelly 68), Healy (T Wallace 68), Hilton (Gray 46), Ruth.
Not used: Lynas, Vata and O’Neil.

Five facts

Happy birthday to former Blues skipper Steven Bell

1. Dumbarton and Stranraer have never fought out a goalless draw at The Dumbarton Football Club Stadium.

2. Tom Orr’s strike against Spartans last weekend took him to 17 for the club. That leaves him one behind Scott Robertson as the top scorer in the current squad.

3. Former Stranraer captain Steven Bell celebrates his 39th birthday tomorrow (Saturday). Central midfield or central defence, Bell made a real impact during his five years at Stair Park. He overcame a career threatening injury to make 159 appearances for the club. He also found the net on nine occasions.

4. Stranraer’s first win at Dumbarton’s new ground came in September 2004. Kevin Finlayson scored early in the first half before Eddie Annand scored early in the second half. The game turned on future Stranraer man James McKinstry being sent off and Graham Guy netting the penalty. David Graham made sure with a goal five minutes from time. The visiting team was: McCondichie, Wingate, Wright, Fraser (Gaughan 87), Guy, Henderson, Sharp, Jenkins, Aitken (McPhee 68), Finlayson, Graham. Not used: McCutcheon, Turnbull and McAuley.

5. Dumbarton’s Mark Durnan, Carlo Pignatiello, David Wilson, James Hilton and Tony Wallace all played for Stranraer previously. On top of that, manager Stevie Farrell and assistant manager Frank McKeown also pulled on a Stranraer shirt while goalkeeping coach Eric Phillips was an unused substitute after appearing as a trialist. Between them, they made more than 370 appearances for Stranraer – just a handful more than Scott Robertson.

Coverage

Supporters can now access more coverage and content than ever via our Club 1870 subscription service

If you can’t make it to the Rock, you can follow live matchday updates on X (formerly Twitter) throughout the afternoon.

The manager’s interview will be available on YouTube during the evening, and Club 1870 subscribers can watch the goals and an exclusive player interview before midnight.

Extended highlights will follow on Sunday morning, with full match footage available via Club 1870 on Sunday afternoon.

Photos: Bill McCandlish