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Club captain Grant Gallagher is ready to give Stranraer a timely boost and return for the final quarter of the season.

Gallagher has not featured since the second league game of the season against East Fife.

Injury has kept the experienced midfielder on the sidelines since that day in August but he was jogging round the Stair Park pitch on Saturday before the goalless draw with Forfar Athletic.

Speaking to the club website after the full time whistle, he said: “I joined back in at training on Thursday.

“I came through the full session with no problems so I have stepped back up again today and, hopefully, maybe introduce me back into the squad on Tuesday night for the Dumbarton game.

“It has been quite a quick turnaround.

“That happens sometimes with injuries where you hit a wee corner and feel a bit better.

“It is positive.

“It was really good being back involved in training – I was burst afterwards, don’t get me wrong, because it has been a while.

The skipper has had to watch on from the stand for most of the season

“Obviously, tiredness was kicking in but it is just something that I will need to get back up to speed with and it will come.

“The manager texted me afterwards and said to me that it was good to see me back out there and I just enjoyed it.”

Saturday saw Gallagher watching the game from the sidelines along with the suspended Scott Robertson and injured Sean McIntosh and Dean Hawkshaw.

Thirty-three-year-old Gallagher felt the draw was probably a fair result and that attention now turned to tomorrow night’s visit from Dumbarton.

The play-off chasing Sons have enjoyed victories in both games away from Stair Park this campaign.

Gallagher was hoping Stranraer could take advantage of the game in hand and climb the table while pulling other teams back into the fight to avoid bottom spot.

The former Dumbarton man said: “It is us that has got the game in hand.

“It is not another team that has got the game in hand so it is up to us.

“The other teams will be sitting at home and looking at their phones and watching for the result.

“We can make the difference and on Tuesday night we have really got to turn up and put a good performance in.”

Last meeting

An early goal for Stranraer ultimately proved not enough as they went down 2-1 in Dumbarton.

Stranraer forced a corner early doors and Craig Ross nodded home Finn Ecrepont’s swirling delivery.

Unfortunately, the lead did not last long as a long ball was chested down for Michael Ruth to smash home.

Stranraer then failed to deal with a cross into the box and Tony Wallace’s deflected shot beat Lewis Budinauckas.

After the break, Matty Grant, Chris McQueen, Deryn Lang and Ben Armour all came close but Stranraer could not find an equaliser.

Dumbarton: Hogarth, Pignatiello, Newbury, Crighton, Lennon, Blair, Orsi (Lynas 83), Wilson (Malcolm 73), Wallace, Gray, Ruth.
Not used: Healy, Vata, Hilton, Kelly and O’Neil.

Stranraer: Budinauckas, Girvan, Ross, McQueen, Ecrepont, Dolan, Forrest, Fleming, Grant, Orr (Johnston 46), Lang (Armour 73).
Not used: Williamson and Downie.

Last five meetings

  • Dumbarton 2 Stranraer 1 (Ruth and T Wallace; Ross) at Dumbarton Football Club Stadium on February 24, 2024
  • Dumbarton 3 Stranraer 1 (T Wallace, R Wallace and Ruth; Armour) at Dumbarton Football Club Stadium on September 30, 2023
  • Dumbarton 1 Stranraer 1 (Lynch; Own goal) 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, 2022

Last five games

The Blues battled out a draw with Forfar at the weekend

Stranraer

  • DRAW v Forfar Athletic (H): 0-0
  • LOSS v Dumbarton (A): 2-1 (Ross)
  • LOSS v Spartans (H): 1-2 (Orr)
  • WIN v Clyde (H): 2-0 (Fleming and Ecrepont)
  • DRAW v Bonnyrigg Rose (A): 0-0

Dumbarton

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

Last time out

Ben Armour started for Stranraer on Saturday as he continues his recovery from injury

Stranraer v Forfar Athletic: Budinauckas, Girvan, Ross, McQueen, Ecrepont, Dolan, Forrest, Fleming, Johnston, Grant, Armour (Lang 68).
Not used: Williamson, Miller, Orr and Downie.

Dumbarton v Peterhead: Hogarth, Pignatiello, Newbury, Crighton, Lennon, Lynas, Blair, D Wilson (Healy 70), Wallace, Gray, Ruth (Graham 85).
Not used: Malcolm, Vata, Hilton, C Wilson, Kelly and O’Neil.

Five facts

Happy birthday to Blues defender Cammy Williamson

1. Jonny Ngandu’s goal at Cliftonhill was enough to give Stranraer victory the last time they looked for three points in a midweek league game. That was a vital win on the way to the club avoiding finishing bottom of League Two.

2. The last time Dumbarton failed to score in a league game at Stair Park was in October 2019. The home side that day was: Currie, Allan, Cummins, Pignatiello, Robertson, Hamilton, McManus, Hilton (Murphy 75), Thomson (I Smith 84), Stirling, Elliott (Dangana 77). Not used: D Smith, Stewart, Jones and Burgess.

3. One man who will be hoping to enjoy three points – and a slice of birthday cake – is Stranraer defender Cammy Williamson. The full-back made the switch from Annan Athletic in close season and has made 21 appearances. Fittingly, he will be turning 21.

4. Another who will be likely tucking into birthday cake is Andy Stirling, who played for both Stranraer and Dumbarton. He made 108 appearances for the Blues and found the net on 10 occasions. He also enjoyed a single spell with the Sons, where he made 16 appearances.

5. It was just two years ago that Stranraer last played on March 5. That saw a trip to Galabank and the ideal opening for the visitors as Dean Hawkshaw scored in the opening 60 seconds. Unfortunately, Tony Wallace – now with Dumbarton – Charlie Barnes, Michael Garrity and Cameron Clark scored to give Annan all three points.

Admission

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 5pm for home and away fans.

You can also support the club by picking up a 50/50 draw ticket along with your teamsheet at the turnstile.

Coverage

We are pleased to confirm that live video coverage will be available for Tuesday night’s fixture against Dumbarton at Stair Park (kickoff 7.45pm).

Coverage will feature commentary from Brian Martin and a special guest, plus broadcast graphics and instant replays.

The stream will be available to order from our social media channels on matchday, priced at £11.

Before paying for the stream, please follow our guide to ensure your internet connection is capable of streaming HD video.

Remember, you can also follow live updates on X (formerly Twitter) to keep up with the latest news throughout the evening.

Following the match, the manager’s interview will be available on YouTube, and Club 1870 subscribers can watch the goals and an exclusive post-match player interview. All will be published later than usual due to the evening kickoff.

Extended highlights will follow on Wednesday, with full match footage available via Club 1870 on Wednesday evening.

Photos: Bill McCandlish