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Loan signing Murray Miller insists there is no holding back as Stranraer enter the final three games of the season.

A goalless draw with Spartans at Ainslie Park last Saturday was enough to move the Blues off the bottom of the table at the expense of Clyde.

Now, Stranraer have the chance to strengthen their position with a home tie with play-off bound Dumbarton.

Miller, who joined the club from Stirling Albion, was hopeful home advantage could be key with two of the three remaining games at Stair Park.

He said: “There is no holding back now.

“You just need to win games.

“Before it was trying not to lose games but the mentality now is there is no holding back.

“It is trying to win games.

“It’s obviously better playing at home in front of your home crowds, even though we do travel well and there was a good crowd here today.

“It is what you are used to with your home pitch and it gives you an advantage, hopefully.”

Stranraer put in a promising showing last weekend, seeing plenty of the ball and creating more chances than their hosts, who are looking to join Dumbarton in securing a top-four finish.

Miller rose through the youth ranks at Rangers

Miller, who includes Motherwell and Rangers among his former clubs, felt his side could take confidence from the showing.

Speaking after the full time whistle in the capital, he said: “After the performance today, I think it gives everyone a lift and the confidence to see the next three games out and get some good results.”

The 22-year-old swapped Forthbank for Stair Park at the end of February.

However, he has had to be patient and wait to make his debut from the bench.

Finally, he got the remaining 13 minutes in place of Dean Hawkshaw in Edinburgh last weekend.

Miller, who was born in Australia, was keen to get more minutes under his belt as he attempts to help Stranraer get just their fourth win of 2024.

He said: “It is always frustrating sitting on the bench.

“Any footballer will say that because every footballer wants to play games.

“You could ask anyone and they would give the same answer.

“It has been frustrating but it was nice to get some minutes there.”

Last meeting

Stranraer’s biggest win of the season got off to a spectacular start when Ryan Blair deflected Kyle Fleming’s cross beyond his own goalkeeper with only a few minutes on the clock.

Dumbarton had chances to level the tie but found themselves two goals down when Matty Grant smashed through the legs of goalkeeper Jay Hogarth.

The third goal proved worth the entry price and saw Dylan Forrest collect the ball in the centre circle. He strode through unchallenged before sending Hogarth the wrong way from inside the box.

The fourth goal came before the break when Grant’s shot smashed off the bar and former Dumbarton man Ben Armour tapped home the rebound.

The Sons had chances after the break, with Michael Ruth coming close, but it was Stranraer who would score the only goal of the second half. Substitute Deryn Lang latched onto to a long header and finished well beyond Hogarth.

Stranraer: Budinauckas, Robertson (Gallagher 74), Girvan, Ross, McQueen, Ecrepont, Armour (Lang 57), Forrest, Fleming, Johnston (McIntosh 70), Grant (Dolan 58).
Not used: Williamson, Miller, Orr and Downie.

Dumbarton: Hogarth, Lynas (Orsi 46), Crighton (Kelly 71), Lennon, Blair (Healy 61), Wilson (Graham 46), Pignatiello, T Wallace (Hilton 61), Gray, Newbury, Ruth.
Not used: Durnan, Malcolm, C Wilson and O’Neil.

Last five meetings

  • Stranraer 5 Dumbarton 0 (Own goal, Grant, Forrest, Armour and Lang) at Stair Park on March 5, 2024
  • Dumbarton 2 Stranraer 1 (Ruth and T Wallace; Ross) at Dumbarton Football Stadium on February 24, 2024
  • Dumbarton 3 Stranraer 1 (T Wallace, R Wallace and Ruth; Armour) at Dumbarton Football Stadium on September 30, 2023
  • Dumbarton 1 Stranraer 1 (Lynch; Own goal) at Dumbarton Football Stadium on May 6, 2023
  • Stranraer 0 Dumbarton 2 (MacLean and Buchanan) at Stair Park on March 4, 2023

Last five games

Deryn Lang and Ben Armour had the best chances as the Blues picked up a point at Spartans


  • DRAW v The Spartans (A): 0-0
  • LOSS v Clyde (A): 1-0
  • DRAW v Bonnyrigg Rose (H): 1-1 (Lang)
  • LOSS v East Fife (A): 2-1 (Grant)
  • LOSS v Elgin City (H): 1-2 (Own goal)


  • WIN v Clyde (H): 1-0 (Hilton)
  • WIN v Forfar Athletic (A): 0-2 (Wallace (Pen) and Pignatiello)
  • DRAW v Stenhousemuir (H): 0-0
  • WIN v Bonnyrigg Rose (H): 2-0 (Wallace (Pen) and Malcolm)
  • WIN v The Spartans (A): 2-6 (Blair x2, Lynas, Lennon, Ruth and Graham)

Last time out

Experienced duo Grant Gallagher and Sean McIntosh have been regular starters since returning from injury


Lineup v The Spartans: Budinauckas, Williamson, Ross, McQueen, Gallagher, Armour (Orr 70), Hawkshaw (Gilmartin 77), Forrest, McIntosh, Grant (Dolan 61), Lang (Miller 77).
Not used: Ecrepont, Fleming and Downie.


Lineup v Clyde: Hogarth, Lynas, Durnan, Crighton, Lennon, Malcolm (Orsi 68), Pignatiello, Wallace, Gray, Newbury, Hilton (Ruth 86).
Not used: Blair, Wilson, Vata, Graham, Healy, Kelly and O’Neil.

Five facts

Craig Ross is on course to surpass Dylan Forrest in terms of minutes played

1. Dumbarton have kept clean sheets in their last four games. That is their best run since 2008/09 when they clocked up seven in a row (2-0 away to Elgin City, Stenhousemuir and Forfar Athletic before a 2-0 home win over Berwick Rangers, a goalless draw at Cowdenbeath and a 4-0 win over Forfar Athletic and a 6-0 win over Elgin City).

2. Former central defender Scott Wilson celebrates his 42nd birthday on Saturday. Beginning his career at Motherwell, he would go on to feature for Airdrie, Clyde, Raith Rovers and Brechin City before joining the Blues in 2006. He made 18 appearances for the Blues and scored twice – against Alloa Athletic in a 4-2 win and against Stirling Albion in a 2-1 win.

3. If Craig Ross plays 76 minutes or more on Saturday afternoon, he will have played the most minutes of anyone in the Stranraer squad this season. Playing 76 minutes would see the defender overtake the suspended Dylan Forrest.

4. Stranraer’s 5-0 win over Dumbarton earlier this year was their biggest win at Stair Park since a 6-0 demolition of Berwick Rangers in the League Cup in 2019. Cameron Elliott, Jordan Allan, Connor McManus were all on target while Mark Stewart netted twice from the penalty spot and James Hilton, now with Dumbarton, also netted. The home side was: Burgess, Robertson, Allan, Cummins, Hamilton, D Smith (Pignatiello 67), McManus, Thomson (I Smith 73), Hilton, Stewart, Elliott (Dangana 56). Not used: Hamill and Currie.

5. Murray Miller’s appearance from the bench means that 29 players have taken to the pitch in a Stranraer shirt this season. That is the most the club has used since the 2016/17 campaign when 30 were used. In descending order, Brian Reid and Stevie Farrell gave appearances to: Cameron Belford (43), Scott Robertson (42/1), Liam Dick (42), Willie Gibson (41/1), Craig Malcolm (39/4), Steven Bell (39), Scott Agnew (35/6), Ryan Thomson (30/8), David Barron (27/1), Kyle Turner (23/14), Mark McGuigan (20/16), Craig Thomson (19/2), Giuliano Morena (13/9), Morgyn Neill (13/1), Frank McKeown (12/6), Craig Pettigrew (10), Michael Donald (9/3), Joe Nuttall (9/1), David Wilson (6/8), Christian Nade (6/6), Luke Watt (6/6), Ross Barbour (4), Calvin Kemp (3/5), Sam McCloskey (2/3), Max Currie (2), Amadou Kassarate (0/12), Evan Maley (0/1), Chris McGowan (0/1), Smart Osadolor (0/1) and Jack Whittaker (0/1).


You can pay at the gate at Stair Park

Last time out at Stair Park saw our biggest crowd of the season, and your support is hugely appreciated as we face the final few games of the 2023/24 season.

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

A range of Stranraer FC merchandise is available at the back of the main McLeans Taxis stand, and the Pavilion Bar at the ground provides a warm welcome for both home and away supporters from 1pm.

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


Laurence Nelson and Brian Martin are back on the mic this weekend

Follow coverage from Stair Park this weekend across our media channels.

As ever, you can follow live matchday updates on X (formerly Twitter) for the latest news throughout the afternoon.

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

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

Photos: Bill McCandlish, James Verity