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  • Post published:19 January 2024

Goalscorer Tom Orr is looking to get his season up and running after previously playing with a broken foot.

The frontman had scored four goals in the opening 18 games of the season to lead the way – alongside James Dolan – in the goalscoring charts.

However, that came at the same time as Orr was playing with an injured foot.

Speaking after last weekend’s win over Peterhead, he said: “I was injured for a wee while.

“I broke a bone in my foot so it is good to be back, obviously, playing firstly and then to get a win and a goal just tops it off.

“I was playing through it; probably from the first game of the league season against Elgin.

Orr broke his foot at the beginning of the season

“Then I hurt it again at training and got it x-rayed and found out it was broken.

“I am just glad to be fully recovered and back fit now.”

Goal number five of the season came against the Blue Toon as Stranraer picked up three valuable points.

The goal also came on the same day as Orr celebrated his 27th birthday.

He said: “It was good to get it started with a wee goal and a win.

“I think the second goal kind of killed the game a wee bit because they then had to come out.

“That is kind of what we spoke about at half time.

The striker scored the all-important second goal for Stranraer

“If we got an early goal, we could really go and kill the game.

“They had to come out and that helped us to get in behind and get up the park.

“It was a perfect time to score a goal and just good that I got it.”

Orr scored less than a minute into the second half, after Chris Johnston had netted his first goal for the club after just six minutes.

At the other end, Stranraer’s new look back four kept the prolific duo of Kieran Shanks and Rory McAllister quiet with goalkeeper Lewis Budinauckas relatively untroubled over the 90 minutes.

Orr was full of praise for his defensive colleagues and said: “To be fair to them, Peterhead did give it a go but our defenders were absolutely superb today.

“Their two strikers are two of the best in the league.

It was a resolute defensive display from the Blues

“We dealt with that and looked like a really good team today.”

Now attention turns to a trip to Ochilview and runaway league leaders Stenhousemuir.

The Warriors look firm favourites for the title and boast a 14-point lead at the top of League Two following an impressive run of form.

Orr, who joined Stranraer from Stenhousemuir in the summer, said: “Stenhousemuir have won 11 in a row now.

“They will probably go on to win the league and fair play to them.

“We will not be lying down next week – we will give it a real good go.

“We can definitely go there and win.

“If we play like we played today, then we will give ourselves a chance.”

Last meeting

Ben Armour sustained an injury early on in the Blues’ last meeting with Stenhousemuir

A stretched Stranraer squad went down to a 3-0 defeat against Stenhousemuir in November.

Manager Scott Agnew named Blair Sneddon and Mackenzie Strachan as his two central midfielders in the absence of Scott Robertson and Dylan Forrest. And the absence list was to grow with just 11 minutes played when Ben Armour went down in the box with an injury that has kept him on the sidelines ever since.

The visitors broke the deadlock through Matty Aitken when he tucked home a loose ball in the box as Stranraer claimed for a foul on Lewis Budinauckas.

The advantage was extended before the break when a Matty Yates volley squirmed over the line, despite the efforts of Budinauckas and Cammy Williamson.

The game was finished off by Ewan O’Reilly who shot across Budinauckas from the edge of the box in the second half.

Stranraer: Budinauckas, Williamson, Girvan, Ross, McIntosh, Dolan, Hawkshaw (Walker 61), Strachan (McDonald 71), Grant, Armour (Lang 11), Sneddon.
Not used: Agnew and Downie.

Stenhousemuir: D Jamieson, Buchanan, N Jamieson, Bilham (Sweenie-Rowe 72), Lynch, Wedderburn (Meechan 82), Brown (McKay 82), O’Reilly (Taylor 71), Anderson, Aitken, Yates (Berry 76).
Not used: Lyle.

Last five meetings

  • Stranraer 0 Stenhousemuir 3 (Aitken, Yates and O’Reilly) at Stair Park on November 18, 2023
  • Stenhousemuir 5 Stranraer 0 (Aitken (Pen), Buchanan x2 and Brown x2) at Ochilview Park on September 16, 2023
  • Stranraer 2 Stenhousemuir 0 (Grant and Ecrepont) at Stair Park on April 29, 2023
  • Stenhousemuir 2 Stranraer 1 (Yates x2; Walker) at Ochilview Park on January 7, 2023
  • Stranraer 3 Stenhousemuir 2 (Hilton, Grant and Gallagher; Yates and Orr) at Stair Park on November 12, 2022

Last five games

Chris Johnston marked his home debut with a goal last weekend


  • WIN v Peterhead (H): 2-0 (Johnston and Orr)
  • LOSS v Elgin City (A): 1-2 (Lang)
  • 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)


  • WIN v The Spartans (A): 0-2 (Yates and Aitken)
  • WIN v Forfar Athletic (H): 2-1 (Buchanan and N Jamieson)
  • WIN v Clyde (A): 1-2 (Aitken x2)
  • WIN v Elgin City (H): 2-0 (Yates and Aitken)
  • WIN v East Fife (H): 2-1 (O’Reilly and Yates)

Last time out

James Dolan is top of the assists chart for Stranraer after setting up Chris Johnston last weekend

Stranraer v Peterhead: Budinauckas, Girvan, Ross, McQueen, Ecrepont, Robertson (Fleming 86), Dolan, Forrest, Johnston (Hawkshaw 73), Grant, Orr (Lang 78).
Not used: Williamson, Walker, Strachan, Gilmartin and Downie.

The Spartans v Stenhousemuir: D Jamieson, Meechan, Buchanan, N Jamieson, Bilham (Lynch 88), Wedderburn, Brown (Berry 88), O’Reilly (Rodden 88), Anderson, Aitken, Yates (Jacobs 77).
Not used: Lyle:

Five facts

Happy birthday to former Stranraer midfielder Michael Donald

1. Stranraer’s clean sheet last weekend against Peterhead was their first in the league since August’s 1-0 win over Clyde. The last time they kept back-to-back clean sheets was in March last year with a 1-0 win over Albion Rovers followed up by a goalless draw at Annan Athletic.

2. Former Stranraer and Ayr United midfielder Michael Donald celebrates his 35th birthday on Saturday. He was Stevie Farrell’s first signing and made his debut in a goalless draw away to East Fife in January 2017. He featured as a trialist in Fife before going on to make a further 11 appearances for the Blues. Now, he is assistant women soccer coach at Barry University in Florida. The Stranraer line up that day was: Belford, Dick, Barron, Bell, Neill, Pettigrew, Robertson, Agnew, Thomson (Donald 68), Gibson, Malcolm (McGuigan 68). Not used: Morena, Wilson, Turner, Maley and Currie.

3. Stranraer have not scored in their previous two encounters with Stenhousemuir. Fans will need to cast their minds back to the mid-1970s for the last time they failed to find the net in three consecutive games with the Ochilview team.

4. Stenhousemuir are unbeaten in the last three meetings between the two sides at Ochilview Park. Their best run since the turn of the millennium was five games without defeat against Stranraer in Larbert. That came to an end on Boxing Day 2015 when Stranraer won 5-1, despite conceding first. Craig Malcolm bagged a treble in response to Ross Meechan’s opener while Jamie Longworth and Sam McCloskey were both on target.

5. The hosts come into the game on the back of an impressive 11-game winning sequence. The last time they lost at home in the league was against Dumbarton in August.

Photos: Bill McCandlish