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Stranraer 3-1 Bonnyrigg Rose

  • Post published:16 December 2023

Scorers: Stranraer – Own Goal (5), Grant (57) and Ross (71); Bonnyrigg Rose – Barrett (90+1)

History was made as Stranraer finally picked up a first ever win over Bonnyrigg Rose.

The Blues took just one point from a possible 12 against the team from Midlothian last campaign but have already surpassed that figure this term after just two games.

Scott Agnew recalled James Dolan after he came off the bench to net against Clyde last weekend, with Oliver McDonald named amongst the substitutes.

Recent weeks have seen Stranraer concede the first goal but they got off to the perfect start at Stair Park.

Just five minutes were on the clock when Dolan played a cross into the box.

Scott Agnew’s men got off to the perfect start

Lee Currie’s attempt to intercept the ball saw it loop beyond his own goalkeeper and nestle into the bottom corner of the net.

Bonnyrigg responded reasonably well and Jonathan Stewart saw a shot blocked before Callum Connolly flicked wide of target after decent build up play.

Veteran frontman Liam Buchanan also lobbed Lewis Budinauckas but the shot dropped wide of the goal and Stranraer finished the half strongly.

Deryn Lang and goalkeeper Patrick Martin embarked on an entertaining battle, which saw the visiting number one pull off two impressive saves.

The best of those came on 27 minutes when the hosts capitalised on some dithering by the visitors.

Deryn Lang came within inches of scoring

Lang’s clever turn took him away from his marker and his fierce drive was brilliantly kept out by Martin at his near post.

Then, six minutes before the break, Lang again came close with an impressive hooked volley, which Martin saved under his crossbar.

Bonnyrigg came out for the second half looking to get back on level terms but Stranraer were again carving out chances.

Dolan was denied by Martin on 55 minutes but just two minutes later the hosts doubled their lead.

It was a goal worth waiting for as Matty Grant dropped his shoulder and then burst clear of the Bonnyrigg defence before curling a sumptuous effort round Martin.

Matty Grant handed Stranraer a two-goal cushion

Lang came close once again before Stranraer finally put the game to bed.

Bonnyrigg failed to deal with Dean Hawkshaw’s free-kick into the box and Craig Ross called Martin into action.

The ball fell back to the centre half and he made no mistake at the second time of asking to score.

The visitors threw everything at Stranraer in a bid to fashion an unlikely comeback.

However, the home defence held firm until the first minute of stoppage time.

Substitutes Kieran McGachie and Bradley Barrett combined well, with the former Tranent frontman smashing beyond Budinauckas.

It should take little away from an impressive Stranraer performance, which highlighted exactly what the club is capable of producing.

Stranraer: Budinauckas, Robertson, Ross, Girvan, Williamson, Forrest, Fleming, Grant (Strachan 87), Hawkshaw (Walker 87), Dolan (Sneddon 83), Lang (McDonald 79).
Not used: Downie.

Bonnyrigg Rose: Martin, Mailer, Grigor, Martyniuk, Peggie, Connolly, Stewart (Barrett 62), Currie, Watson (Sutherland 73), Buchanan (McGachie 72), Doan.
Not used: McGale, Osadolor and Andrews.

Referee: Daniel Graves
Attendance: 401
HT: 1-0

Photos: Bill McCandlish