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Stranraer 1-1 Bonnyrigg Rose

Scorers: Stranraer – Lang (84); Bonnyrigg Rose – Martyniuk (Pen 77)

For the second time this season, Deryn Lang popped up with a late equaliser against Bonnyrigg Rose to rescue a point.

The frontman scored after 83 minutes to cancel out a Neil Martyniuk penalty at New Dundas Park in August.

At Stair Park, he left it a minute later to cancel out another Martyniuk spot kick and secure what could be a vital point.

The visitors, now under the management of Calum Elliot, came into the game with the same aim as Stranraer – to put distance between themselves and the bottom of the table.

Home boss Scott Agnew made four changes from the side edged out at East Fife seven days earlier.

Cammy Williamson and Dean Hawkshaw made their first starts of 2024 while Chris McQueen and Dylan Forrest both returned to the team.

The visitors had the first real chance of the contest as Bradley Barrett swung in a teasing cross.

Angus Mailer threw himself at the ball but could not get enough on it and Lewis Budinauckas turned it round the post.

At the other end, Stranraer called Paddy Martin into action.

Some scrappy play from both sides eventually saw the ball worked to Lang, whose first time shot lacked the necessary power to beat the visiting number one.

Defences were on top in a nervy encounter at Stair Park

Callum Connolly curled a shot over the Stranraer crossbar before Stranraer came within a whisker of breaking the deadlock.

Hawkshaw did well to block an attempted clearance and then chase the loose ball.

He found Lang and the frontman’s effort beat Martin but clipped the post and bounced wide.

Still, the visitors could have opened the scoring before the break.

Mailer seized on a loose ball in the middle of the park and strode forward unchallenged.

He was left with just Budinauckas to beat but lifted his shot over the target from about 10 yards.

With the scores still blank, both teams came out for the second half looking to break the deadlock and find the winner.

Barrett was presented with a chance in the opening 60 seconds when he chested the ball down, turned and then volleyed over the crossbar.

The visitors were enjoying plenty of possession and forced a number of corner kicks, without really calling Budinauckas into action.

However, they were handed the opportunity to get their noses in front with 13 minutes left.

Grant Gallagher was just a fraction late with a tackle on Mailer and referee Ryan Lee pointed to the spot.

Martyniuk, a regular goalscorer from the spot, sent Budinauckas the wrong way and Bonnyrigg into the driving seat.

Lang’s leveller sparked jubilant scenes in the home support

Four minutes later and the Blues squandered what looked like their best chance to get something from the game.

Tom Orr did well near the byline to cross the ball in for fellow substitute James Dolan, who got too much on his header and put it over the crossbar.

A further four minutes later and Dolan turned provider for the leveller.

His run on the left resulted in a cross, which was met by Lang, who directed a superb header beyond Martin.

While both teams, understandably, would have preferred three points, the single point could yet prove to be massively important come the end of the campaign.

Stranraer: Budinauckas, Robertson, Williamson, Ross, McQueen, Armour (Orr 78), Gallagher (Fleming 82), Hawkshaw (Gilmartin 78), Forrest, Grant (Dolan 66), Lang.
Not used: Ecrepont, McIntosh, Miller and Downie.

Bonnyrigg Rose: Martin, Mailer (Jarvis 78), Martyniuk, Peggie, Dunsmore, Young, Gray (Doan 56), Barrett, Connolly, McGachie (Osadolor 82), Currie (Stewart 82).
Not used: Gormley, McGale, Watson and McDermid.

Attendance: 535
Referee: Ryan Lee
HT: 0-0

Photos: Bill McCandlish