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Stranraer 0-2 Dumbarton

Scorers: MacLean (33) and Buchanan (76)

Clinical Dumbarton showed just why they are top of the League Two table with two well executed set pieces.

Stranraer came into the game with the table toppers looking to extend their unbeaten run to three games.

Manager Jamie Hamill named the same starting line-up that had impressed against East Fife and welcomed Kyle Girvan, Finn Ecrepont and Dylan Forrest back to the bench.

The home side survived an early scare when Joe McKee’s delivery into the box caused havoc before Grant Gallagher managed to get it clear.

However, the Blues would have chances of their own.

Scott Robertson saw a shot deflected wide and Aaron Brown had an effort collected by goalkeeper Brett Long.

Aaron Brown hit the woodwork for Stranraer

Midway through the half, the Blues had the beating of the goalkeeper, only for the woodwork to come to the visitors’ rescue.

A free-kick into the box came to little but Matty Grant played it back into Brown.

The on-loan Kilmarnock youngster teed the ball up for Luke Watt and his shot from 20 yards came back off the bar.

Two minutes later and the goalkeeper did brilliantly to turn Craig Ross’ goalbound effort round the post from a Jonny Ngandu corner.

It was a set piece at the other end that provided the breakthrough.

McKee’s delivery was only partially cleared and fell perfectly for Ross MacLean to sweep past Matty Connelly.

It was a goal which, understandably, gave the visitors a boost and Stranraer’s defence were on the ropes for a period before the break.

A dangerous ball across the box had no takers and eventually Connelly had to be alert to deny Finlay Gray,

Clear-cut chances were not as common after the break with Darryl Duffy’s header calling Long into a fairly routine save.

Dumbarton were worthy winners on the day

It felt as if the next goal would be crucial and it came Dumbarton’s way with just under quarter of an hour left.

Again, McKee was involved and his delivery from another corner was perfect for Gregor Buchanan, who got free of his marker and powered home a header.

Dumbarton could have added to their advantage with seven minutes left but the same crossbar that had denied Watt in the first half was again struck.

Ryan Blair’s effort from outside the box had Connelly beaten but clipped the frame of the goal on its way over.

Stranraer will be looking to get back to winning ways next weekend when they travel to Coatbridge for a potentially season-defining game.

Stranraer: Connelly, Robertson, Brady, Gallagher, McIntosh, Ross, Brown (Forrest 71), Watt, Grant (Walker 64), Hilton (Duffy 46), Ngandu.
Not used: Girvan, Ecrepont and O’Connor.

Dumbarton: Long, Wylde (Lynch 87), Buchanan, Lynas (McNiff 87), Grant, Orsi, MacLean (Love 75), McKee, Gray (Vata 87), Blair, McLean (Byrne 70).
Not used: Broun.

Referee: Iain Sneddon
Attendance: 382
HT: 0-1

Photos: Bill McCandlish