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Stranraer 0-0 Dumbarton

Stranraer were left cursing their luck after drawing a blank for the third weekend in a row.

The Blues created a number of clear cut chances against a Dumbarton side safe in the promotion play-offs.

Unfortunately, whether it was a shot off target, the goalkeeper or the woodwork, it would just not go in for Scott Agnew’s men.

The manager made one change from the point against Spartans as Murray Miller came in for his first start in place of the suspended Dylan Forrest.

Stranraer had won 5-0 in the previous meeting with Dumbarton at Stair Park this term and carved out the first chance on 13 minutes.

The ball broke kindly to Deryn Lang on the edge of the box and he could not have struck his shot more sweetly, only for Jay Hogarth to pull off an equally impressive save.

The hosts had the beating of the goalkeeper three minutes later when Miller floated a ball over the visiting defence.

Matty Grant raced through and lobbed the advancing goalkeeper, only for his shot to drift off target.

Dumbarton went on to enjoy a decent period of their own with Lewis Budinauckas called into a few relatively straight-forward saves.

Surviving that, Stranraer finished the first half on top.

Ben Armour rounded Hogarth after the ball broke to him in the box but could not get the ball under control to turn it goalwards.

Then, in first half stoppage time, a wayward clearance fell kindly for Lang, who teed up Sean McIntosh.

The full-back is not known for his goalscoring expertise but was just inches away from breaking the deadlock with a fine curling effort from the edge of the box.

The second half continued in much the same manner as the first with the home side creating the better chances.

The home club’s first corner of the game was taken by Dean Hawkshaw and he got a second chance to whip in a delivery when it was only half cleared.

His cross was near perfect but Armour could only direct his header over the crossbar from inside the six yard box.

Dumbarton’s best chances would come just after the hour mark and Stranraer were indebted to Budinauckas for keeping his side in the game.

First, former Stranraer Carlo Pignatiello saw his header turned round the post and then the Blues failed to get to grips with Kalvin Orsi.

He had been the main dangerman in providing crosses into the box for the visitors but this time went it alone and strode through a static home defence.

He got his shot away but the on-loan Budinauckas was equal to it and turned it over the crossbar.

For the remaining 20 minutes, it was all Stranraer.

A long ball into the box found Grant Gallagher, who brought the ball down and beat Hogarth, only to see his low volley come off the inside of the post and run across the face of the goal to safety.

Finally, with just seconds of normal time left, Stranraer almost got the goal their performance merited.

There seemed little on for substitute Tom Orr, who found himself outnumbered in the middle of the park.

He wriggled his way through though only to be denied by the outstretched leg of Hogarth.

Only time will tell if it proves to be a valuable point or two that got away but Stranraer players, coaches and fans will be hoping they can take some of the chances over the remaining two games to keep off the bottom of the table.

Stranraer: Budinauckas, Williamson (Ecrepont 76), Ross, McQueen, McIntosh, Armour (Orr 56), Gallagher, Hawkshaw, Miller (Fleming 78), Grant (Gilmartin 78), Lang (Dolan 68).
Not used: Edgar and Downie.

Dumbarton: Hogarth, Lynas, Durnan, Crighton, Lennon, Orsi (Healy 78), Pignatiello, Wallace (Graham 64), Newbury (Wilson 74), Ruth (Kelly 64), Hilton (Blair 74).
Not used: Malcolm, Vata, Gray and O’Neil.

Referee: Steven Kirkland
Attendance: 405
HT: 0-0