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Stranraer 1-2 The Spartans

Scorers: Stranraer – Orr (37); Spartans – Sonkur (90+2 and 90+5)

Stranraer were left stunned as two stoppage time strikes from Ayrton Sonkur gave Spartans all three points at a rain-soaked Stair Park.

The Blues looked on course for back-to-back home wins but saw the points slip through their fingers late on.

Scott Agnew had been looking to build on the win over Clyde last weekend and named the same side.

Any fans late coming into the ground almost missed the game’s opening goal.

James Dolan did well on the left and fired a low shot on goal in the opening 60 seconds.

Goalkeeper Blair Carswell managed to get a hand to the shot and it was just behind Tom Orr, who could not turn on the challenging surface to tap home.

At the other end, Spartans had the ball in the net only for the offside flag to deny Cammy Russell.

Thomas Orr opened the scoring for Stranraer

Blair Henderson had chipped the ball through and the man from the capital fired high beyond Lewis Budinauckas but it counted for nothing.

Midway through the half and it was Stranraer’s turn to be denied by an offside flag.

Some great link-up play involving Matty Grant, Kyle Fleming and Orr saw the ball worked to Dolan.

He mishit his shot and Orr was there to sweep the ball home but he had strayed offside.

It would be good work down the right that led to the Stranraer goal.

Robertson cut the ball back to Orr, who called Carswell into action.

The goalkeeper could not hold the shot though and the Stranraer man was left with a simple tap-in.

It was not until right before the half time whistle that Spartans really tested Budinauckas.

A long throw into the box was only cleared as far as Callum Booth and his volley had plenty of slice on it but not a great deal of power and the home goalkeeper made the save.

The visitors from the capital took that momentum into the second half and Budinauckas did well to block an early deflected Booth effort with his legs.

Half time substitute Sam Jones was also denied by the goalkeeper as Spartans pushed forward in a bid to find a leveller.

That move inevitably left space at the other end of the park for Stranraer to try to capitalise on.

James Dolan made a lot of running on the heavy playing surface

Dolan collected a ball over the top and cut it back to Grant, who was standing near the penalty spot.

The midfielder hit it first time but it was too close to Carswell, who pushed it to safety.

Moments later and the home fans were screaming for a penalty.

Deryn Lang dispossessed Jordan Tapping out wide and as he cut into the box he was brought down by the same man.

Referee Alex Shepherd waved play on and Spartans had survived another worrying moment.

The best chance would fall to substitute Lang, who skipped away from a challenge in the centre circle and found himself clean through on goal.

However, he took too long and the retreating Tapping got back in time to block the ball out for a corner.

Those missed chances would come back to haunt Stranraer, who had defended superbly in the challenging conditions, in stoppage time.

Bradley Whyte chipped the ball to the back post and Sonkur was able to head back across Budinauckas and into the far corner of the net.

If that deflated Stranraer, there was worse to come.

Budinauckas did well to get a hand to an inswinging corner but the ball dropped kindly and was played back into Sonkur who finished from barely a yard out.

A real sickener for Stranraer, who will need to put that aside as they travel to Dumbarton next weekend.

Stranraer: Budinauckas, Ross, McQueen, Girvan, Ecrepont, Robertson, Forrest, Grant (Williamson 81), Fleming (Armour 84), Dolan, Orr (Lang 58).
Not used: Gilmartin, Johnston and Downie.

Spartans: Carswell, K Watson, Sonkur, Waugh, P Watson (Whyte 74), Denholm (Tapping 73), Dishington (Jones 46), Armstrong (Brown 73), Booth, Russell, Henderson.
Not used: Laing, Newman, Thompson, Craigen and McCready.

Referee: Alex Shepherd
Attendance: 308
HT: 1-0

Photos: Bill McCandlish