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A disappointing night for Saints, as two late goals from Stranraer Reserves handed St Cuthbert Wanderers their first home defeat of the season.

After the opener from Thomas Kelly; first Scott Ballantyne then Dale Milligan both cancelled out Stranraer goals to keep Saints in the hunt for three points against difficult opposition in Stranraer Reserves. However, two late goals in the final minutes meant that instead it was the visitors who left St Mary’s with the spoils.

The manager, Jordan Williamson, made no changes to his Saints side from the thumping win against Creetown last week. Dale Milligan starred in that game and he had the first big chance of this one, a through ball from Thomas Kelly matched the run of the Saints’ forward, but his strike was straight at the keeper.

The visitors created their first opportunity minutes later, an effort from a corner clattered off Jake Gemmell’s right hand post.

A long ball from Gemmell would kick the game into a higher gear. Kelly brought the ball down, shrugged off defenders and dispatched a powerful effort past the keeper and open the scoring.

Saints’ lead was shortlived, a long ball also caught out the Saints backline and Elliott Harris’ under hit back pass allowed the Stranraer forward to lob the ball over the head of Gemmell.

Chances came and went for the home side as they pushed to retake the lead, Kelly saw his header cleared off the line, Russell Williamson fired just over the cross bar and Milligan again found space for an effort at goal but could only find the keeper.

Instead, Stranraer showed their clinical edge before the half-time whistle, breaking down the right hand side and the resulting cross was fired past Gemmell.

Saints started the second half brightly and were rewarded for their efforts. Kelly battled hard to retain possession in the middle of the park before sliding a through ball to Ballantyne. The Saints striker broke forward and rolled the ball into the far corner to haul the home side level.

A repeat of the first half ensued for the onlooking fans as Saints again were wasteful upfront and soon punished for their errors. A freekick from deep found the head of a Stranraer player, the resulting headed pass found the boot of an onrushing striker who guided the ball into the net.

With Saints 3-2 down they rallied again. A short corner routine gave Ballantyne the space to whip his cross into the box and Milligan got the telling touch to put Saints back level.

Heading into the final minutes of the match, Saints pushed for a winner but an error at the back allowed Stranraer to break forward and the deflected shot looped over Gemmell’s outstretched arm.

Wilson came on as Saints pushed for an injury time equaliser but straight from kick-off a misplaced pass had the home side in all sorts of trouble again. Stranraer broke forward on the counter, Luke McMurtrie had looked to have seen out the danger but he also sold Gemmell short with a back pass and Stranraer poked in a decisive fifth.

An incredibly disappointing night for Saints who will look to make amends on Saturday away at Mid-Annandale.


Date Time League Season
28/07/2021 8:00 pm South of Scotland Football League 2021-2022


1Jake Gemmell Goalkeeper
2John Renwick 16 Defender
5Luke McMurtrie Defender
6Lewis Ebbs Defender
7Elliott Harris 22 Forward
8Aidan Meechan 27 Midfielder
10Dale Milligan Forward
11Scott Ballantyne Forward
15Russell Williamson Midfielder
17Thomas Kelly Midfielder
20Dillon Black 9 Midfielder
3Cameron Taylor Defender
9Ross Hunter 20 Forward
16Jai Wilson 2 Forward
19Zac Hannay Forward
22Mark O’Rourke 7 Midfielder
23Luke Currie Forward
27Trialist 8
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Stranraer Res