Stenhousemuir 2 - 2 Dumbarton

League - Second Division
Tuesday, March 29th, 2011, 3:00 PM at Ochilview
Attendance: 398
Referee: John Beaton
Stenhousemuir v Dumbarton, Mar 29th 2011, Ochilview
Stenhousemuir Dumbarton 

Goalscorers
Eric Paton (80) Pen
Michael Hunter (83)
Jon McShane (50)
Jon McShane (68)

Team Managers
Unknown. Alan Adamson

Starting Eleven
Alistair Brown
Eric Paton
Willy Lyle
Mike Devlin
Stevie Murray
Ian Thomson
Sean Dickson
Grant Anderson
Brian Gilmour
Simon Lynch
Scott Dalziel
Stephen Grindlay
Paul Nugent
Ben Gordon
James Creaney
Nicky Devlin
Craig McLeish
Andy Geggan
Ryan McStay
Mark Gilhaney
Pat Walker
Jon McShane

Bench
Chris McCluskey
Gary Thom
Paul Quinn
Lewis Sloane
Michael Hunter
Michael White
Jordan Halsman
Martin McNiff
Ross Campbell
Jordan White

Substitutions
Paul Quinn for Scott Dalziel (59)
Lewis Sloane for Simon Lynch (76)
Michael Hunter for Brian Gilmour (82)
None.

Bookings
Ian Thomson (67) Nicky Devlin (53)

Red Cards
Ian Thomson (69) None.

Appearances & Goals To Date
Stephen Grindlay (GK) 220 apps -
Paul Nugent 28 apps -
Ben Gordon 108 apps7 goals
James Creaney 20 apps -
Nicky Devlin 19 apps -
Craig McLeish 8 apps -
Andy Geggan 160 apps9 goals
Ryan McStay 67 apps3 goals
Mark Gilhaney 23 apps8 goals
Pat Walker 18 apps7 goals
Jon McShane 26 apps12 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Nicky Devlin (17 years 167 days)
Oldest Player:Craig McLeish (41 years 97 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 154 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Ross Campbell (13 years 40 days)
Oldest Player:Craig McLeish (41 years 97 days)
Average Player Age:22 years 188 days
Domestic Players:16 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

IN a game of sharply contrasting highs and lows, Sons claimed a point from a 2-2 draw away against Stenhousemuir, when only 20 minutes from the end it had seemed they were on course for a comfortable victory after leading by two clear goals.

Dumbarton showed most of the initial purpose, coming out of the starting blocks with real pace, and pushing the home team firmly onto the defensive.

Sons' best early chance came when Pat Walker burst through on 8 minutes and steamed a shot past Ally Brown in the Stenhousemuir goal, only for the ball to ricochet off the far corner and upright.

By then Craig McLeish and Jon McShane had already threatened with a wide strike and looping header respectively, as the eager visitors milled around the opposition area, trying to find a way past a packed defence.

It was around the quarter hour before Stenny started to come back. There was a minor scare for Dumbarton when a seemingly harmless ball almost caught Stephen Grindlay off balance, but the big 'keeper stretched his arm out and recovered well.

As the half progressed, Sons started to give the ball away needlessly, despite gaining more of the possession, and Stenhousemuir grew in confidence visibly.

On 24 minutes Pat Walker broke again, but his probing pass across the face of the area could not find another Sons player far enough forward, with McLeish just beyond range.

A slightly scrappy period of play ensued, with neither side able to maintain shape in the middle of the park. Sons had a let-off when Scott Dalziel hit the bar with Grindlay stranded.

For Dumbarton, Ryan McStay struck another effort wide of the post on 37 minutes. But Stenhousemuir, though often pinned back, continually denied Sons the space they required.

The home side came out fired-up for the second half and began to create all kinds of problems for an uncertain looking Sons back line. It was almost a reverse mirror of the opening of the game, when the visitors had looked dangerous.

Then suddenly Dumbarton turned a corner. A fine run and through ball from Mark Gilhaney found Jon McShane in a good position to slice a curving shot past the Stenhousemuir 'keeper to put Sons one up on 50 minutes.

More home pressure followed, however. Dumbarton conceding two perilous free kicks on the edge of either side of the area, but both of them came to nothing.

On 68 minutes, with nerves jangling among the away support, McShane again asserted himself in front of goal with a thunderous strike to give Dumbarton a 2-0 lead.

Two minutes later the pendulum seemed to swing further in Sons' favour when Stenhousemuir went down to ten men after a straight red card for a late challenge as the ball went out of play by Ian Thompson.

Only a miraculous one-handed save from Ally Brown prevented Dumbarton from going three up, as they began to use the space to search for further advantage.

But in the space of less than four minutes disaster struck. First, a challenge from Andy Geggan conceded a penalty that enabled Eric Paton to pull a goal back from the spot for the home side. 2-1 on 80 minutes.

Then Stenhousemuir caught the Dumbarton defence flat when run at with pace from the wing, and Mike Hunter charged in to head decisively past Stephen Grindlay to equalise on 83.

Sons tried hard to regain the lead against Stenny's ten men, with two opportunities going wide and the men from Larbert pushing back to find unexpected space with which to torment Dumbarton's back line.

The score stayed 2-2 in the final minutes. With other results going the right way the damage was not as bad as it could have been, but it still leaves Sons in need of good performances and results in successive home games against fellow-strugglers Alloa and Peterhead.

Match report by Simon Barrow

Programme cover / Team sheet