Stenhousemuir 1 - 2 Dumbarton

League - Second Division
Saturday, February 11th, 2012, 3:00 PM at Ochilview
Attendance: 539
Referee: John Beaton
Stenhousemuir v Dumbarton, Feb 11th 2012, Ochilview
Stenhousemuir Dumbarton 

Goalscorers
Gary Smith (76) Alan Lithgow (36)
Micky Devlin (o.g.) (45)

Team Managers
Davie Irons Alan Adamson

Starting Eleven
Alistair Brown
Eric Paton
Willy Lyle
Ross McMillan
Mike Devlin
Brown Ferguson
Ian Thomson
Kevin McKinlay
Sean Dickson
Stewart Kean
Andy Rodgers
Stephen Grindlay
Ryan Finnie
Tony Wallace
Alan Lithgow
Martin McNiff
James Creaney
Paul Nugent
Mark Gilhaney
Scott Agnew
Bryan Prunty
Pat Walker

Bench
Sean Diamond
Alan Lawson
Jamie Campbell
Paul McHale
Gary Smith
Arnaud Gastal
Dominic Kennedy
Mark Lamont
Ryan Borris
Ally Graham

Substitutions
Paul McHale for Brown Ferguson (16)
Gary Smith for Eric Paton (67)
Jamie Campbell for Andy Rodgers (72)
Mark Lamont for Tony Wallace (62)
Ally Graham for James Creaney (62)

Bookings
Kevin McKinlay (19)
Willy Lyle (23)
Ian Thomson (90)
Martin McNiff (14)

Red Cards
Ross McMillan (10)
Kevin McKinlay (33)
None.

Appearances & Goals To Date
Stephen Grindlay (GK) 236 apps -
Tony Wallace 19 apps -
Alan Lithgow 22 apps4 goals
Martin McNiff 65 apps3 goals
James Creaney 45 apps -
Paul Nugent 56 apps -
Ryan Finnie 3 apps -
Scott Agnew 23 apps9 goals
Mark Gilhaney 53 apps13 goals
Pat Walker 47 apps13 goals
Bryan Prunty 23 apps10 goals
Mark Lamont (sub) 4 apps -
Ally Graham (sub) 4 apps -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Ryan Finnie (16 years 361 days)
Oldest Player:Stephen Grindlay (29 years 342 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 297 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Ryan Finnie (16 years 361 days)
Oldest Player:Stephen Grindlay (29 years 342 days)
Average Player Age:23 years 254 days
Domestic Players:15 (93.75 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

DUMBARTON got their fourth league win in a row at Ochilview this afternoon, with a 2-1 victory over promotion hopefuls Stenhousemuir.

Sons started the game with an unfamiliar formation of 3-4-1-2. Martin McNiff, Alan Lithgow and Paul Nugent were the back three, with Mark Finnie and James Creaney as wing backs, and Mark Gilhaney playing in behind the two frontmen of Pat Walker and Bryan Prunty.

The game in Larbert began end-to-end, but both sides failed to create any major early chances. The first real opportunity came from a Dumbarton counter-attack. Scott Agnew tried to play through Prunty, but the pass was just too hard and was collected comfortably by Brown in the Stenny goal.

Then came the first changing point in the game. Creaney worked hard to win the ball out on the left wing. His tackle was flicked on by Gilhaney to Prunty, and Prunty's knock-on was aimed towards Walker. Walker looked as if he was about to latch on to Prunty's ball, but he was pulled down by Stenhousemuir centre back Ross McMillan.

Referee John Beaton was quick to show McMillan the red card, putting the Warriors down to ten men. Stenhousemuir manager David Irons protested, and was sent to the stands for his protest.

More bookings followed. Ex-Son Andy Rodgers was shown a yellow card for becoming involved in an incident between Martin McNiff and Warriors winger Brown Ferguson, who was replaced by Paul McHale. McNiff was also booked, along with Willie Lyle and Iain Thomson.

Dumbarton then had the best chance of the game. Good work on the right by Finnie, and hardworking Mark Gilhaney, created a chance for Tony Wallace, but Gilhaney's pullback was fired over from 12 yards by the under-19.

Dumbarton continued to dominate, working well down both wings. However, they struggled to create a clear chance after Wallace's opportunity. It was the familiar case of 'one pass too many'.

Stenhousemuir still looked dangerous on the break. Sons' Alan Lithgow made a great challenge when Stuart Kean was put through. The Warriors were also failing to make any clear chances.

Then came the second major changing point. Walker was battling hard with Kevin McKinlay, and did extremely well to win a corner. McKinlay felt this was the wrong decision, and slammed the ball on the ground. The dissent led to a second booking and reduced the home side to nine men.

Sons were encouraged by their noisy contingent of loyal fans, and managed to force two corner kicks. The first was played short, and put out of play. Gilhaney's second corner was glanced in by Alan Lithgow for his fourth goal of the season. Dumbarton were 1-0 ahead.

Another great chance for Sons followed shortly afterwards. Finnie went on a blistering run down the right-hand side, and his cross was flicked on to Walker, who passed to Prunty. Prunty couldn't quite adjust his feet, and his shot was saved well by Brown. The rebound nearly fell to Walker, but the ball squirmed away for a corner.

Right on half time, the visitors went 2-0 up. More great work down the right by Finnie, and Bryan Prunty took his touch away from the defender. His shot was deflected into the Stenhousemuir goal to put Dumbarton in a commanding position, and give the big centre forward his tenth of the season.

The second half started off the way the first ended, with Gilhaney swinging in a tempting ball that Prunty headed just over.

From then on, Stenhousemuir got back into the game. Andy Rodgers again posed a danger. He was far too easily allowed to run through the Dumbarton defence, and only denied by a good stop from Stephen Grindlay.

Sons gaffer Alan Adamson tried to swing the match back in Dumbarton's favour by bringing on loanees Ally Graham and Mark Lamont in place of Creaney and Walker.

It had the desired effect. Substitute Lamont's cross was met by Prunty, and his header was clawed off the line by the ever-reliable Brown. Ryan Finnie then had plenty of space, and had a pop from outside the box. His shot was again parried by Brown.

Then suddenly it was 2-1 to Dumbarton. Ex-son Gary Smith came off the bench to turn Nugent in the Dumbarton defence, and fire across Grindlay in the Sons goal. The ball went into the bottom corner of the net with just over10 minutes to go.

Nine man Stenhousemuir continued to put pressure on Dumbarton, but rarely tested Grindlay.

There was then a great chance for Dumbarton to wrap up the points. Graham was played through, but blazed wide at an acute angle instead of squaring the ball for Prunty. Another great opportunity for Dumbarton to extend their lead came in a goal mouth scramble. Brown parried Scott Agnew's shot, and Gilhaney fired the ball back across goal. The ball was again stopped by the industrious Warriors 'keeper.

Stenhousemuir forced a few corners near the end, with Brown coming out of his goal to try and get on the end of it; but the ball was smashed away.

In the end Dumbarton held on to gain a very important three points in the battle for promotion.

Match report by Jack Crawford

Programme cover / Team sheet