Dumbarton 4 - 1 Stirling Albion 

League - Second Division
Saturday, February 25th, 2012, 3:00 PM at Strathclyde Homes Stadium
Attendance: 722
Referee: Brian Winter
Dumbarton v Stirling Albion, Feb 25th 2012, Strathclyde Homes Stadium
Dumbarton  Stirling Albion

Ally Graham (47)
Scott Agnew (73)
Mark Gilhaney (80)
Mark Gilhaney (87)
Scott Davidson (3)

Team Managers
Alan Adamson Greig McDonald

Starting Eleven
Stephen Grindlay
Martin McNiff
Paul Nugent
Tony Wallace
Alan Lithgow
James Creaney
Mark Gilhaney
Mark Lamont
Scott Agnew
Ally Graham
Pat Walker
Calum Reidford
Sean Dillon
Gary Thom
John Crawley
Mark Ferry
Craig McLeish
Dale McSorley
Sean Fagan
Graham Weir
Kevin Kelbie
Scott Davidson

Arnaud Gastal
Ryan Finnie
Kevin Nicoll
Ryan Borris
Sam Filler
Gavin McPherson
Darren Smith
Alan Cook
Devon Jacobs

Ryan Finnie for Tony Wallace (70)
Kevin Nicoll for James Creaney (70)
Ryan Borris for Mark Lamont (88)
Darren Smith for Kevin Kelbie (58)
Alan Cook for Sean Fagan (62)
Devon Jacobs for Craig McLeish (63)

Scott Agnew (67)
Dale McSorley (32)
Sean Fagan (52)
Graham Weir (68)

Red Cards
None. Scott Davidson (56)
Appearances & Goals To Date
Stephen Grindlay (GK) 240 apps -
Paul Nugent 60 apps -
Tony Wallace 23 apps -
Alan Lithgow 26 apps4 goals
James Creaney 49 apps -
Martin McNiff 68 apps3 goals
Mark Gilhaney 57 apps16 goals
Mark Lamont 7 apps -
Scott Agnew 27 apps10 goals
Ally Graham 7 apps2 goals
Pat Walker 51 apps13 goals
Ryan Finnie (sub) 7 apps -
Ryan Borris (sub) 100 apps7 goals
Kevin Nicoll (sub) 19 apps1 goal

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Ally Graham (18 years 306 days)
Oldest Player:Stephen Grindlay (29 years 356 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 37 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Ryan Finnie (17 years 10 days)
Oldest Player:Stephen Grindlay (29 years 356 days)
Average Player Age:23 years 279 days
Domestic Players:14 (93.33 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Ryan Borris played his 100th major competitive game for the Club.
Scott Agnew reached 10 goals for the Club.

DUMBARTON made another dramatic recovery from a first-half deficit in this match, winning 4-1 against Stirling Albion at the Rock having been one goal behind at the break.

Shortly before kick-off, Sons' centre forward Bryan Prunty, who was preparing to play, had to be replaced by Pat Walker when he pulled up with a strain.

When the game got underway the Binos immediately made it an uphill task. Proceedings had hardly settled down when Scott Davidson put the visitors 1-0 ahead.

A half clearance was pounced upon by the incoming opposition forward. He stroked the ball past Stephen Grindlay in the Dumbarton goal. The Sons 'keeper could only watch despairingly as it trickled into the net following the defensive error.

The home side immediately set about trying to get back into the fray. Scott Agnew's free kick from 20 yards flew well wide of the near post at the Stirling end. Then a great cross from Mark Gilhaney almost found Walker, but was headed away.

Next Walker trapped the ball, turning and laying off a perfect pass to Mark Lamont, who set up Ally Graham to head down. But his effort was turned away.

Mostly, however, the Binos were successful in neutralising Dumbarton, keeping tight and not allowing them any time on the ball. They also mounted a few attacks of their own, looking more in control during the first quarter of an hour.

On 17 minutes Gilhaney and Lamont combined well, switching wings and sending the ball in to Walker, who leaned back to head it but saw his attempt go just off the cross bar and out.

Then Graham had another good opportunity to score, side-footing wide from a close angle. Albion were having slightly more of the game, but Sons more of the chances without finishing them.

In defence, Martin McNiff headed back to Grindlay to thwart the pacy Stirling striker Graham Weir. Alan Lithgow and Paul Nugent were also kept busy, while James Creaney sought to push up the wing from behind.

Agnew flashed wide with the outside of his boot as Sons pressed back. Lamont was continuing to cause difficulties for the Binos' back line.

Then following a short, sharp move at the other end, Kevin Kelbie tried an overhead kick but could not get a proper connection.

Minutes later Shaun Fagan floated a dangerous ball over Sons' defence. It clung in the air and fell straight at the feet of a striker, who was adjudged offside when it was played.

Gilhaney and Walker combined well again for Dumbarton, but Gils' miscued his cross.

On the half hour Grindlay tipped over a threatening Weir shot, as Stirling looked to add to their lead.

A Mark Lamont cross on 40 minutes found Ally Graham in a great position, though again the chance went begging. A frantic goalmouth scramble followed, but Walker could not quite bundle the ball in and Albion survived through to the break with Sons unable to capitalise on at least four significant opportunities.

Whatever gaffer Alan Adamson said at half time seemed to do the trick. Sons came out after the interval looking much more sharp and purposeful from the get-go, applying massive pressure.

The reward came two minutes into the second 45, when Ally Graham went on an exceptional solo run, shaking off several defenders and finishing confidently to make it 1-1.

Next Lamont came close as his cross skidded off the top of Callum Reidford's bar and Albion survived another series of goalmouth half chances.

Eight minutes later, Stirling goal hero Davidson was punished for a lunging challenge with a red card, and the visitors found themselves down to ten men and on the back foot. Straight away they brought on Darren Smith for Kelbie.

Former Son Alan Cook replaced Fagan on 62 minutes. It did not take him long to pose a threat, his ambition to score only stifled by some good backtracking defensive work by Sons. One of Cook's efforts went swerving high, but wide.

The game was wide open by now, with Sons doing most of the attacking and Stirling Albion occasionally countering at speed.

On 73 minutes the Dumbarton breakthrough came. Agnew latched onto a deflected cross from Graham and he lashed the ball home with a fearsome strike. 2-1 to Sons.

The home team looked in control at this point, but it almost unravelled when Albion launched a swift, penetrating move down the right. Darren Smith found himself one on one with 'keeper Grindlay, but thankfully for Sons his shot ricocheted off the post and out.

It was Mark Gilhaney who finally sewed the game up for Dumbarton with a brace of goals in seven match-defining minutes.

First, Agnew's cross was cleared by the Stirling defence, but went into Gilhaney's path. He made no mistake and struck the ball home from 12 yards. 3-1 to Sons.

Gils' second and Dumbarton's fourth came from a neatly flicked-on header, to the obvious delight of players and fans alike.

Sons coasted the remaining three minutes of the game and time added on, despite one scare from Smith (again), resulting in an effort that went reassuringly into the side netting.

The victory means that Dumbarton are secured solidly in third place in Irn Bru SFL Division Two, but with a series of tough matches against other top teams coming up. Stirling Albion, meanwhile, remain firmly anchored to the foot of the table.

Match report by Simon Barrow


Programme cover / Team sheet