Dumbarton 3 - 2 East Stirlingshire 

Challenge Cup - 1st Round
Sunday, July 24th, 2011, 3:00 PM at Strathclyde Homes Stadium
Attendance: 454
Referee: Paul Robertson
Dumbarton v East Stirlingshire, Jul 24th 2011, Strathclyde Homes Stadium
Dumbarton  East Stirlingshire

Goalscorers
Bryan Prunty (54)
Mark Gilhaney (pen.) (61)
Pat Walker (90)
Alistair Love (66)
Kevin Turner (70)

Team Managers
Alan Adamson John Coughlin

Starting Eleven
Stephen Grindlay
Alan Lithgow
Jamie Lyden
Paul Nugent
Scott Agnew
Martin McBride
Kevin Nicoll
Mark Gilhaney
Bryan Prunty
Pat Walker
Kieran Brannan
Callum Antell
Andy Stirling
David Canet
Iain Chisholm
Ryan Frances
Joseph Dingwall
Michael Hunter
Alistair Love
Alexander Lurinsky
Steven Jackson
Kevin Turner

Bench
Jamie Ewings
Martin McNiff
Tony Wallace
Ryan Metcalf
Graeme Ramage
Gavin Sorley
Stuart Beveridge
Fraser Team
Joe Savage
John Sheran

Substitutions
Tony Wallace for Paul Nugent (67)
Graeme Ramage for Martin McBride (78)
Ryan Metcalf for Kieran Brannan (83)
Joe Savage for Alexander Lurinsky (74)
John Sheran for Michael Hunter (87)
Fraser Team for Kevin Turner (87)

Bookings
Martin McBride (29)
Ryan Frances (19)
Iain Chisholm (69)

Red Cards
Jamie Lyden (67)
None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Stephen Grindlay (GK) 224 apps -
Jamie Lyden 1 app (debut) -
Paul Nugent 35 apps -
Alan Lithgow 1 app (debut) -
Scott Agnew 1 app (debut) -
Martin McBride 1 app (debut) -
Kevin Nicoll 1 app (debut) -
Mark Gilhaney 30 apps10 goals
Pat Walker 25 apps10 goals
Kieran Brannan 43 apps1 goal
Bryan Prunty 1 app (debut)1 goal
Tony Wallace (sub) 6 apps -
Ryan Metcalf (sub) 5 apps -
Graeme Ramage (sub) 1 app (debut) -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Jamie Lyden (17 years 297 days)
Oldest Player:Stephen Grindlay (29 years 140 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 21 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Jamie Lyden (17 years 297 days)
Oldest Player:Stephen Grindlay (29 years 140 days)
Average Player Age:23 years 278 days
Domestic Players:16 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts
Alan Lithgow(Signed )
Bryan Prunty(Signed May 16th, 2011)
Jamie Lyden(Signed )
Kevin Nicoll(Signed )
Martin McBride(Signed )
Scott Agnew(Signed May 27th, 2011)
Graeme Ramage(Signed )

Milestones
Bryan Prunty scored his first goal for the Club.
Mark Gilhaney reached 10 goals for the Club.
Pat Walker reached 10 goals for the Club.

DUMBARTON'S return to competitive action in the first round of the Ramsdens Challenge Cup ended in a narrow victory at the Rock, with a 3-2 win over third division opponents East Stirlingshire being secured in the very last minute of the match.

On a crisp, sunny afternoon, Sons absorbed some initial pressure from Shire, with neither side really getting out of first gear.

Keiran Brannan had the first clear opportunity for Dumbarton, following a nifty one-two move involving Pat Walker. But after turning to face goal he struck well over from the edge of the box.

The home team soon started to look more comfortable on the ball and sharper on the break. The challenge remained to translate possession into chances though, and this proved more difficult as move after move broke down around the East Stirlingshire area.

Just short of the quarter hour Scott Agnew combined well with Mark Gilhaney, taunting the Shire defence from the left. But Agnew's drive went straight at 'keeper Callum Antel, who collected at the second attempt.

East Stirlingshire continued to pack their central defence, and Dumbarton could not find the final ball through. Meanwhile, at the other end of the pitch, a speculative shot from Ally Love spun well high and wide of Stephen Grindlay's far post.

Shire then gained a series of upfield free kicks, from which they were also unable to take advantage.

Despite a brief stoppage for a knock on Agnew and a booking apiece for niggling fouls, the majority of the opening 45 minutes remained largely incident-free from a football point of view.

Then near the break Sons suddenly had two chances. Walker saw a close range effort tipped round the post by Antel, and Agnew headed just over the top of the bar seconds later.

A free-kick from Martin McBride then cannoned into East Stirlingshire's defensive wall as a largely uneventful half drew to an end.

After the re-start the visitors had the first breakthrough opportunity, but Grindlay palmed a crafty, side-footed ball just wide. Sons came back straight away. A looping hook from Bryan Prunty came inches away from opening the scoring, scraping the top of the Shire bar.

Not long afterwards, with Dumbarton looking more purposeful and winning two corners in quick succession, the Sons no.9 had his reward. Latching on to a loose ball at the end of a scramble in the area, he drove determinedly past the 'keeper to make it 1-0 on 53 minutes.

Shortly after Pat Walker almost robbed goalkeeper Callum Antel of the ball on the edge of the Shire area, Sons were awarded a penalty decision just short of the hour when ex-Son Iain Chisholm pulled down Keiran Brannan on the edge of the box.

Mark Gilhaney stepped up and made no mistake with the spot-kick, rifling the ball high into the net.

On 65 minutes East Stirlingshire pulled the score back to 2-1 when a sharp through ball caught the Sons defence napping, and industrious striker Ally Love angled his shot securely past Grindlay.

Dumbarton's Tony Wallace came on for Paul Nugent at the back. Then fellow defender Jamie Lyden was shown a straight red card for a challenge outside the Shire area. The resulting free kick went straight to Grindlay. But on 70 minutes the visitors drew level at 2-2 when Kevin Turner capitalised on a quick move by the third division team.

Prunty hit the bar and Agnew struck wide as Sons fought hard to regain the initiative, having thrown away what looked to be a comfortable two goal lead.

An offside decision spared Dumbarton further embarrassment on 77 minutes, as the game seemed to be heading into extra time.

Graeme Ramage was brought on to replace McBride a minute later. Then Ryan Metcalfe took over from Brannan on 82 minutes, as a rejuvenated match began to career from end to end.

A further sense of urgency came into the game as the end of normal time approached. East Stirlingshire tried a double substitution. Gilhaney almost wriggled through a packed defence for Sons, but was stopped jusst short of his target.

Then on 90 minutes, Pat Walker burst through the opposition defence and placed the ball wide of 'keeper Callum Antel to make it 3-2, and at last win a Cup-tie for Sons. Overall, it was a tale of two very different halves and some persistence in the final third that clinched victory for a jubilant Dumbarton side.

Match report by Simon Barrow

None.

Programme cover / Team sheet