Dumbarton 2 - 0 Partick ThistleLeague - First Division
Saturday, January 12th, 2013, 3:00 PM at Bet Butler Stadium
Referee: Des Roache
Conrad Balatoni (o.g.) (21)
Bryan Prunty (63)
|Ian Murray||Jackie McNamara|
Stephen Grindlay for Jamie Ewings (44)
Garry Fleming for Jim Lister (78)
Marc McCusker for Bryan Prunty (83)
Ross Forbes for Aaron Muirhead (59)
Mark McGuigan for Kris Doolan (66)
James Craigen for Hugh Murray (73)
Scott Smith (55)
||Steven Lawless (70)|
Appearances & Goals To Date
|Jamie Ewings (GK)||22 apps||-|
|Nicky Devlin||41 apps||-|
|Alan Lithgow||60 apps||5 goals|
|Scott Smith||1 app (debut)||-|
|Andy Graham||19 apps||1 goal|
|Chris Turner||12 apps||1 goal|
|Scott Agnew||62 apps||16 goals|
|Mark Gilhaney||91 apps||20 goals|
|Jim Lister||22 apps||9 goals|
|Steven McDougall||19 apps||1 goal|
|Bryan Prunty||62 apps||25 goals|
|Stephen Grindlay (sub) (GK)||268 apps||-|
|Garry Fleming (sub)||20 apps||1 goal|
|Marc McCusker (sub)||4 apps||-|
|Youngest Player:||Nicky Devlin (19 years 92 days)|
|Oldest Player:||Jim Lister (31 years 328 days)|
|Average Player Age:||26 years 172 days|
|Domestic Players:||10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)|
|Youngest Player:||Glenn Thomson (19 years 84 days)|
|Oldest Player:||Jim Lister (31 years 328 days)|
|Average Player Age:||26 years 105 days|
|Domestic Players:||15 (93.75 % of matchday squad)|
First Team Debuts
|Scott Smith||(Signed January 2nd, 2013)|
|Bryan Prunty scored for the 25th time for the Club.|
DUMBARTON stunned promotion hopefuls Partick Thistle by securing a memorable 2-0 victory at the Rock in front of more than fifteen hundred fans this afternoon.
Another determined performance was topped by goals either side of the break, including one from birthday boy Bryan Prunty, as the Sons showed further proof of their ability to dig themselves out of the First Division relegation zone in what is going to be a competitive end to the 2012/13 season.
“We needed to make sure our home fans at last had some reward”, reflected gaffer Ian Murray after the match. “They applauded us from the pitch for our effort against Dunfermline last week, but they have had a hard time at home.”
As the teams appeared on the pitch, Ross Forsyth and Garry Fleming dropped back to the bench while new loan signing Scott Smith, from Hibernian, made his Dumbarton debut at full back. Meanwhile, forward Prunty, 30 years old today, made his first start since the Scottish Cup clash with Hamilton Accies on 17th December.
Both sides treated each other wearily in the first few minutes. Early pressure from Sons saw them force a corner. The ball was played short and Chris Turner headed wide from 12 yards out.
Thistle were soon pressing forward themselves. Dumbarton 'keeper Jamie Ewings made the first of several remarkable saves as he tipped over a dangerous-looking Stuart Bannigan shot from the edge of the area.
The game moved from end to end. A cross ball found its way to Prunty near the back post at the visitors end. He took a touch before beating Partick goalie Scott Fox, but his effort was cleared off the line.
Immediately Thistle broke up the pitch and Ewings denied them with a sensational stop. Aaron Sinclair cut the ball back for Steven Craig. His first time shot clearly seemed destined for the top corner of the net, but the Sons 'keeper leapt acrobatically to touch it wide.
Then Mark Gilhaney himself fired for the top corner from 25 yards for Dumbarton, with Scott Fox being required to perform a not dissimilar save for the Jags at the other end of the pitch.
On 21 minutes Dumbarton found themselves 1-0 ahead, to the unbridled delight of the home support. The breakthrough came with a large slice of luck. Scott Agnew lifted a free kick is lifted into the area, and in the ensuing scramble Alan Lithgow cannoned his header off the post, before the ball hit Partick defender Conrad Balatoni six yards out and deflected into the net.
Shortly afterwards Sons were down to ten men for a short period when Lithgow had to receive treatment for a blow to the head from a high kick. He returned to the field a few minutes later suitably bandaged.
Meanwhile, the action continued apace. Another cunning free kick from Dumbarton's Agnew was tipped just wide. For Partick Kris Doolan fired through a packed area, but Ewings held on well to a tricky ball.
With 44 minutes on the clock the busy Sons 'keeper had to be replaced by Stephen Grindlay when he sustained a dead leg. A shot immediately went into the side netting. Away supporters rose to their feet to cheer a goal, only to be rapidly disappointed.
Just before the break Smith, who was having an effective full debut, clipped in a ball which was cleared by the Thistle defence before dropping to Agnew. However, his first time, right-footed attempt went well wide.
In the second half Partick Thistle had plenty of possession, but never got hold of the game by the scruff of the neck, as their supporters were perhaps hoping and expecting.
Bannigan aimed a shot in from 20 yards for the first serious effort of the second 45 minutes, but from Dumbarton's point of view it was comfortably off target.
By the hour mark the match was swaying from one end to the other again, though with no substantial chances for either side.
Then suddenly, on 63 minutes, Sons were two up. Smith's cross was flicked on by industrious Jim Lister and Bryan Prunty was there to control the ball and touch it past away 'keeper Fox to put Dumbarton in the driving seat for the final third of the game.
The men from Maryhill made the second of three second half substitutions when Mark McGuigan replaced Doolan on 66 minutes, not long after ex-Son Ross Forbes had been brought on for Muirhead.
The final shake of the dice for the Jags came on 73 minutes, when James Craigen took the place of Hugh Murray. But still the visitors could not find a formula to break down the home defence.
The remaining 20 minutes, including time added on, was predictably tense. Partick were creating precious few, however. In one, Chris Erskine cut in from the right on 81 minutes, firing just wide of the near corner.
Sons boss Murray meanwhile brought on Garry Fleming and Marc McCusker for Prunty and Lister on 78 and 83 minutes, respectively, as his side showed every determination to hold on to their lead and keep a clean sheet.
For the Jags Craig clipped the ball in for McGuigan, when it was probably easier to shoot himself. The substitute could not quite reach the ball fully and his header was off-target.
Sons' Stephen Grindlay made his own mark on the game as it neared its conclusion, pulling off a fine and important double-save as the visitors sought to wrestle something from a game that had gone badly wrong for them.
The final whistle was received with jubilation by the home support. Once again Dumbarton had put on resolute and well-organised performance. They now face a huge test on the road to Airdrie United, one of three sides battling it out for safety at the foot of the Irn Bru SFL First Division.
Match report by Simon Barrow