Dunfermline Athletic 3 - 4 DumbartonLeague - First Division
Saturday, March 23rd, 2013, 3:00 PM at East End Park
Referee: Alan Muir
Ryan Wallace (41)
Andy Barrowman (49)
Andy Barrowman (56)
Steven McDougall (51)
Chris Turner (59)
Scott Agnew (65)
Steven McDougall (84)
|Jim Jefferies||Ian Murray|
Josh Falkingham for Ryan Thomson (61)
Andy Kirk for Joe Cardle (83)
Craig Dargo for Andy Geggan (86)
Jim Lister for Nicky Phinn (58)
Mark Lamont for Bryan Prunty (90)
Chris Turner (75)
Appearances & Goals To Date
|Stephen Grindlay (GK)||275 apps||-|
|Paul McGinn||8 apps||-|
|James Creaney||80 apps||-|
|Andy Graham||26 apps||2 goals|
|Scott Smith||11 apps||-|
|Chris Turner||21 apps||3 goals|
|Scott Agnew||72 apps||19 goals|
|Nicky Phinn||4 apps||-|
|Mark Gilhaney||100 apps||22 goals|
|Steven McDougall||24 apps||3 goals|
|Bryan Prunty||71 apps||30 goals|
|Mark Lamont (sub)||32 apps||-|
|Jim Lister (sub)||30 apps||10 goals|
|Youngest Player:||Scott Smith (21 years 74 days)|
|Oldest Player:||Stephen Grindlay (31 years 18 days)|
|Average Player Age:||26 years 148 days|
|Domestic Players:||10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)|
|Youngest Player:||Owen Ronald (19 years 323 days)|
|Oldest Player:||Jim Lister (32 years 33 days)|
|Average Player Age:||26 years 165 days|
|Domestic Players:||15 (93.75 % of matchday squad)|
First Team Debuts
|Mark Gilhaney played his 100th major competitive game for the Club.|
FEISTY Dumbarton pulled off a remarkable comeback, recovering from twice being two behind in what turned out to be a pulsating game against Dunfermline Athletic at East End Park.
Both sides had to negotiate freezing conditions, occasioned by the second coldest March day on record in these islands.
Sons made a sprightly start, but were unable to capitalise on their early opportunities. The Pars began to boss the game and led 1-0 at the break.
In the second half the home side twice extended their lead before being pegged back. Then Dumbarton secured a remarkable turnaround, first to equalise and then to claim all three points.
"We will need to be patient and we will need to make sure that we match them all over the park.” Son's gaffer Ian Murray had warned beforehand. "We need to get back to the form we showed that saw us climb the table and there would be no better time to start than [now]."
His words proved prophetic, as Sons recovered from an uncertain first half performance and major setbacks in the second period to record their first win in the last twelve First Division encounters between the two clubs, extending back to 1993.
As the game got underway, Dumbarton's Chris Turner made a fine run before sending the ball wide out to Mark Gilhaney, who cut it back to Scott Agnew. His shot was deflected wide.
Agnew soon got into the action again, this time with a 25-yard free kick, which he sent high and wide.
Things were looking good for Sons initially. They almost scored a happenstance goal when Nicky Phinn charged down Pars 'keeper Paul Gallacher. His attempted clearance hit Phinn, spinning over his head back towards the net, but away.
Curiously, the incident was almost replicated at the other end of the pitch, when a Stephen Grindlay kick was blocked after James Creaney's touch and the ball ricocheted just wide.
Gradually, Dunfermline started to gain more control of the ball and of central midfield, but without creating any clear scoring opportunities.
Stephen Husband and Andrew Dowie both had efforts on goal, but failed to test Grindlay seriously.
Dumbarton players protested when a shot from Agnew broke through the home defence and was picked up by the on-running Phinn, who finished past Gallacher, but was then ruled offside.
Following Sons disallowed goal, Dunfermline also had the ball in the net, but their manoeuvre was ruled out for a foul.
It looked as if the game would remain in stalemate at the break, until ex-Son Andy Geggan teased Dumbarton's defence, leaving Ryan Wallace to break inside for the Pars and fire beyond Grindlay to give his side a 1-0 lead.
It was a frustrating moment, but probably fairly reflected the overall balance of the match to that point, leaving Sons to rue their own missed opportunities.
Dumbarton again started well in the second 45 minutes, looking to recover from the late first half setback.
Within four minutes those hopes had unravelled. Andy Barrowman squeezed his way through Sons' defence and finished well to extend the home side's lead to two goals.
However, the visitors wasted no time in getting straight back into the game. Paul McGinn did well to cross to the back post, where Steven McDougall's shot was deflected past Gallacher and into the net to make it 2-1.
The tempo of the game had increased significantly, and the atmosphere on and off the pitch continued to buzz as both sides wrestled for control.
Dunfermline Athletic struck once more. Barrowman seized onto a through ball and left Sons 'keeper Grindlay stranded before pushing the ball into the next to give the Pars a 3-1 lead.
At this stage, Dumbarton could have been daunted, but instead redoubled their efforts, playing fast, attacking football where previously they had sat back and tried to negotiate a slower passing game.
Popular striker Jim Lister replaced Nicky Phinn for Sons on 58 minutes.
Seconds later, Chris Turner, who was having an influential game for Dumbarton, volleyed the ball across the Pars 'keeper and sent it screaming into the top corner of the net from outside the area.
At 3-2, Sons were starting to look buoyant. Josh Falkingham came on for Ryan Thomson, but he could not halt the visitors' momentum.
Five minutes past the hour Lister capitalised on a Dunfermline defensive error before cutting the ball back for the onrushing Scott Agnew. His well-taken shot suddenly put the game level at 3-3.
Dumbarton continued to look urgent, and their opponents appeared equally determined to reclaim the lead, mounting a series of dangerous looking assaults on Sons' back line.
Andy Graham, Paul McGinn and James Creaney were among those who made important blocks for Dumbarton. Indeed, everyone in the team was working hard and playing his part.
On 84 minutes Mark Gilhaney's previous efforts were at last rewarded as he drove forward before releasing the ball wide to McDougall. The wingman moved inside and curled a well judged strike past Gallacher to make it 4-3 to Sons and send the travelling supporters into ecstasy.
Dunfermline brought on another ex-Dumbarton player in the shape of Craig Dargo, in place of Andy Geggan, two minutes later. But the striker had little chance to get into the match.
It was nonetheless set to be a tense finale, and so it proved. Dunfermline threw all they had at Dumbarton. But the visitors realised that attack is often the best form of defence and pumped the ball up field whenever they could.
Despite five minutes of time added on and some menacing forward movement from their opponents, Sons held on to secure a vital 4-3 win, which moves them seven points clear of Airdrie United with two games in hand.
"The First Division is a competitive league and we are now getting to the point where we must start picking up wins,” Sons Ian Murray had declared ahead of this encounter.
His team delivered exactly what he had hoped and worked for, staring adversity down to triumph in a match that started slowly and built to a storming conclusion.
Match report by Simon Barrow