Dumbarton 1 - 1 FalkirkLeague - Championship
Saturday, August 10th, 2013, 3:00 PM at Bet Butler Stadium
Referee: Calum Murray
Bryan Prunty (84)
||Conor McGrandles (61)|
|Ian Murray||Gary Holt|
Mitch Megginson for Steven McDougall (63)
Bryan Prunty for Garry Fleming (73)
Thomas Grant for Jay Fulton (85)
Craig Sibbald for Blair Alston (87)
|None.||Philip Roberts (33)|
Appearances & Goals To Date
|Jamie Ewings (GK)||30 apps||-|
|Scott Smith||21 apps||-|
|Andy Graham||38 apps||3 goals|
|Aaron Barry||2 apps||-|
|Paul McGinn||17 apps||2 goals|
|Mark Gilhaney||112 apps||25 goals|
|Chris Turner||32 apps||3 goals|
|Scott Agnew||84 apps||24 goals|
|Garry Fleming||35 apps||4 goals|
|Steven McDougall||36 apps||5 goals|
|Kevin Smith||3 apps||1 goal|
|Bryan Prunty (sub)||83 apps||31 goals|
|Mitch Megginson (sub)||3 apps||-|
|Youngest Player:||Aaron Barry (20 years 264 days)|
|Oldest Player:||Andy Graham (29 years 330 days)|
|Average Player Age:||25 years 345 days|
|Domestic Players:||9 (81.82 % of starting eleven)|
|Youngest Player:||Ally McKerracher (17 years 49 days)|
|Oldest Player:||Stephen Grindlay (31 years 158 days)|
|Average Player Age:||24 years 294 days|
|Domestic Players:||16 (88.89 % of matchday squad)|
First Team Debuts
DUMBARTON secured the first point of their Championship campaign against Falkirk at the Rock this afternoon, pulling back a goal late on to claim a 1-1 draw.
The match started tentatively, but ended with passion and energy. Sons have started poorly over the past few years, taking ten games to pick up a point last season. This time they got going straight away.
The 2013/14 Championship season began with a heart-felt minute's applause for Sons legend Colin McAdam, who died unexpectedly earlier this month.
In the early exchanges, both sides were clearly testing one another. Falkirk appeared more direct and physical than last season. They have a number of promising youngsters in their squad who will take time to bed in.
There was an early panic for the home side, when a half-clearance went to Roberts and almost gave the Bairns an opportunity to break through.
New Sons loan signing Aaron Barry reacted quickly to the oncoming Roberts, but could do little other than to pull him down and was booked.
There were tense exchanges in the middle of the park, with the visitors looking to push forward. Both teams were losing the ball too early.
Then Dumbarton broke through. Garry Fleming went down under a challenge in the box. There were appeals for a penalty.
The referee took a different view however, and Fleming became the second Sons player to be shown a yellow card in a short space of time.
A good chance came Dumbarton's way when Scott Agnew curled in a trademark free kick to give Barry a virtually free header. But the Sheffield United youngster's effort went frustratingly wide.
Shortly after it was Agnew's turn to test Michael McGovern in the Bairns' goal. A short corner came to the playmaker and he unleashed a fierce shot.
The 'keeper was up to the challenge, producing an extraordinary diving save to tip the ball over the bar.
At the other end, Rory Loy got in behind Scott Smith to cuts the ball back for the onrushing Blair Alston, This time it was Jamie Ewings' turn to show his goalkeeping prowess for Dumbarton, saving well.
Both sides then had chances to open the scoring in fairly quick succession. First an attempt by Loy was ruled offside. Then, for Sons, Mark Gilhaney tormented the visiting defence and crashed the ball across goal.
His strike ricocheted off a Falkirk defender, hit McGovern and was somehow scrambled clear by the Falkirk defence.
Barry made a fine tackle to stop Loy once more, as the Bairns pressed forward towards the end of the first half.
However, neither side was able to find the net in the opening 45 minutes, and the match was poised goalless and even at the break.
In the second half, Falkirk upped the pace, and for the first ten minutes or so looked by far the more likely to score. They pressed forward, controlling the ball and forcing Dumbarton onto the back foot.
Just after the hour, the visitors' efforts were rewarded. After a quick breakaway Conor McGrandles positioned himself well and fired the ball at Ewings.
The Sons 'keeper looked as if he had it covered, but it deflected off Andy Graham to give Falkirk a 1-0 lead and send Dumbarton back to the drawing board.
If the home side were deflated, they did not show it for long.
First, however, it was necessary to stop the Bairns pressing their advantage yet further.
Roberts got into a one-on-one situation with Ewings, who saved the ball impressively and then blocked the rebound.
Ian Murray made his first switch of the afternoon on 63 minutes, bringing on Mitch Megginson for Steven McDougall.
The youngster looked keen and busy almost straight away, using his skill and determination to test the visitors' back line.
Dumbarton began to come back into the game. An Agnew shot was pushed away in the midst of a busy penalty area.
Sons were pressing for an equaliser, but it was not coming. The bench decided that it was time for more change.
Popular striker Bryan Prunty, famous for his award-winning overhead kick goal last season, replaced the busy Garry Fleming, who had been starting to tire, to give the line up a more attacking flavour.
There was annoyance for Sons when a promising looking forward move was halted when the referee blew for a knock on Jay Fulton a few seconds earlier. However, the Falkirk man seemed unhurt, and the game resumed.
As the game headed towards a conclusion, Dumbarton were looking ever more urgent in their efforts to find an equaliser.
The reward came on 79 minutes. Great play from Smith held the ball up for substitute Prunty. He took one deft touch and then fired home, leaving McGovern no chance.
At 1-1 it was suddenly all Sons, as the home side surged forward in search of a winner, and Falkirk looked to break back themselves when they had the opportunity.
A later corner for the Bairns looked dangerous, but it was decisively cleared by Barry.
When the final whistle went, Dumbarton had earned their first point of the season with a strong all-round performance, and were rewarded with enthusiastic applause from the sizeable crowd.
Match report by Simon Barrow