Falkirk 1 - 0 Dumbarton

League - Championship
Saturday, August 27th, 2016, 3:00 PM at The Falkirk Stadium
Attendance: 4,311
Referee: Don Robertson
Falkirk v Dumbarton, Aug 27th 2016, The Falkirk Stadium
Falkirk Dumbarton 

Lee Miller (86) None.

Team Managers
Peter Houston Stevie Aitken

Starting Eleven
Danny Rogers
Lewis Kidd
Luke Leahy
David McCracken
Tom Taiwo
Mark Kerr
John Baird
Craig Sibbald
Myles Hippolyte
Luca Gasparotto
Bob McHugh
Alan Martin
Craig Pettigrew
Gregor Buchanan
Mark Docherty
Daniel Harvie
David Smith
Ryan Stevenson
Grant Gallagher
Joe Thomson
Josh Todd
Robert Thomson

Deniz Mehmet
Aaron Muirhead
John Rankin
Lee Miller
Scott Shepherd
James Craigen
Paul Watson
Jamie Ewings
Darren Barr
Andy Stirling
Garry Fleming
Amadou Kassarate
Donald McCallum

James Craigen for Tom Taiwo (62)
Lee Miller for John Baird (70)
Aaron Muirhead for Lewis Kidd (90)
Andy Stirling for Joe Thomson (70)
Darren Barr for Ryan Stevenson (82)
Garry Fleming for David Smith (87)

None. Gregor Buchanan (64)

Red Cards
None. None.

Appearances & Goals To Date
Alan Martin (GK) 4 apps -
Craig Pettigrew 8 apps -
Gregor Buchanan 45 apps2 goals
Mark Docherty 47 apps5 goals
Daniel Harvie 4 apps -
David Smith 8 apps1 goal
Ryan Stevenson 8 apps1 goal
Grant Gallagher 42 apps5 goals
Joe Thomson 4 apps -
Josh Todd 8 apps -
Robert Thomson 8 apps2 goals
Darren Barr (sub) 37 apps3 goals
Andy Stirling (sub) 8 apps -
Garry Fleming (sub) 148 apps28 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Daniel Harvie (18 years 49 days)
Oldest Player:Ryan Stevenson (32 years 11 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 54 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Daniel Harvie (18 years 49 days)
Oldest Player:Jamie Ewings (32 years 31 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 248 days
Domestic Players:15 (88.24 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts


MISSED chances. The scourge of many teams taking on favourites in their division.

They don't come your way very often. When they do, they have to go.

A lesson harshly handed down to Dumbarton on 57 minutes at Falkirk, when Josh Todd was put in the clear, one on one.

His effort was blocked by keeper Danny Rogers. It was unlucky and down to good goalkeeping, but following huge pressure from the hosts, Sons eventually went down to a Lee Miller goal.

They gave a decent account of themselves. Every player stepped up to the plate. But they were taught that, however well the opposition do, near misses have no place.

It would be absolutely true to say Falkirk were on top of the second half possession-wise. The percentages must have made fascinating reading.

But despite how much they had of the ball, clear chances didn't come thick and fast. A determined effort by the Sons defence looked set to ensure a clean sheet until Miller struck.

Dumbarton have come out of their first four league games with as many points. Three of those fixtures were away from home and at least two were against teams widely tipped for promotion.

It's not the worst start by any stretch, and after the Irn Bru Cup trip to Stranraer, attention switches to a run of five league games, four of which are at home.

A haul of at least six points from those fixtures will keep Sons on course for 10 points a quarter, generally regarded as the ratio for survival. More will keep them ahead of schedule.

They didn't take long to make an impression at Falkirk, and on four minutes ex-So=n Rogers dropped a Ryan Stevenson cross.

Of all players, the ball had to fall to ex-Bairns man David Smith, but one of his former team-mates blocked on the line.

A low Stevenson effort on the turn from the edge of the area rolled wide, with claims for a deflection going unheard.

When Falkirk found their stride midway through the first half, a testing period began for Sons keeper Alan Martin, but he proved each time that he was up to it.

He punched away a Bob McHugh effort from distance before saving John Baird's header at point blank range. Just to prove the latter was no fluke, he made a similar save from Myles Hippolyte's effort from six yards.

Mark Kerr also sliced wide for Falkirk when well placed, ensuring that half time arrived with a blank scoresheet.

The second half saw the home side have much of the ball but the first clear opportunity was the effort which fell Todd's way.

After Rogers saved, Falkirk cranked things up further, with Luke Leahy heading Craig Sibbald's cross off the bar and over.

The introduction of Andy Stirling saw some invention from Sons on the occasions they got into a threatening position. One of his crosses was intended for Robert Thomson, whose head missed the ball by inches.

With 10 minutes to play, a McHugh effort was deflected off target by the unknowing Mark Docherty. It was tough viewing, but Sons were hanging in there with a point becoming a realistic prospect.

That was until Leahy sent in a low ball from the left, and Miller stuck out a leg to do the rest from close range.

The lead almost doubled in injury time when McHugh was put clear, but Martin saved his angled effort at close range.

Definitely hard lines but lesson learned.

Match report by Andy Galloway

Photography by Donald Fullarton

Programme cover / Team sheet