Alloa Athletic 0 - 1 Dumbarton

League - Championship play off final 1st leg
Wednesday, May 9th, 2018, 7:45 PM at Indodrill Stadium
Attendance: 811
Referee: John McKendrick
Alloa Athletic v Dumbarton, May 9th 2018, Indodrill Stadium
Alloa Athletic Dumbarton 

None. Stuart Carswell (6)

Team Managers
Jim Goodwin Stevie Aitken

Starting Eleven
Neil Parry
Jamie McCarthy
Andy Graham
Callum Crane
Scott Taggart
Jordan Kirkpatrick
Garry Fleming
John Robertson
Ross Stewart
Iain Flannigan
Kevin Cawley
Scott Gallacher
Craig Barr
Liam Dick
Andy Dowie
Tom Walsh
Danny Handling
Kyle Hutton
Stuart Carswell
David Smith
Andy Stirling
Kevin Nisbet

Daryll Meggatt
Jim Goodwin
Andrew Wilson
A Trialist
Dylan Monaghan
Kris Renton
Callum Smith
Jamie Ewings
Dougie Hill
David Wilson
Grant Gallagher
Liam Burt
Iain Russell
Mark Stewart

Callum Smith for Jordan Kirkpatrick (37)
Kris Renton for Garry Fleming (73)
Liam Burt for Danny Handling (53)
Iain Russell for Tom Walsh (76)
Mark Stewart for Andy Stirling (86)

Ross Stewart (51)
Iain Flannigan (80)
Kevin Nisbet (82)
Mark Stewart (89)

Red Cards
None. None.

Appearances & Goals To Date
Scott Gallacher (GK) 50 apps -
Craig Barr 46 apps5 goals
Liam Dick 16 apps -
Andy Dowie 47 apps -
Tom Walsh 56 apps4 goals
Danny Handling 23 apps3 goals
Kyle Hutton 46 apps -
Stuart Carswell 53 apps2 goals
David Smith 71 apps2 goals
Andy Stirling 56 apps3 goals
Kevin Nisbet 12 apps -
Liam Burt (sub) 18 apps1 goal
Iain Russell (sub) 131 apps36 goals
Mark Stewart (sub) 35 apps4 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Kevin Nisbet (21 years 67 days)
Oldest Player:Andy Dowie (35 years 54 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 149 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Liam Burt (19 years 102 days)
Oldest Player:Iain Russell (35 years 185 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 149 days
Domestic Players:18 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Scott Gallacher played his 50th major competitive game for the Club.

PLAY-OFFS never were done the easy way.

The good news for those of us with already-exhausted nerves is that there is only one game left this season.

The not-so-good news is that it is liable to be the most nerve-shredding of the lot.

For the second week in a row, Dumbarton have a one-goal lead to defend at home in a play-off tie.

The difference is that Sunday's second leg against Alloa is the game by which their stay in the Championship lives or dies. Whether they make it a seventh season in that division, or whether the journey ends here.

Stuart Carswell started the season without a goal to his name in his entire senior career. He now has two, and when he scores them, he scores them.

His first career goal, against Elgin City in November, was a free kick from distance. His second, to decide this game, was a moment of genius.

With only six minutes gone, he controlled Danny Handling's pass 25 yards out and thrashed in a searing shot which went on to be the winner on the night.

Now Sons are 90 minutes away from another season in the Championship and a draw on Sunday or, if they are feeling generous, another victory will finish the job. It is easy if you say it fast enough.

They had fought off some early pressure from the Wasps before Carswell's brilliantly-executed goal gave them the lead.

But the scoreline could have been level again after only a further eight minutes when ex-Son Jordan Kirkpatrick's shot rebounded from the post. Keeper Scott Gallacher may well have got a touch on the ball to deflect it off target.

Carswell was right in the mood after his earlier shot and had another go from distance, but this time his effort was saved. Right on half time a Dumbarton attack turned into a chance for Alloa, but Gallacher saved well from Ross Stewart.

Early in the second half, Kevin Nisbet and Kyle Hutton were unlucky to miss the target before Alloa fought back.

Callum Smith was played in to finish from six yards, but Craig Barr made one of the challenges of the season to deny the striker.

The rest of the game was scrappy, with another Nisbet shot, which went just over, being largely all Sons had to show for their efforts.

Gallacher, though, only had one major final act to perform himself, saving brilliantly from Smith at close range.

So is it meant to be? We will know on Sunday evening.

Match report by Andy Galloway

Photography by Donald Fullarton

Programme cover / Team sheet