Dumbarton and the re-tread version of Clydebank at SHS last night was a pretty low-key affair on a pleasant, sunny evening. The aspirant juniors showed some purpose, however, and things began to look more interesting in the second half after the Bankies' Mark Hailstones latched on to a penalty strike from Steven Dymock which had been blocked by Sons 'keeper Michael White.
From that point on Dumbarton pressed harder and grabbed an equaliser courtesy of a fine 25-yard strike from Martin McNiff - whose home shirt I am sponsoring this season. Clearly a vital factor. Following the break, both sides had predictably started to bring on the substitutes. Sons' three trialists were among the first to leave the fray, having not made a huge impact.
Overall, the game was rather directionless - with occasional flashes of skill, but neither side coming up with a plan to break down the other. Dumbarton were unable to turn their general superiority into territorial or penetrative advantage. Neither side managed more than a couple of half-hearted shots on goal, and as on previous friendly outings, Sons created nothing of significance in the area. In theory, this should have been men versus boys. In practice, it was boys versus slightly older boys.
These are still early days for the reshaping Dumbarton. There have been good performances against St Mirren and Morton. The players moving in from youth development looking promising, but relatively untested. They've done well coming on later in the match, but have struggled to impose themselves when coming on from the start. The real test is to come.