Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Huge boost for fluent Dumbarton

First published as Sons excel at Excelsior on the official DFC website.

Ready for the kick-off
Dumbarton put their recent woes behind them with a convincing 2-1 victory against Airdrie United in Lanarkshire this evening.

Sons started brightly, claiming the great majority of possession in the opening period. New signing Jordan Halsman nearly opened the scoring just short of 9 minutes, with a swerving shot from the edge of the area. It looked destined for the top corner of the net, but then took a sharp deflection over the bar from an Aidrie defender.

On 20 minutes Mark Gilhaney went on a weaving run down the right hand hand side for Dumbarton, slotting the ball firmly into the bottom corner of the Diamonds' net. 1-0 to Sons and, remarkably, the team's first outfield away goal of the season.

The visitors maintained the intensity, moving quickly and keeping pressure on the ball. There was one scary moment when a viciously inswinging Airdrie corner nearly flat-footed the defence. But then on the half hour Jon McShane burst through on the end of a flowing move, only to strike the ball against the post having gone past the 'keeper.

Incredibly, it hit the woodwork again as a Diamonds defender desparately tried to clear, but somehow stayed out. Moments later the industrious Pat Walker came close once more for the Sons.

As the half drew to a close Airdrie struggled to get hold of the ball, but Dumbarton could not translate possession into further advantage, despite more pressure from Andy Geggan and Walker, in particular.

On 48 minutes Dumbarton broke through again, with a silky close-passing move. A well-judged advantage from the referee after an Airdrie infringement allowed Pat Walker to outpace the home defence and make it 2-0 to Sons, with a confident strike.

The Diamonds tried to press forward, but Dumbarton, playing some of their best football so far this season, did not relent. First, Gilhaney struck the upright with a sizzling shot - one of three near chances he created within the space of ten minutes. Then McShane was bundled away close to goal as he went to head in from another attacking move neatly crafted by Walker.

Stephen Grindlay in the Dumbarton goal had not had much to do all evening, but when called upon made an impressive stop from a sweeping drive on one of the home side's rare ventures into Sons' penalty area.

However, with 11 minutes to go the Sons keeper made a rash challenge with his feet and Airdrie's Ryan McCord sent him the wrong way with the resulting penalty, making it 2-1. In the end it did not alter the result or change the balance of power in an energetic match.

The skilful and determined nature of this victory at the Excelsior Stadium gives Dumbarton fresh inspiration for what will be a tough second half of the season.

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