Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Dumbarton brace Brechin storm

This article also appears as the match report on the official DFC website.

Sons celebrate McShane's final equaliser
Dumbarton braved a difficult surface at Glebe Park, and tough opponents in Brechin City, to claim a point in a hard-fought contest away from home. It produced a vibrant game that ended in a 3-3 draw.

Both sides started positively, with the home side looking slightly more comfortable moving the ball around on a soft and uneven pitch - which only got worse as the evening progressed.

On nine minutes Kevin Byers opened the scoring for Brechin, with a looping header over Sons 'keeper Stephen Grindlay, after the ball had been swept in from the wing.

But two minutes later Dumbarton had found their feet and equalised, following a good through-ball from Mark Gilhaney and a powerful, driving shot from the edge of the area by Jon McShane. 1-1.

For much of the half the Hedgemen looked more threatening, pushing the ball out to the wings and trying to get behind the Dumbarton defence.

Sons' efforts on goal were more speculative, and their attacks based on passing movements through the centre that floundered in the mud.

Ben Gordon and Andy Geggan both made good, solid tackles in central defence as Brechin continued to push. Then five minutes before half-time Geggan released McShane down the right, but the big man's shot flew well over Brechin's bar.

After the break both teams struggled to retain and control the ball in worsening conditions. Pat Walker put it in the net for Sons on the hour, but unfortunately just after the flag had gone up for offside.

Then on 64 minutes a match that looked as if it had (literally) become bogged down suddenly burst into life. First, Kevin Byers made it 2-1 to the home side, squeezing the ball in after a desperate goalmouth scramble.

But the Hedgemen's lead lasted only a minute before Walker struck back for Dumbarton. The swings and roundabouts continued on 75 minutes with a superb, swerving strike from Roy McAllister, making it 3-2 again to the home side.

Sons went on the attack in search of yet another equaliser, while being rescued at the back several times by some determined tackling and a point-blank save from Grindlay. Paul Nugent also put himself on the line to keep Dumbarton in the game.

The last twist came from Jon McShane, claiming his second goal of the evening to draw the sides level for the final time. Walker worked the ball through the Brechin defence, and the Sons number 9 beat the 'keeper, to rapturous applause from the travelling support.

The 3-3 draw keeps Dumbarton in the hunt for safety in Division Two, and a respectable mid-table finish is now possible, as what has been a topsy-turvy season heads towards its finale.

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