Sunday, 8 May 2011

Dumbarton finish seventh in Division Two

My match report first appeared on the official DFC website here.

Dumbarton ended a difficult season positively at SHS, claiming only their fourth clean sheet this term in a quiet 0-0 home draw against Forfar Athletic. The result also means that Sons have finished in a respectable seventh position in Irn Bru SFL Division.

Much ado about...
In an encounter that had a definite 'end of season' feel about it from the outset, both teams moved the ball around in midfield but created precious few chances throughout the first half.

Forfar's Bryan Deasley weaved around the Dumbarton defence on two occasions, running out of space and options the first time, and then laying off a header to Calum Smith which ended up nestling safely in the arms of Sons 'keeper Stephen Grindlay at the second attempt.

Mark Gilhaney engineered a couple of chances from 20 yards for Dumbarton. However the home team's first clear goal opportunity came on 38 minutes, when Pat Walker set up Jon McShane for a powerful shot that blazed just past Loons' last man Neill Duffy.

Jordan Halsman placed another good shot from just outside the area shortly afterwards, but it too ended up careering wide.

Neither side generated much more for the remainder of the first period, and when the wind and rain set in during the opening minutes of the second half it looked as if the stasis would continue.

However Dumbarton soon began to press again. The industrious and determined Pat Walker had the first real opening, latching onto the ball at Forfar's near post and whipping it towards the goal but into the side netting, almost opening Sons' account.

Mark Gilhaney swung a good cross in from the far side of the pitch a few minutes later, but there was no-one coming forward able to connect with it.

Then Mark Campbell had a further attempt for Forfar, before Walker forced a fine save out of Duffy, and Jon McShane used the back of his head to flick a short cross over the Loons' back two - but not their number one.

Stephen Tulloch came very close for Forfar on 74 minutes, connecting with a right-angled cross while feet away from the Dumbarton goal. He prodded the ball just wide with his head, however. Sons 'keeper Stephen Grindlay also made a good stop from the Loons' Barry Sellars.

Jordan Halsman was replaced by Keiran Brannan for Sons, and later on Pat Walker came off to huge applause from the home support. He gave way to Ryan Metcalfe.

The last quarter-hour of the season saw several niggling fouls but little in terms of further footballing creativity, until Sons launched several last minute attacks and survived a final one from Forfar themselves.

Hometown hero Paul Nugent was made Man of the Match for his defensive endeavours by game sponsors the Sonstrust.

The match was not the most compelling of the season, but it left Dumbarton supporters with a point, that precious clean sheet, and the sense of a job really well done in recovering effectively from a near disastrous start to the campaign back in the summer of 2010.

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