First published in Sons View, 09 July 2011, Dumbarton -v- Motherwell (Friendly) - a report of the Play for the Sons game...
Dumbarton supporters’ fundraising game at the Rock on 4 June 2011. There was a smattering of youthful (and some not-so-youthful) talent on display, splendidly attired in the Sons’ 2010/11 home and away strips – which the players got to keep, in exchange for subscribing up to £250 each for the club.
The game itself saw a convincing win for Dumbarton Away, with the men in white pushing forward confidently in the opening stages of the game. Andy Scott in the Home goal made a fine outstretched save to his right on 9 minutes, turning a dangerous looking 20-yard shot from Alan Kennedy round the post, after the forward was set up by eventual Man of the Match Brian McMutrie.
But the big sticksman – who also had a fine game throughout – then found himself trapped off guard at the far post by a tricky inswinging cross on 14 minutes, following a good cross field ball from Alan Kennedy. The uncleared ball then fell for Ian McEwan to open the scoring with a close range header.
The Home side tried to regain some control in the middle of the park, but were finding it difficult to break through the Away backline, despite some good skill from Craig Campbell and Ross Black, and an effort on goal by Alex Stewart which did not really trouble Joe McCaughey in the Away goal. The match had started to even out a little when David Ferguson took advantage of a defensive slip to slot the ball just past the oncoming Andy Scott. 2-0 on 22 minutes.
Scott Mackie went on an impressive run as the home side tried to push back, creating an opportunity for Chris Whitfield, Tom McAllister and Paul Duffy were also full of running throughout. But it was the Away’s midfield moving into attack which continued to impress, with Gary McMurtie and Andrew McCulloch contributing to several build-ups, while Sean Bangs, Alan Smith, Allan Clarke and Andy Mackie played tidily and looked relatively untroubled for them at the back.
The substitutions were of the rolling variety throughout. For the Away side, Liam McVey was full of running and creativity. Alec Darroch tried to add sharpness up front for the Home side, and Simon Barrow came on in a defensive midfield role, but initially lost shape chasing a pacy attack before adopting a conventional right-back position in the second half. Robert Faulds made a couple of significant stops for the Homes and Darroch had a few half-chances in front of goal.
In the meantime, an extended sequence of cross field passes and sweeping moves from the Aways created another opening for Ian McEwan, but this time Andy Scott beat him to the post. McVey was rewarded for all his running on 34 minutes, as MacEwan burst through the Homes’ defence and the wily number 14 made it 3-0 for the Aways.
In the second half, Home centre-half Iain McPhee, who worked hard throughout, marshalled defenders Jordan Brownlee, Scott Mackie and Simon Barrow to try to close down the Aways attacking prowess. Neil Jenkinson was keen to get forward for the Aways, who always seemed keen to push the game upfield, their confidence buoyed by going in three up at the break.
While McCaughey continued to have a relatively quiet afternoon in the Away goal, Scott was kept busy for the Home side – who, despite a number of corners and near misses, succeeded in keeping their opponents out again until the 62nd minute, when the ever-threatening Ian MacEwan rounded the ’keeper who had denied him several times, and made it a decisive and deserved 4-0.
Tom McAllister for the Homes had forced a stop out of McCaughey not long before that. But the gold and blacks never really looked like scoring. Jordan Brownlee was treated for cramp not long before the end, having chased and tackled hard in the Home defence, which was also backed up by Alec Darroch. He, along with Chris Whitfield, had come closest to forcing a couple of breakthroughs at the Away end. However, the final result was never in doubt.