Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Spartans (0) v Dumbarton (0)

Saturday 14th July 2018, Kick Off 3pm

Betfred Cup

TOP of the group after 90 minutes and a penalty shoot-out. What could go wrong from here?

It may only be alphabetical order that keeps Dumbarton in the automatic qualification slot of Betfred Cup Group H, after a slog against Spartans which was decided on spot kicks.

But the new-look Sons side, as well as having another 90 minutes under its belt, has already done one thing no Dumbarton team has done since season 2008/09.

Win a penalty shoot-out, which they did after Grant Adam saved from Ian McFarland and Jamie Dishington.

Since beating Annan on penalties, Sons had had another five shoot-outs in national competitions and lost every one. Morton (2010), East Fife (2015), Forfar, Peterhead (each 2016) and Annan (2017) have been the teams beating them.

The aim this season is, of course, to match another achievement of the team of 10 years ago. But one step at a time.

There was no faulting the effort in Scotland's capital city, but clear opportunities were hard to come by against the Lowland League champioms.

The higlights of the 90 minutes don't take long to recount, especially for those of a neutral persuasion.

Sons were, though, unlucky not to open the scoring on 21 minutes. Iain Russell applied a fine headed finish from Ryan Thomson's flick, but did so in an offside position.

A Thomson header found only the top of the net, and that was really it for the first half.

After the restart, Ross Forbes was unlucky to see a shot just pass the far post, before he set up Craig Barr from a corner, but that header too was off target.

Sub Andy Little went close twice, firstly being denied at close range before another shot was saved low at the near post.

Adam's only save of the 90 minutes came from a Craig Stevenson shot from the edge of the area, which he comfortably dealt with.

So it was on to the penalties, which interestingly, instead of the well-populated clubhouse end of the stadium, were taken in front of a near empty grass knoll at the other end.

Each team scored its first two kicks - Barr and Michael Paton for Sons after Stevenson and Adam Corbett had scored for Spartans.

Adam's save from McFarland was followed by Calum Gallagher scoring Dumbarton's third, and although Scott Maxwell converted for Spartans, Kyle Hutton's successful penalty meant Dishington needed to score.

When Adam saved again, that was it. Dumbarton were off and running.

Spartans: Carswell; Herd (Bremner 72), Brown, Cennerazzo, Corbett, Greenhill (Stevens 64), Dishington, McFarland, Smith (Atkinson 79), Maxwell, Stevenson. Subs: Costello; Dawson, Girdwood.

Dumbarton: Adam; Dyer, Dowie, Perry, Carswell, Hutton, Forbes, R Barr (Paton 76), Russell (Gallagher 62), Thomson (Little 62), C Barr. Sub: McGowan.

Referee: Stephen Brown.

Andy Galloway