Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872
Arbroath (0) v Dumbarton (0)
Saturday 12th May 2012, Kick Off 3pm
Irn Bru SFL Division One Play Offs
DUMBARTON sealed their place in the First Division Playoff Final, after a 0-0 draw with Arbroath at Gayfield. They led 2-1 from the first leg on home turf.
The Sons were under pressure for a majority of the second half, but the home side found 'keeper Stephen Grindlay in top form.
The Litchies got the game underway on a lovely day in Arbroath, and it was they who had the first chance.
Front man Steven Doris was sent through, only to be denied by Grindlay in the Dumbarton goal. The rebound fell back to his feet, before he took the ball round the 'keeper, only to find Sons defender Alan Lithgow on the line to head his follow up away.
Lithgow and his fellow centre back partner, Martin McNiff, were key to Dumbarton getting the draw they needed. Both of them made last ditch tackles, won headers and got vital touches in at important times.
Arbroath continued to keep up the pressure in the first half, and nearly scored in bizarre fashion when a hopeful cross clipped the bar and went over.
Doris had another great chance for The Red Litchies. He picked the ball up on the right hand wing, before skinning a Dumbarton defender too easily. He was then left with a one-on-one, which he chose to try and chip instead of placing in the corner. Grindlay saved the chip, and the ball was hurried away.
There was a massive chance for Dumbarton not long afterwards. Craig Dargo was sent through on a one-on-one by Bryan Prunty. Dargo opted to take the ball around the onrushing Hill in the Litchies' goal. However the touch was too heavy and the chance was gone.
Scott Agnew found space midway out for Dumbarton, before performing a fake shot to get past the defender, and then firing over from 20 yards.
Sons continued to keep up a good spell of pressure. The ever-present Agnew picked the ball up in midfield, before switching the ball left to the unmarked Prunty. Top scorer Prunty had to switch the ball on to his right foot, before trying to place under Hill. The 'keeper made a great stop with his trailing hand to knock the ball behind for a corner.
The second half began in the way that the majority of it would go on: with Arbroath pressure. Josh Falkingham had a 20-yard drive comfortably held by Grindlay.
Steven Doris was again causing Dumbarton trouble. He had a hopeful lob from 20 yards go just over the crossbar. The ball skimmed the net on the way past, and at the other side of the ground it looked as if the ball had gone in. Unfortunately, it had not.
Then came three great stops from eventual 'Man of the Match' Stephen Grindlay, all in a matter of moments.
The first came after Kevin Nicoll picked up a booking for a late foul on the edge of the area. Gavin Swankie stepped up to take it, and Grindlay got across to tip the ball round for a corner.
The next came from the resulting corner. The ball was initially cleared, however the ball fell to Swankie from 12 yards out and Grindlay blocked the ball with his feet before it was smashed away.
From that proceeding clearance, the ball was played to Falkingham who whipped the ball in, and Swankie again caused Dumbarton problems, by getting up to head the ball.
However, for the third time in three minutes, Grindlay made a fantastic stop to get across to the top corner and tip the ball away with his right hand.
Arbroath continued to throw the kitchen sink at Sons, but failed to create any big chances.
Alan Adamson brought on fans' favourite Pat Walker for Craig Dargo, presumably for him to harry the tired Arbroath defence.
Dumbarton started to get in to the game a wee bit more. A quick throw in on the right hand flank, got the ball to sub Walker. He nutmegged an Arbroath defender, before cutting the ball back. His shot was deflected and went inches over the top of the crossbar.
Walker continued to work hard, and linked up well with Gilhaney on the left hand side. They played a neat one-two, and Walker then found space in the box to fire in a low drive. However, Hill in the Arbroath goal got down well to stop it.
Arbroath had a massive chance to take the game to extra time in the dying seconds. A corner found its way to Malcolm at the back post and his shot hit the side netting.
Craig Thomson blew for full time, to rapturous applause from the lively Dumbarton support, and the players thanked them for their loyal backing at the end of the game.
Dumbarton now face Airdrie United in the First Division Playoff final, at the Rock on Wednesday 16th May, and then at Excelsior Stadium on Sunday 20th May 2012.
Arbroath away May 2012
Exclusive copyright photos by Donald Fullarton.
Prints can be ordered by emailing email@example.com or by using the Contact Us facility on http://www.donaldfullartonphotos.co.uk
Dumbarton: Grindlay, Kennedy, Lithgow, McNiff, Creaney, Wallace, Agnew, Nicoll, Gilhaney, Prunty (Graham 81), Dargo (Walker 64). Subs Not Used: Ewings, Gray, Lyden.
Arbroath: Hill, Baxter, Malcolm, Innes, McAnespie, Caddis (Kerr 87), Falkingham, Gibson, Sheerin (Samuel 74), Doris, Swankie. Subs Not Used: White, Birse, Busch.
Referee: Craig Thomson. Assistants: Derek Rose and Alasdair Ross.
Irn Bru SFL Division One
Partick Thistle (0)
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