Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Queens Park (5) v Dumbarton (4)

Thursday 18th July 2013, Kick Off 7.30pm

Pre-Season Friendlies

There were plenty of goals but also plenty of slips as Dumbarton went down 5-4 to Third Division opponents Queens Park in a closed doors friendly at Lesser Hampden.

It was a match Sons could have won, or at least drawn. Going forward they looked purposeful, especially in the second half, when the gulf between the two teams showed.

But some careless defending from counter-attacks, a missed spot-kick and other opportunities not taken proved the difference between the two teams when Dumbarton came into the break three down and found themselves with a mountain to climb.

It was a lively start by Sons, but the Spiders had the first real chance on goal. 'Keeper
Ewings did well early on to deflect a shot onto the post.

At the other end, new signing Kevin Smith headed wide, as Steven McDougall began to put together a promising series of runs down the left.

After ten minutes the game had turned into a tussle in the middle of park, with both sides struggling to break decisively.

A free kick from Scott Agnew swung into the area, but was headed back out.

Then Queens Park engineered a well-worked three-man breakaway. The ball was slotted past Ewings from the right and the home side were 1-0 in front on 18 minutes.

Dumbarton pressed forward again. Another free kick outside the area was cleared. Then Kevin Smith turned and went on a stylish run. His finish lacked power, however, and ended up just past the near post.

More good build-up play fed Smith again. He controlled and shot, but the Queens 'keeper plucked the ball out of the air comfortably.

Ewings was in on the action again shortly afterwards. He got down to stop a fast, low strike from the right. Another effort was ballooned over from the left.

The Sons goalie raged at his defence as the slips continued.

Meanwhile, McDougall broke down the right for Dumbarton and Gilhaney headed over from a few yards.

Ewings blocked a further Queens Park attempt on goal from 25 yards on the right.

Sons had another couple of chances. A free kick floated into a packed area was pushed out. Then Agnew had a crack from 20 yards in a central position. It was a fast, crisp effort, but it deflected into the arms of the 'keeper.

Following a Spiders corner, Sons made a long clearance which had Megginson haring down the pitch. He was just beaten to the ball by the goalie, who booted it clear.

On 39 minutes, shortly after Dumbarton had a penalty claim turned down, the referee awarded a spot kick to Queens Park which had the away bench protesting. Ewings was sent the wrong way and it was suddenly 2-0 to the home side.

A strong shot from Chris Turner in the centre was turned around the post as Dumbarton tried to redress the balance.

However, things went from bad to worse shortly before the half time whistle, when another break down the right for Queens Park resulted in another goal. This one was fired high and wide past Ewings.

Boss Ian Murray rung the changes for the second period. Scott Smith came on for Scott Linton, Garry Fleming replaced Mitch Megginson and Stephen Grindlay took the place of Jamie Ewings in goal.

Within five minutes of the restart Dumbarton were surging forward and had pulled the score back to 3-1. First Scott Smith set up Agnew. His sharp shot was just a foot wide of the left-hand post. A repeat effort flew in, however.

On 51 minutes Sons had another penalty after Kevin Smith was tumbled down on the edge of the area. Agnew (pictured) made no mistake with the spot kick, thundering it at mid height past the 'keeper's left. It was now 3-2.

At this point a full recovery looked on the cards, only for Queens Park to charge down the pitch and win their second penalty. Poor Grindlay's first touch was to pick the ball out of the net. It was 4-2 to the home side in a topsy-turvy game.

On the hour Bryan Prunty replaced Kevin Smith up front for Sons. Just afterwards, the visitors were awarded a free kick on the cusp of the D.

Scott Agnew stepped up and made no mistake, curling the ball to the right to secure his hat trick and bring Dumbarton right back into the match at 4-3 down.

Seven minutes later, Sons should have been on level terms. A second penalty for them, the fourth of the game overall, was awarded. This time Agnew hit the ball high over the bar.

Then, suddenly, the Spiders had caught Sons napping again with a break, and the score was back to 5-3 in their favour.

Dumbarton brought on young Ally McKerracher in place of Chris Turner.

On 74 minutes Queens Park threatened again with a free kick, but Grindlay collected safely.

Pressing from the wing, Paul McGinn moved the ball into the centre for Sons, as the visitors sought to recapture the initiative. Agnew slipped the ball to McDougall, who shot just wide from the left.

McGinn then gave way to Jordan Kirkpatrick for Dumbarton. The switch was rewarded when the young forward slotted home with composure after a good build up.

The final score was 5-4, but the real story of a busy, attacking friendly was the need for Sons to tighten up at the back.

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Dumbarton: Ewings, McGinn, Linton, Graham, McNiff, Turner, Gilhaney, Agnew, K. Smith, Meginnson, McDougall. Subs used – S. Smith, Fleming, McKerracher, Kirkpatrick, Grindlay (gk).

Simon Barrow