Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

QoS (3) v Dumbarton (0)

Saturday 8th November 2014, Kick Off 3pm

SPFL Championship

Dumbarton slumped to a disappointing three-goal defeat against Queen of the South at Palmerston this afternoon.

Sons looked vulnerable at crucial moments at the back and were unable to offer any decisive threat upfront, as manager Ian Murray sought to cope with injuries and setbacks for the shape of his team.

The gaffer made no excuses when he commented afterwards: "There are no positives to take from this game. I didn't think it was a penalty for the first goal, but we just didn't perform. We looked poor overall. We are not getting the rub of the green."

In the first half Sons found it difficult to get going, and the forward momentum was all with Queens. Both sides also struggled with the slippery, rain-impacted artificial surface.

John Baird and Mark Durnan had good chances for the home side early in the match.

First, Baird pulled the ball back but could not find his strike partner, leaving Dumbarton to clear their lines.

Then the striker had a go himself. His shot bounced wide of Jamie Ewings' post, to the relief of the visitors.

Opportunities for Sons were few and far between. On one occasion when they might have gone on the counter after some sustained pressure from the Doonhamers, the chance slipped away.

Mark McLaughlin's pass for Archie Campbell went a little too far, as the water on the surface of the pitch skidded the ball off to the side at pace – not for the last time in the first 45 minutes.

Garry Fleming fired wide of the post from the edge of the area for Dumbarton after a useful pass inside from Mitch Megginson.

Enterprising Scott Agnew almost got in a superb ball to Campbell over the top of the Queens defence, but it just bounced too high.

Sons were found guilty of not clearing their lines to give away a corner which Durnan thankfully headed over the bar.

Then the home side's Derek Lyle nearly volleyed home at the back post, but Sons' Mark McLaughlin made a well-timed, crucial block.

Shortly afterwards, Baird scooped the ball way over the bar from a few yards out. It was a let-off for Dumbarton.

The luck did not last long, though. To his amazement and that of most onlookers, Scott Taggart was adjudged to have handled in the area after the ball hit him, and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

Up stepped Baird to convert with confidence, and Queen of the South were 1-0 in front on 33 minutes.

In the ensuing minutes of the open period a free kick from Scott Agnew was easily held by Zander Clark in the Queens goal, before Garry Fleming picked up a booking and ex-Son Iain Russell came on for injured Greg Kiltie for the home side.

The pace picked up significantly at the beginning of the second half.

After some to-ing and fro-ing, Dumbarton, with their first real chance of the game, almost drew level as Keiran MacDonald's superb, swinging drive was just tipped away by Clark.

For Queens, McShane drove an effort over the crossbar. Then Lee Mair made an important tackle to stop Sons' nemesis Russell from getting on the scoresheet.

Sons were seeing more of the ball in this half, but still failing to create any non-opportunistic chances.

Defensive lapses were then responsible for two killer Doonhamers goals in as many minutes.

First, Mark Durnan headed home from close range on 69 minutes after Dumbarton failed to clear a corner kick.

Then Derek Lyle, in acres of space, glanced a header past Jamie Ewings to make it 3-0, latching on to a ball from Baird. It was effectively game over.

Boss Ian Murray tried a double substitution for Dumbarton, with Fleming and McLaughlin going off to be replaced by Colin Nish and Chris Turner.

Not long afterwards Sons' Mark Gilhaney left the field, with Stephen McDougall coming on his stead.

Mitch Megginson almost pulled one back for Dumbarton as the match came to a close. First he had a shot pushed away by Clark, then he curled a ball just round the post.

The result leaves Queen of the South third in the SPFL Championship table, with only Hearts and Rangers having lost fewer games than them.

Dumbarton, meanwhile, slip one place to eighth, one point ahead of Livingston, who they meet next week and two points clear of foot-of-the-table Cowdenbeath.

Dumbarton: Ewings, Graham, McLaughlin (Turner 78), Mair, Taggart, Gilhaney (McDougall 80), Agnew, Fleming (Nish 77), MacDonald, Megginson, Campbell. Subs not used: Rogers (gk), van Zanten, Kirkpatrick.

Queen of the South: Clark, Dowie, Durnan, Higgins, Holt, Kiltie (Russell 46), Kerr (Dzierzawski 89), McShane, Carmichael, Baird, Lyle (Kidd 83),
Subs not used: Atkinson, Smith, Smith, Fowler.

Referee: Craig Thomson.

Attendance: 1,677.

Simon Barrow