Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Hearts (4) v Dumbarton (0)

Saturday 14th March 2015, Kick Off 3pm

SPFL Championship

RUNAWAY SPFL Championship leaders Heart of Midlothian inflicted a sweeping 4-0 defeat on Dumbarton at Tynecastle this afternoon, despite a real effort from the visitors and a solid display for much of the game.

It was an emotional day in Edinburgh. Before the match began there was a well- observed minute's silence for departed Scotland legend Dave MacKay. Both teams wore black armbands in respect.

While Hearts had significantly more of the possession in the first half, Sons defended doggedly and created a couple of decent chances themselves. The real damage came after the break, as the Gorgie side showed just why they are heading so confidently for the title.

Sons lined up 3-5-2, with Stuart Findlay, Scott Taggart and big Andy Graham making up the back three.

Mark Wilson and Scott Linton wee there to provide provide the width, with Daren Petrie, Scott Agnew and Chris Turner anchoring the midfield. Chris Duggan and Garry Fleming provided the strike force.

The game started quietly, with Hearts having more of the ball, but Dumbarton defending patiently and effectively.

A great early chance for the visitors came when Chris Duggan capitalized on hesitant defending and found himself one-on-one with Hearts goalie Neil Alexander.

They young striker looked almost shocked, and had a split second to decide what to do. He was slightly off balance, and fired harmlessly off target.

At the other end, Sam Nicholson cut in and shot at Rogers' goal. The Sons 'keeper held the low shot confidently.

Then Duggan went on a fine run up front for Dumbarton. He shrugged off challenges from Callum Paterson and Alim Ozturk before having his angled strike at the near post blocked by Alexander.

It was an encouraging start for Sons.

However, Hearts were looking increasingly dangerous. It was a let-off for the men from the Rock when the Jambos' Jamie Walker hit the bar from a fierce drive.

Once again Dumbarton keeper Rogers came to the side's rescue with a couple of fantastic saves.

The most important one was a finger-tip effort high and to his right to deny Osman Sow. The ball hit the crossbar and the attentive goalie collected the rebound.

Alertness was also required of the back line. Sons' Scott Taggart got a vital touch to Eckersley's cross to divert the ball into Rogers' arms with Genero Zeefuik lurking dangerously.

Chris Turner did well to close down Alexander, blocking and clearing so that the ball went out.

As the first period drew to a close a scramble in the Dumbarton penalty box following a corner saw Hearts coming perilously close to opening the scoring, but the visitors managed to clear once more.

Sons pressed early after the break. The Jambos were soon on the offensive gain, however.

The ball broke to Zeefuik in the area. He was not able to get full contact as he lined up a shot, and Rogers gathered safely.

For Dumbarton, Scott Agnew had a pop from distance, with Alexander seeing it wide.

Sons were still doing well. But on 53 minutes the home side took the lead as Sow converted from a goalmouth tussle following a corner.

The visitors' unanimous protests about an apparent foul on Rogers, preventing him from getting to the ball, were waved away by referee Beaton.

Dumbarton held their nerve as Hearts immediately upped the pace in search of further advantage.

Breaking back, Andy Graham's goal bound volley from Agnew's corner was blocked by the Tynecastle side's compact defence.

Boss Ian Murray's first change was a forced one. Dylan Easton came on to replace Scott Linton after the Sons man took a knock and needed to receive treatment.

Three minutes later, the Championship leaders' further pressure paid off, as captain Danny Wilson headed home to make it 2-0 after finding far too much space in the area.

On 77 minutes Mark Wilson gave way to Mark Gilhaney, who immediately looked for opportunities to run at the Jambos' back line.

As the half drew to a close most of the traffic was still heading towards the Dumbarton end.

Late on Sons put several good moves together, however. Mitch Megginson, replacing Chris Duggan, was the last twist of the dice to see if Sons could find a way through.

No sooner had he appeared than Hearts wrapped up the game. Substitute Billy King, on for Walker, made it 3-0 to the home team with a fine solo effort.

He then hammered in a fourth goal just as the game was heading into four minutes of time added on.

Sons could not claim a consolation goal, but avoided further damage in the dying embers of an entertaining game.

Dumbarton manager Ian Murray told the media after the game: “For most of the game I though we were excellent and the effort we put in was great.

“We played at Hibs recently and lost 3-0. But the performance at Tynecastle was night and day [better].

“In the first half we played well. Even at 1-0 we were still in the game, and at times I though we had Hearts worried.”

Dumbarton: Rogers, Wilson (Gilhaney 77), Graham, Taggart, Linton (Easton 66), Petrie, Agnew, Turner, Findlay, Fleming, Duggan (Megginson 85). Subs Not Used: Mair, McCallum, Ewings (gk), Campbell.

Heart of Midlothian: Alexander, Paterson, Ozturk, Wilson, Eckersley, Nicholson, Pallardo Gonzalez, Gomis, Walker (King 61), Sow (Keatings 61), Zeefuik (El Hassnaoui 75). Subs Not Used: Hamilton, Anderson, McKay, McGhee.

Referee: John Beaton. Assistants: Raymond Whyte, Colin McAlpine.

Attendance: 15,631.

Simon Barrow