Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (2) v Hearts (0)

Thursday 9th July 2015, Kick Off 7.45pm

Pre-Season Matches

DUMBARTON put on a highly impressive display against Heart of Midlothian at the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium this evening, running out deserved 2-0 winners in an entertaining match.

It was an inspiring opening 45 minutes from Sons, who dominated possession against a youthful Hearts line up. They showed aggression, ambition and pace.

"The signs are good, though we'll keep our feet on the ground, particularly because it's only friendlies," commented new Stevie Aitken after the match, clearly very satisfied with the way his new charges had shaped up.

From the start Sons put their opponents, who featured several first team starters, under considerable pressure.

Within a couple of minutes, Willie Gibson looked to have been felled in the penalty area as he burst through on goal from the left, but the referee waved play on.

Then Docherty cut to the byline before whipping the ball back. It was cleared out to Gibson, whose sharp shot was palmed aside by an alert Jack Hamilton in the Hearts goal.

After their bright start Dumbarton consolidated with an early lead, as Grant Gallagher rose confidently to head home a corner from that man Gibson again.

The home side could easily have been further ahead by the break as they continued to mount pressure on their Premiership opponents.

Garry Fleming headed Scott Taggart's cross towards the top corner of the net, only to see the keeper get a hand to it to bring it down and away.

Moments later there was a good diagonal cross to the back post from Fleming towards Taggart, but not enough contact to translate danger into a real goal scoring opportunity.

Next, Fleming forced Hamilton into another save after a well-worked free kick routine and a deflection off the referee.

At the other end, Hearts broke away and crashed the inside of the post before Buchanan was able to scramble the ball clear for Dumbarton. It was the visitors' first serious threat.

Meanwhile Jordan Kirkpatrick curled in a low ball to Kevin Cawley at the back post. He could only put the ball wide as he stretched out to try to reach and control it.

Another corner from Gibson was met by Buchanan, who had his header pushed away once more.

Then Mark Brown stood firm to block a shot from the visitors — their second on target in the opening spell — before the rebound was hammered well over the bar.

Finally Gibson leapt on to a half-formed defensive move by Hearts, but his through-ball intended for Kirkpatrick proved to be a little too heavy.

Gaffer Stevie Aitken only made one change at the break, taking Fleming off and replacing him with Gordon Smith.

Hearts pressed hard at the beginning of the second half, beginning to impress themselves on a game that seemed to be passing them by until this point.

Brown was called into operation to stop both a back post header and a decent strike from Gavin Reilly.

Sons were being tested at the back now. Darren Barr duly marshalled his defence attentively.

Then Willie Gibson won the ball in midfield before unleashing a swerving shot which was parried and then collected by 'keeper Hamilton.

Somewhat against the run of play at this point, Kevin Cawley doubled Dumbarton's lead from a Gibson corner headed on by Buchanan. The home support erupted.

On the hour both sides replenished their teams with a handful of fresh legs from the bench, with the new recruits soon getting stuck in to a lively game with relish.

A goal-bound header was cleared off the line by Jon Routledge, as Hearts pressed once more.

The visitors continued to surge forward in the later stages of the game, calling for some bold and well organised defending from Sons.

Brown got down to stop a long-range Hearts effort.

With 15 minutes to go Donald McCallum replaced Gibson for Dumbarton, bringing to an end another exciting performance from the former Stranraer man, this time on his home debut.

Dumbarton did what was necessary to see the game out in the final few minutes.

It was a lively and encouraging home debut for manager Aitken and his mostly new squad.

Dumbarton: Brown; Taggart (Thomson – trialist 60), Docherty (Waters 60), Barr, Buchanan, Routledge, Cawley, Gallagher (Miller 60), Fleming (Smith 46), Kirkpatrick (Moutinho – trialist 60), Gibson (McCallum 74). Sub Not Used: Ewings.

Hearts: Hamilton, Buchanan (Paterson 59), Smith (McKirdy 59), Jones (McGhee 59), Howlett-Mundle (Augustyn 59), Pallardo (Anderson 59), King (Delgado 59), Henderson, Reilly (El Hassnaoui 59), McLean (Oliver 59), Walker (Nicholson 59). Sub Not Used: Alexander.

Referee: Alan Muir. Assistants: Stephen Mitchell, Jim Burns.

Attendance: 347.

Simon Barrow