Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Morton (2) v Dumbarton (0)

Saturday 13th February 2016, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

DUMBARTON left Cappielow with their pride wounded and, in some cases, physically struggling.

The only thing that didn't take a battering during a bruising encounter with Morton was the home side's net.

Denny Johnstone and Joe McKee, the same two players who scored when the Greenock side beat Sons 2-1 in October, were the men doing the damage again.

This time their goals, on 65 and 89 minutes respectively, were unanswered.

There wasn't a great deal between the sides in terms of overall performance but Morton won based on two telling elements, namely moving the ball forward and putting it in the net.

Sons would have gone level on points with Morton had they won. Instead they continued a run which has now seen them score once - directly from a corner - in their last five league games.

While injuries to strikers Christian Nade and Garry Fleming were of no help at all to the cause, Dumbarton will be well aware of the importance of ending the drought.

The opening stages of the match did not suggest that the teams would wait over an hour for the opening goal. They both started at a fast pace.

Morton were first to threaten when Thomas O'Ware's header was turned over the bar. The post was then hit twice, firstly by McKee with a fierce drive, and then Declan McManus' deflected header.

But Sons responded with a shot by Fleming which was deflected off target at close range. Immediately afterwards Gregor Buchanan looked to have headed Sons in front but his header was turned wide.

All this was in the first 15 minutes. For the remaining half hour to the interval, two headers by Johnstone were all that threatened to break the deadlock. The first was wide, the second was saved by Ewings.

Morton, though, were on top of the second half from the start. After chances for McManus and Stefan McCluskey, their pressure paid off when McManus set up Johnstone inside the area.

The on-loan striker was clinical from six yards and the goal which had been coming for some time had finally arrived.

Sons' response was limited but Grant Gallagher was denied a certain goal by a clearance from Ricki Lamie on the line from Tom Walsh's cross. From the resulting corner, Frazer Wright and sub Kler Heh had shots blocked at close range.

Then with five minutes left the ball bounced around the Morton area, just needing one vital touch to force it home. It didn't get it.

And McKee sealed it in the penultimate minute when he showed for another McManus assist and put it away.

Morton: McNeil; Kilday, Lamie, O'Ware, McKee, Johnstone (Samuel 90), McCluskey (Forbes 83), Pepper, Barr (Tidser 87), Russell, McManus. Subs: McGowan; Miller, Scullion. Booked: Russell, Barr, McKee.

Dumbarton: Ewings; Docherty, Saunders, Buchanan, Cawley (Heh 69), Fleming (McCallum 65), Barr, Routledge, Wright, Walsh, Nade (Gallagher 31). Subs: Brown; Taggart, Kirkpatrick, Waters. Booked: Routledge, Wright, Buchanan, Barr.

Referee: George Salmond.

Crowd: 1,595.

Andy Galloway