Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (0) v Raith Rovers (0)

Saturday 19th November 2016, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

DUMBARTON came close on numerous occasions throughout a gritty game against Raith Rovers at the Cheaper Insurance Stadium. But neither side could find the net on a cold afternoon.

Interestingly, the eight home games between Sons and Rovers Rovers since 2013 had produced 39 goals (an average of nearly five per game) before this one.

A few changes were made to the Dumbarton side that lost to Morton. Joe Thomson and Garry Fleming were injured with the latter only fit enough for the bench, where Andy Stirling joined him.

Coming into the starting XI were Ryan Stevenson, Josh Todd and Donald McCallum. Young Ross Lyden became the first player born this century to be part of a Sons match day squad, although he did not play.

Gaffer Stevie Aitken commented after the game: “I was pleased with the way we more than matched one of the best teams in the division.

“A fourth league shut out of the season was very welcome but we have to turn the draws into wins in order to pull further away from the bottom and close the gap on the sides above us.”

Sons had the better of a competitive but slightly scrappy first half, while again lacking a decisive edge up front.

There were half chances for Robert Thomson, Darren Barr, Sam Stanton and Donald McCallum before the break. Declan MacManus had the best opportunity for the visitors.

On 11 minutes McCallum's shot from the edge of the area was blocked by the keeper, with the rebound falling to Robert Thomson, who fired over.

Sam Stanton's strike on the quarter hour was deflected over, with the corner coming to nothing.

Shortly afterwards Thomson latches on to Alan Martin's goal kick and rounded the keeper, but a deflection prevented him from opening the scoring.

Dumbarton continued to pile on pressure after the break, with Raith confined to seeking to nick something on the counter.

Rovers' goalie Kevin Cuthbert made two solid stops from powerful Sons headers, while home 'keeper Alan Martin had looked equally reliable at the other end when tested.

A driven shot by Daniel Harvie was well saved on 48 minutes. Five minutes later
Robert Thomson was denied by Cuthbert, with Donald McCallum flashing the rebound across goal.

Just after the hour a well-struck shot by McCallum was pushed round the post. The young striker then played in Thomson, but the Raith keeper was off his line smartly to deny him.

As the second half progressed Dumbarton were clearly the better team overall. But the ball just would not go in for them.

Raith enjoyed a dangerous looking mini-revival towards the end of the match.

A minute into time added on a cross by David Smith hit the crossbar and bounced agonisingly over the goal.

In the end Sons ran out of chances and the game ended an almost inevitable 0-0 draw.

Darren Barr was deservedly given the Sonstrust Man of the Match award by chooser Graeme Robertson.

Dumbarton had enough chances to win this game and in the end Raith were by far the more satisfied team with a point.

After a disappointing previous outing against Morton, it was a positive to see Sons bounce back with an attacking display that finally went unrewarded.

Dumbarton: Alan Martin, Mark Docherty, Gregor Buchanan, Ryan Stevenson, Josh Todd, Robert Thomson (Garry Fleming 73), Sam Stanton, Daniel Harvie, Darren Barr, Donald McCallum (Andy Stirling 83), David Smith. Subs not used: Jamie Ewings, Craig Pettigrew, Ross Lyden.

Raith Rovers: Kevin Cuthbert, Kevin McHattie, Ross Callachan, Jean Yves M'Voto, Kyle Benedictus, Chris Johnston (Joel Coustrain 72), Mark Stewart (Lewis Vaughan 88), Ross Matthews, Iain Davidson, Declan McManus, Jordan Thompson (Scott Roberts 65). Subs not used: Aaron Lennox, Yaw Osei-Okopu, Rudi Skacel, Robbie Crawford.

Referee: Alan Muir.

Attendance: 600.

Simon Barrow