Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (2) v Brechin City (1)

Saturday 16th September 2017, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

WE may have seen the first big twist in the battle for Championship survival.

And it's a positive one. Even if it was done the hard way.

Dumbarton were behind to fellow part-timers Brechin from an early stage - two minutes, to be exact. Whether it goes down as a Jordan Sinclair effort or a Scott Gallacher own goal, it wasn't the way to start such an important game.

What followed was a lot of hard work. For most of the afternoon, Sons looked more likely to score than City did to extend their lead. But the cutting edge was still badly missing.

Even after the sending off of the visitors' Aaron Lynas for a bad tackle on David Wilson, this was looking like being a fifth consecutive home league game without a goal.

But then the knocking at the door finally paid off. Christian Nade set up fellow substitute Mark Stewart, and then Dimitris Froxylias, to score the vital goals in the last eight minutes.

As a result of a late rally, the Championship table looked a whole lot better, with win number one on the board for Sons.

The effort was never in doubt, and had it not been for some inspired goalkeeping for the visitors, Dumbarton could have won by more. But some elements need tightened up if this victory is to be added to.

One area to look to improve is to avoid conceding first - which is exactly what Sons did after less than two minutes.

Sinclair's narrow angled shot found the net at Gallacher's near post, via a touch from the goalkeeper.

The first sign of a goal for Dumbarton was on 14 minutes when Chris McLaughlin fired in a shot from 30 yards which the keeper turned over.

Minutes later the situation was nearly more urgent, but Dougie Hill cleared off the line from Connor McLennan.

Wilson and Froxylias forced saves from the Brechin keeper during what was left of the first half, but frustration was already growing.

It got more intense when the newly-introduced substitute Stewart had his header cleared off the line by Willie Dyer.

The game then got scrappy before Lynas lunged in on Wilson and, with 20 minutes remaining, his dismissal gave Sons a man advantage.

What followed was one-way traffic. Froxylias was twice denied by the keeper, who also kept out Tom Walsh's volley from Sam Wardrop's cross.

But with eight minutes left, Nade knocked the ball down for Stewart to fire home.

It was there to be won now, and four minutes later Nade took off down the left and sent a low ball over for Froxylias to convert from six yards.

Even with 30 league games left, those could be four of the most important minutes of Sons' season.

Dumbarton: S Gallacher; Smith (Stewart 46), McLaughlin, Carswell (Hutton 67), Wilson, Walsh, Wardrop, Hill, Morrison (Nade 60), Froxylias, Barr. Subs: Ewings; Dowie, C Gallagher, Roy.

Brechin City: Smith; McLean, Dyer, McGeever, Dale, Graham, Lynas, McLennan (Spark 77), Orsi (Layne 86), Crighton, Sinclair (Watt 69). Subs: P O'Neill; Fusco, Love, C O'Neill. Booked: McLean, Dale. Sent off: Lynas.

Referee: Nick Walsh.

Andy Galloway