Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Livingston (2) v Dumbarton (1)

Saturday 30th September 2017, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

"THAT'S football." How often do they say it?

Dumbarton started the second half against Livingston lucky to only be a goal behind. Their second half performance, though, more than deserved a result.

In the end, two Livi centre halves turned their attention from stopping goals to scoring them, to give them the points instead.

Alan Lithgow and Craig Halkett struck each side of a well-worked Tom Walsh equaliser which looked to have finally set Sons on their way.

Lithgow's goal was all that separated the sides at half time, but only two fine pieces of defending kept that the case.

But after the restart, Dumbarton found their rhythm and if they didn't have total domination of the second half, weren't far off it.

In the end, slackness at the back with six minutes left cost them as Halkett capitalised on a weak backward header.

Sons instead ended September with seven points out of 12, having faced two of the pre-season promotion favourites in that month. They'd have taken that at the start.

However, the return journey along the M8 was still one to contemplate what could, and maybe should, have been on the day.

They were actually relatively comfortable early on, with Dougie Hill going closest with a 20-yard shot which flew just wide.

Scott Gallacher then saved brilliantly from Nicky Cadden, but on 18 minutes Livingston were ahead.

From Josh Mullin's corner, Lithgow was not picked up. Anybody who watched him play for Dumbarton knows what can happen next - and his header duly found the net.

It was one way traffic from there right through to the interval. Chris McLaughlin cleared Nikolay Todorov's header off the line, with Hill then making a great challenge to deny Cadden a certain goal.

Gallacher also did well to save from Danny Mullen as his outfield team-mates toiled. But the last two games also saw Sons struggle in the first half before going on to win.

And it looked like it might be the same again, albeit only after Mullen's shot was wayward when he was well-placed.

Walsh started the onslaught on the hour mark with an angled shot which the keeper turned away. He then crossed for Nade, whose ferocious header hit the bar and bounced the wrong side of the goal line.

Mark Stewart then had the ball drop for him, but shot wide from 12 yards, but the breakthrough came with 14 minutes left.

Walsh ghosted past Dylan Mackin wide on the left before cutting in and firing home a deflected narrow angled shot.

Only three minutes later the keeper turned away his shot, which was then cleared behind.

It was all set for a winning goal, which duly arrived. Just not the way it was hoped to go.

Sons were slack in defending a cross, and Halkett was first to the loose ball, which he buried.

There was no way back and Sons missed out on the result they deserved in Stevie Aitken's 100th game in charge. They'll probably put in poorer performances than the second half and get a result.

But that's football.

Livingston: Alexander; Longridge (Jacobs 70), Lithgow, Byrne, J Mullin (McMillan 78), Pittman, Todorov, D Mullen, Cadden (Mackin 34), Penrice, Halkett. Subs: Pettigrew; Knox, Carrick, Henderson. Booked: Longridge, J Mullin, Halkett.

Dumbarton: S Gallacher; McLaughlin, Dowie, Stewart (Morrison 71), Walsh, Wardrop, Hutton, Hill (Wilson 78), Froxylias, Nade (Roy 88), Barr. Subs: Ewings; Smith, C Gallagher, Johnston. Booked: Hutton, Barr, Walsh.

Referee: Mat Northcroft.

Andy Galloway