Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (0) v Dunfermline Ath (1)

Saturday 6th January 2018, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

GOALS. The source of joy and despair in equal measure in football.

There haven't been that many of them in Dumbarton's recent games. And when there have, they haven't gone the way they'd want.

Each half of this game against Dunfermline was dominated by the team attacking the Castle Road end. But only one of them did what was required in attack.

That team was the Pars, courtesy of a finely-crafted and finished goal by Joe Cardle midway through the first half.

Aside from that, it was once again hard to pick up on where the Dumbarton defence went that far wrong. It was equally hard to see where things were going to go right further up the pitch.

In the last six games, Sons have conceded six goals - four of them in the same fixture. Over the same spell, they have scored two - one being a stunning winner away to the league leaders, the other a mere consolation in a thumping reverse.

Feeling sorry for themselves will get them nowhere - but neither will continuing to fail to look like scoring. The defence remains strong, but that will only get them so far.

There was some craft, and the usual ton of effort, but the guile to finish chances off was not there. It has to materialise.

Cardle could have opened the scoring in only three minutes, but Scott Gallacher did well to save at close range.

Instead, after controlling Dean Shiels' diagonal pass on 23 minutes, he bent home a shot from the edge of the area.

Gallacher made further saves in the first half from Nicky Clark and Michael Paton, but the Pars' dominance was broken up by some opportunities for Sons.

But after Calum Gallagher was denied by Lee Ashcroft's challenge, David Wilson headed Liam Dick's cross over.

Within 10 minutes of the restart Dumbarton had again gone close, but Christian Nade's header from Tom Walsh's cross was off target.

It was followed by plenty possession, but too little end product, with Dunfermline looking dangerous on the break.

With nine minutes left visiting sub Andy Ryan got through on goal, but his narrow angled shot was wide. There was still hope.

But David Smith's long distance shot was always rising, and when Wilson had a shot deflected wide, that was it.

Sons remain eighth but their cushion over Falkirk is being eaten away, and could be gone altogether by the time St Mirren visit G82 on Saturday.

There is a lot of football to be played yet. But how many goals to be scored?

Dumbarton: S Gallacher; Smith, Dowie (Handling 59), Carswell, C Gallagher (Johnston 79), Wilson, Walsh, Hill, Morrison (Nade 46), Dick, Barr. Subs: Ewings; Roy.

Dunfermline Athletic: Robinson; Williamson, M'Voto, Ashcroft, Wedderburn, McManus (Ryan 77), Clark (Smith 77), Cardle, Talbot, Paton, Shiels (Higginbotham 82). Subs: Burt; Martin, Morris, Aird.

Referee: John Beaton.

Andy Galloway