Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (1) v Elgin City (0)

Saturday 18th November 2017, Kick Off 3pm

Scottish Cup

THE Road to Hampden has started.

And however Dumbarton achieved it, that's the bottom line. They got there.

They scored their first goal in their last five Scottish Cup ties, going back to January 2016. It's a long wait - but not half as long as the one endured by the player who got it.

Stuart Carswell had never scored in over 160 senior games, so he may as well have broken that duck in style.

A 20-yard free kick, in the 24th minute, wasn't a bad way to do it at all.

Luck was ridden for spells after that, with Sons not as fluent as they were in their previous outing against Raith Rovers. Close to the hour mark Brian Cameron hit the post with Elgin's closest chance of the day.

But after results in last season's Scottish Cup, any victory would be welcome, and that job was done.

This was Elgin's first visit to G82 since they were hit for six by Dumbarton's class of 2008/09, a result which gave Sons the Third Division title in all but name.

But although Tom Walsh did go close with an early effort which went just over, the visitors, faring well in League Two this season, were hungry to prove a point.

And only a close range save by Scott Gallacher denied Thomas Reilly after he connected with a low ball from the right.

Then Ally Roy was fouled 20 yards out. Up stepped...a player who had never scored at senior level.

It may have taken a deflection, but Carswell proved the old adage about buying tickets and winning lotteries. Sons were in front and only the hard-hearted would deny him his moment of glory.

Soon after, Roy's bending shot was touched over the bar, while Mark Stewart and Craig Barr each missed the target at close range.

Nine minutes into the second half, Barr could have ended the goal of the tournament competition almost straight away. His run beat four Elgin defenders, but his shot couldn't beat the keeper.

The visitors, though, weren't going away and having frustrated Dumbarton several times in midfield, began forcing chances.

An incisive through ball found Cameron, the only survivor from that 2009 game who took part in this one. His shot beat Gallacher, but bounced out off the inside of the post.

With that escape still registering in some people's minds, Elgin were then awarded a 20-yard free kick which Reilly bent narrowly over.

The rest of the afternoon was frustrating for Sons, but they did finish strongly. After Greg Morrison's strong penalty claim resulted only in a booking for simulation, his fellow sub Christian Nade cut in from the right but couldn't score from a narrow angle.

Walsh also found Carswell in the area with a minute to go, but it was too good to be true and Elgin cleared.

Dumbarton: S Gallacher; Dowie, Carswell, C Gallagher (Morrison 65), Stewart (Nade 87), Walsh, Wardrop, Hutton, Hill, Roy (Wilson 75), Barr. Subs: Ewings; Johnston, Prior. Booked: Carswell, Hill, Morrison.

Elgin City: Waters; Eadie, Allan, McHardy, Bronsky, McGovern, Dodd (Ferguson 65), Reilly, McLeish, Cameron, Sutherland (Reid 79). Subs: Dear; Smith, Byrne, Scott.

Referee: Colin Steven.

Andy Galloway