Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (1) v Livingston (4)

Tuesday 26th December 2017, Kick Off 2pm

Ladbrokes Championship

BAH humbug.

They say that the festive season is an enjoyable time for football. It is if you're winning. If you are Dumbarton in this Boxing Day fixture against Livingston, it's a struggle.

All seemed well after 24 fairly evenly contested minutes, when Ally Roy finished a sublime assist by Stuart Carswell to open the scoring.

What followed was a collapse akin to somebody flopping on to the sofa after Christmas dinner. Livi's goals were scored by Craig Halkett, Scott Pittman, Dylan Mackin and Scott Robinson - but they were all the results of bad mistakes.

The small mercy was that Scott Gallacher stopped Matthew Knox making it five, saving the visiting substitute's penalty.

That, along with the goal and assist, and Danny Handling returning to action, was the fourth positive of the day. The fifth and last was the final whistle.

And adding to the downsides of the afternoon, Kyle Hutton was sent off for two late challenges within a minute.

The Sons side which has performed so well, especially defensively, of late simply was not on show. Days like this do happen, but don't get any easier to watch.

Although Livingston had more possession in the early stages, their keeper was the busier of the two. But that was only after Declan Gallagher headed home on seven minutes, only to be flagged offside.

Tom Walsh, and then Sam Wardrop, were unlucky to see shots saved, while Walsh tried again only to narrowly miss the target.

Then Carswell sent over an outstanding diagonal ball, which Roy did well to control before running in to beat a defender and finish.

There was still a long way to go, but things were on the move. For all of three minutes.

A free kick into the area was not well dealt with, and Halkett punished the errors by rolling the ball into an empty net.

After Mackin missed with a clear header, Sons looked set to reach half time level before another poor goal rattled in on 43 minutes.

A needless concession of possession resulted in Pittman controlling a pass and slotting past Gallacher with an angled finish.

A double change at half time was hoped to inject new life into Dumbarton, but the decline continued.

Nicky Cadden, and then Mackin, went close, but the latter profited from more mistakes as a low ball was sent over from the right on 59 minutes. He could hardly miss from a yard out, and didn't.

Everything went through the motions for a long spell afterwards. Sons continued to battle, but a 4-1 deficit always looked more likely than a 3-2 scoreline.

And with 10 minutes left, another poorly defended free kick was punished by Robinson applying a low finish.

Six minutes later, Craig Barr's foul on Robinson was punished with the award of a penalty, but Gallacher saved from Knox.

However, Hutton's afternoon ended slightly early in injury time when he collected two bookings for late tackles within a minute.

On Boxing Day, Dumbarton were left punch drunk.

Dumbarton: S Gallacher; Smith, Dowie, Carswell, C Gallagher (Froxylias 46), Walsh, Johnston (Nade 46), Wardrop, Hutton, Roy (Handling 75), Barr. Subs: Ewings; Wilson, Hill, Prior. Booked: Nade, Dowie. Booked and sent off: Hutton.

Livingston: Alexander; Longridge, Lithgow, Byrne, Pittman, Cadden (Robinson 64), Jacobs (Penrice 73), Mackin, De Vita (Knox 82), Halkett, Gallagher. Subs: Maley; Mullin, Todorov, Carrick. Booked: Robinson.

Andy Galloway