Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (1) v Airdrieonians (1)

Saturday 8th December 2018, Kick Off 3pm

League One

IT could barely have started any worse. It ended up being a tale of how it could have been better.

This, for Dumbarton, was quite possibly the two points that got away. But it could very easily have been three.

They were up against it from the second minute when Leighton McIntosh headed Airdrieonians in front.

If the rest of the first half was evenly contested, the second was missed chance after squandered opportunity for Sons.

Diamonds boss Ian Murray, three years to the weekend he resigned as St Mirren manager after defeat at Dumbarton, was on for victory over Sons for the second time in a fortnight.

Until one last hopeful corner by Ross Forbes was met by one powerful header from Brad Spencer, and something was taken from the game.

If even one more of those opportunities had hit the net, Dumbarton would be level with Airdrie on 20 points and one point away from fourth place.

But they were within that Spencer header of being only a point ahead of second-bottom Brechin City. Instead they are two clear, so that was something to take from the afternoon.

Almost right from the start they were up against it when Scott Stewart sent in a cross from the right. The home side were hesitant in dealing with it and McIntosh snapped up the chance from close range.

Talisman Dom Thomas was close for Sons on two occasions while a Kieran MacDonald effort for the visitors rolled narrowly wide.

Then what could have put the game 2-0 could just as easily have made it 1-1. Grant Gallagher's shot from the edge of the area took a looping deflection, hit the top of the bar and went over.

The resulting corner brought another chance - for Dumbarton. On the counter attack, Calum Gallagher's shot on the turn from Thomas' assist was saved.

Near the hour mark, it was switched about. A Sons corner failed to cause any significant panic and Airdrie went upfield, only for Dale Carrick to shoot past.

Minutes after that, Michael Paton shot over at close range after Andy Dowie headed down Forbes' free kick.

Moves and opportunities came and went, perhaps the most notable being Paton's replacement Spencer, heading Cammy Ballantyne's cross wide.

When Andy Dowie had a shot blocked at point blank range by the keeper, all that was left was the resulting corner.

Forbes to deliver, Spencer to score. Persistence had paid off.

Dumbarton: McGowan; Ballantyne, Dyer, Dowie, Carswell, Hutton, Gallagher, Forbes, R Barr (Allardice 77), Paton (Spencer 66), Thomas. Sub: Trialist. Booked: Ballantyne.

Airdrieonians: McKenzie; O'Neill, MacDonald, Crighton, Millar, Gallagher (Cairns 79), Stewart, Conroy, Duffy (Vitoria 68), L McIntosh, Carrick (Russell 82). Subs: McNeill; Edwards, S McIntosh, Page. Booked: MacDonald.

Referee: Colin Steven.

Andy Galloway