Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (0) v Stranraer (1)

Saturday 22nd December 2018, Kick Off

League One

THE last time Dumbarton scored in a league match at home to Stranraer, it was a current player who did it.

But by the time the Blues return to the C&G Systems Stadium in April, that will be more than 14 years ago.

Since Iain Russell scored in a 1-1 draw on Saturday, March 26 2005, every one of Stranraer's visits to G82 in league action has resulted in a win and a clean sheet.

There have only been three of them, but it's still a bit of an Indian sign. At least last season's Irn Bru Cup victory neutralises it a bit.

A player who was seven years old when Russell scored that goal ensured the third of those.

Stair Park midfielder Kyle Turner rounded off a fine individual display with the only goal of the game on 65 minutes.

It was poor festive fare, with neither side landing too many blows on the opposite goal all afternoon. Unfortunately for Sons, the visitors managed to find the net and they did not.

A disappointing, frustrating and challenging season to date has now reached the halfway point with Dumbarton, positionally, some way off where they wanted to be.

There is still the second half to come, and fourth place is still within six points' reach. The trouble is that seventh is five points away.

One more outing, at Stenhousemuir on Saturday, and then 2018 is consigned to the history books. It is one that Sons will surely be glad to see the back of, and embrace 2019 hoping that it brings better fortunes.

They went close on 18 minutes with a Dom Thomas strike which went narrowly past, while Mark Lamont's shot at the other end was also wide.

Calum Gallagher also missed the target for Sons while a minute later, Bobby Barr's shot was blocked by the keeper at close range.

In the second half, Turner's shot was kept out by Chris Smith, but after a fierce shot by Thomas was saved, the Stranraer midfielder wasn't to be denied.

His run went largely unchallenged before he fired in a shot from 20 yards which was outwith Smith's reach.

A Ross Forbes free kick went close, but close now wasn't enough. After Stuart Carswell headed a corner wide, Forbes put in a corner in injury time. Exactly the same as against Airdrie two weeks ago.

But where Brad Spencer headed home against the Diamonds, nobody got the touch on an excellent delivery this time around.

Dumbarton: Smith; Ballantyne, Dyer (Allardice 82), Dowie, Carswell, Hutton, Gallagher, Forbes, R Barr (Thomson 84), Paton (Spencer 75), Thomas. Sub: McGowan. Booked: Forbes.

Stranraer: Currie; Higgins, McGowan, McDonald, McManus, Lamont, Turner, Anderson (Diver 84), Cameron, Crossan (I Smith 79), Hamill. Subs: Avci; Ashmore, D Smith. Booked: Higgins, Currie.

Referee: John McKendrick.

Andy Galloway