Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (2) v Arbroath (0)

Saturday 2nd March 2019, Kick Off 3pm

League One

BETTER late than never.

It might well be too late for Dumbarton to end this season with a top four finish, but recently it certainly has been better.

None more so than becoming the first team to beat Arbroath in their away league match since April, when they rested half their team for the playoffs.

Ross Forbes' penalty got them off and running after 28 minutes, and after 52, Dom Thomas maintained his record of scoring in every Saturday match since rejoining the club to seal it.

It was not two breakaways either, despite what the league positions of the two clubs may make it look like.

Forbes' goal had come after a positive start to the game, and after Thomas doubled the lead, Arbroath did threaten but there were chances to extend the advantage.

The Red Lichties only really went away after their substitute Michael McKenna was sent off for two bookings within 15 minutes of coming on.

The gap between Dumbarton and fourth place is now down to single figures. The elephant in the room is that East Fife, who occupy that spot, have two games in hand.

Given that those are against Brechin City and Stenhousemuir, wins for the Methil side may well appear more beneficial where Sons are concerned.

But they'll wait and see what happens. They now have a five-point cushion over ninth-placed City in a league where, going to Stranraer a fortnight ahead of this game, they were at the foot.

Cammy Ballantyne's shot on the turn rolled just past early doors, before Thomas' low ball back found Ben Armour.

Restored to the side ahead of injured Henk Van Schaik, the Morton loanee tried to place his shot, but the keeper was equal to it.

One thing he was not equal to was Forbes' penalty, which came after the Dumbarton midfielder was downed in the area by Ryan McCord.

Soon afterwards, Greig Spence just missed a high ball into the box after beating the offside line. Then minutes into the second half, McCord's long distance effort was just too high.

However, Sons are putting away chances more frequently than they were, and did it again on 52 minutes.

Bobby Barr sent Thomas clear on goal with a perfectly-weighted pass. Was the Dumbarton talisman ever going to miss?

Even under pressure, the home side were winning battles. Bobby Linn looked set to shoot for Arbroath, but an outstanding challenge by David Ferguson stopped him.

A third goal could then have been forthcoming when Thomas this time turned provider for Barr, but he shot over.

Grant Adam was then forced into his only serious save of the afternoon, doing well to block from Steven Doris at close range.

And when McKenna walked with nine minutes remaining after collecting a second yellow card for simulation, that was it as far as the leaders were concerned.

Barr almost set up Michael Paton for a third in the closing minutes, but the substitute shot past.

It was a happy Jim Duffy who met the press afterwards, and an afternoon which another JD would have enjoyed.

The late supporter James Dew, who passed away last week, was the subject of a minute's applause tribute in the 74th minute.

Dumbarton: Adam; Ballantyne, Carswell, Hutton, Gallagher (Thomson 90), Forbes, R Barr (Melingui 87), Ferguson, Armour (Paton 70), Thomas, C Barr. Subs: Brennan; Russell. Booked: Forbes, Thomas, R Barr.

Arbroath: Jamieson; Bell, O'Brien, Little, Whatley, Kader (Denholm 65), Donnelly (McKenna 67), McCord, Spence (Doris 67), Swankie, Linn. Subs: Hill; Thomson, Gold, Hamilton. Booked: McCord. Booked and sent off: McKenna.

Referee: Scott Millar.

Andy Galloway