Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (2) v Brechin City (1)

Saturday 6th April 2019, Kick Off 3pm

League One

NOT out of it yet - but there is more oxygen.

Six hours of football left until Dumbarton know whether they are in League One next season. Or need to play another six hours. Or League Two.

The first of those three scenarios became the most likely against Brechin City, but only after 90 minutes of toil.

Anybody hoping for a repeat of the 4-1 steamrollering dished out to the same opposition in December was always likely to be disappointed. At this stage of the season, teams at the bottom fight for everything, and City certainly were in that category.

One similarity with four months ago was that Calum Gallagher got the last goal of the afternoon. This time it was the decisive one, scored at the relatively early stage of the 38 minutes.

Dougie Hill, on his return to his former home ground, found the net twice. Unfortunately for him, but luckily for Dumbarton, one of those goals was in his own net.

Having opened the scoring, he glanced Bobby Barr's free kick past his own keeper before Gallagher's decisive moment.

It was a nervous finish but there's more of that to come over the four remaining matchdays. Sons just have to ensure they do enough.

After near misses by Barr and Hill, it was the latter who struck first on 17 minutes. He was found unchallenged at a corner and headed it into the same net he found in similar fashion against Arbroath in last season's playoffs.

Dom Thomas, then Gallagher and Barr, were all off target for Sons, who responded well but weren't exactly causing the visiting keeper undue workload.

His own team-mate gave him that. With nine minutes left to half time, Barr's free kick saw Hill and Lewis Toshney get in each other's road, and courtesy of a deflection off the former, Sons were level.

Two minutes later, they did the job themselves. Cammy Ballantyne's free kick found Gallagher, and his header punished indecisive defending by the visitors for a 2-1 lead.

It was nearly a 3-1 advantage right on half time, but Stuart Carswell's glancing header was saved.

He, along with Barr, had early chances in the second half, but just after the hour mark, Brechin had a serious opportunity.

It was another one for the 'If this/that had happened...' collection this season, as Kalvin Orsi was played in on goal, but hit the post with a low, angled shot.

Minutes later, Thomas found barr 15 yards out, but he sliced his shot wide. As the minutes became less, it was a matter of holding out and hoping for the best.

Even after Brechin introduced Jordan Tapping, scorer of the injury time winner when the sides last met, they couldn't find a way through.

But that was only after Grant Adam twice turned low crosses by Tapping away from goal, either side of a Tam Scobbie effort which was just too high for City.

There is still work to be done - but all that could be done on Saturday, was done. Same time next week at Station Park.

Dumbarton: Adam; Ballantyne, McLean, Carswell, Hutton, Gallagher (Melingui 77), Forbes, R Barr, Ferguson, Thomas, C Barr. Subs: Brennan; Russell, Armour. Booked: Carswell.

Brechin City: Bowman; McLean, Burns (J Tapping 88), Hill, Jackson, Smith, Toshney (Orsi 51), Robertson, Thomson, Scobbie, Miller (Jamieson 67). Subs: O'Neill; Spark, C Tapping, Kavanagh.

Referee: Colin Steven.

Andy Galloway