Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (0) v Dunfermline Athletic (1)

Tuesday 6th October 2020, Kick Off 7.45pm

Betfred Cup

IT'S been seven months, but some things will never change.

History will record that Dumbarton's first post-lockdown fixture was a 1-0 defeat at home to Dunfermline Athletic.

But it was a fixture they deserved more from. They would have got it had either a shot been a few inches away from the post, or had the dubious handball laws not reared their head. Or each of them.

As it was, a penalty conceded for handball made the difference in the Pars' favour, and PJ Crossan hit the post. Ninety minutes is all it took to remind us all that sometimes it's just not your day or night.

Over the years, Sons have had very little their own way against Dunfermline. They didn't here either, but came away with plenty positives to try and kick on from.

It was Dumbarton who were first to go close when Crossan made space at a narrow angle, but the keeper turned his effort wide, with the corner drifting out of play.

After 10 minutes Kevin Dabrowski's first competitive save in a Sons shirt was from a low Kyle Turner shot from 18 yards, with O'Hara flagged offside from the rebound.

Minutes later came Dom Thomas' first impression on his return to G82 as an opponent, crossing for O'Hara, but his header was over from close range.

But O'Hara did get the game's opening goal in highly dubious fashion in 27 minutes. The ball bounced up off Morgyn Neill's arm in a tussle with Ryan Dow, the referee pointed to the spot, and the Pars striker scored.

Dunfermline were on top in terms of possession for long spells in the first half but a determined effort from Dumbarton meant they struggled to unduly trouble Dabrowski. Turner did work into some space on the edge of the box but his finish was too high.

Also too high was a Stefan McCluskey shot close to half time after some neat build-up play between Denny Johnstone and Sam Wardrop. McCluskey hooked another effort closer to goal almost right on the whistle, but his shot lacked pace.

Those proved to be McCluskey's final contributions of the night. He came out for the second half, but landed awkwardly from an aerial duel early doors and made way for Chris Hamilton.

Dunfermline, with the wind behind them, had plenty of the ball after the restart but the commitment and determination demanded by manager Jim Duffy was plenty from Sons, and clear chances were hard for either side to create.

Just after the hour mark a corner ominously found Euan Murray charging unmarked into the box, but Ryan McGeever did enough to divert the chance away.

After a couple of set pieces for the home side which didn't come to a lot, a slip in midfield almost let Thomas in. He tried to play in Fraser Murray but the Pars sub was offside and Dumbarton escaped.

Then on 73 minutes, they were very unlucky not to be level. A Sam Wardrop cross found Crossan on the edge of the box, but after working into a space, his shot hit the upright.

With 10 minutes left Sons were rescued by the offside flag again. A swerving shot by Iain Wilson was palmed out by Dabrowski, but Declan McManus put the rebound away from an offside position.

McManus has a habit of scoring against Dumbarton but was denied again with four minutes left, stealing possession but running into Dabrowski, who raced from his goal.

The ball then fell to Thomas in a crowded area after a counter by the visitors, but his shot was deflected over.

Dumbarton: Dabrowski; McGeever, Quitongo, Langan (Jones 65), Neill, Carswell, McCluskey (Hamilton 51), Johnstone, Wardrop, Wedderburn, Crossan. Sub: Smith. Booked: Quitongo, Neill, Carswell, McGeever, Hamilton.

Dunfermline Athletic: Williams; Comrie, Edwards, E Murray, O'Hara (McManus 72), Turner (Wilson 72), Dow (F Murray 62), Whittaker, Thomas, McInroy, Watson. Subs: Swinton, Gill; McCann, Allan, Fenton.

Referee: Gavin Ross.

Andy Galloway