Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (1) v Cove Rangers (3)

Saturday 21st August 2021, Kick Off 3pm

cinch League One

ONE of these days, Dumbarton will not need a two-goal deficit to spur them into action.

Today was not that day.

For the third home game in a row, Sons' stride was not found until they were behind by a margin which would mean every last bit of attacking prowess was needed.

They did it against Airdrie - and they nearly did it again here. But only after Mitch Megginson and Robbie Leitch had established a two-goal lead for Cove Rangers with carelessly-conceded goals.

A brilliantly-taken free kick by Stuart Carswell reduced the deficit, and for long spells in the second half it looked like a second home league match in a row just might see Dumbarton bounce back from 2-0 down - if they could get close enough to goal.

That was until Rory McAllister converted from the penalty spot with five minutes left. Debate over the decision was to say the least lively, but with Sons having struggled to seriously threaten an equaliser despite their possession, it was largely academic to the game's outcome.

The first clear chance of the game fell to Dumbarton on 12 minutes, despite the visitors enjoying the vast majority of possession up to that point.

But David Hopkirk's shot from the edge of the box rolled through to the Cove keeper.

The visitors' only threat until the midway point of the first half was a long range Harry Milne shot which was always rising.

But it was then they who opened the scoring when Megginson found the net with a deflected 20-yard shot.

If that involved a bit of skill from Cove, the second was far too easy. A cross from the right found Leitch in splendid isolation and his header looped into the net.

Hopkirk soon tried again from the edge of the box, but it was another effort the keeper was equal to.

If there was a sign of promise, it was that Callum Wilson was showing craft in midfield and rarely more so than when he was awarded a free kick just inside the Cove half.

His set piece looked fairly innocuous, but was dipping under the crossbar before the goalkeeper got a touch to deflect it over.

But within 60 seconds of the restart, another free kick gave a lifeline. Kalvin Orsi was fouled at the end of a fine run, and up stepped Carswell to bend it into the corner.

Minutes later it was heart in mouth time again, as Milne intercepted with Sam Ramsbottom way out of his goal. Fortunately, his 30-yard shot towards a goal guarded by Gregor Buchanan drifted wide.

Dumbarton were on top territorially second half but struggled to make it count. Buchanan stretched to meet a long free kick into the box, but the keeper just got there first.

And with five minutes to go came the crushing blow. McAllister, looking suspiciously offside, went down in the area under Ryan McGeever's challenge. Penalty given and converted by the same player.

McAllister nearly had his own second in injury time, but Ramsbottom did well to turn his narrow angled effort away.

Dumbarton, after being on top for much of the second half, were done.

Dumbarton: Ramsbottom; McGeever, Boyle, Lynch, Buchanan, Carswell (Stokes 80), Orsi, MacLean (Schiavone 80), Paton, Wilson, Hopkirk (Duthie 73). Subs: Trialist; Muir, McKnight. Booked: MacLean, Carswell, Lynch, McGeever.

Cove Rangers: Gourlay; Neill (Masson 77), Milne, Scully (Anderson 77), Ross, Strachan, Yule, Megginson, McAllister, Vigurs, Leitch (McIntosh 77)Subs: McKenzie; Watson. Booked: Neill, Megginson, Vigurs.

Referee: Duncan Williams.

Andy Galloway