Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Airdrieonians (3) v Dumbarton (2)

Saturday 23rd October 2021, Kick Off 3pm

cinch League One

THE afternoon started with 25 red cards being waved in the air.

Little were any of us to know what a theme that would become.

After the pre-match display in support of Show Racism the Red Card, Airdrieonians and Dumbarton proceeded to play out a competitive and intriguing 90 plus minutes.

Unfortunately for Sons, they lost by the odd goal in five after late drama. If only that was where the story of the afternoon ended.

Referee Scott Lambie waved the yellow card in the direction of a Dumbarton player a total of seven times, and the red card three.

Sons' first goalscorer Ross MacLean was the recipient of a straight version of the latter, while Gregor Buchanan and Andy Geggan each received two yellow cards followed by a red.

MacLean's goal had cancelled out an early penalty for the Diamonds by Rhys McCabe, who in the second half had a second spot kick saved.

Dylan Easton looked to have won it for the home side, only for Paul Paton to roll in an unlikely equaliser for the remaining eight men, whose efforts were heroic.

Unfortunately the numerical disadvantage did tell, with Salim Kouider-Aissa bundling in the even later winner from close range for the Diamonds.

If you were an Airdrie fan, or quite possibly a neutral, this was brilliant viewing. For those of a Dumbarton persuasion it was somewhat different.

The afternoon got off to a disastrous start with the sixth penalty conceded by Sons already this season, seven minutes into their 11th league game.

Buchanan was penalised for a pull on the jersey which continued into the box, and McCabe made no mistake.

Almost immediately, Ryan Schiavone had the chance to make a big impression on his starting debut. After latching on to a short passback, his lob bounced just wide.

Joe McKee then met a ball at the back post, but shot over when well-placed. The breaks were not going Sons' way, but it was hard not to feel a goal was coming.

And it did on 25 minutes, after a corner had been cleared. Paton sent it back into the mix and Callum Wilson crossed for MacLean to control and finish.

This was not McKee's day in front of goal, as his header from six yards then bounced over. Despite an all-out effort, neither side was able to trouble the opposite keeper significantly for the rest of the half.

The second 45 minutes then got off to an interesting start. After McKee looked to be nudged in the back going for a cross, MacLean's cross seemed to strike an Airdrie player's arm from the loose ball.

Play raced to the other end and a soft challenge by Carlo Pignatiello was punished with the award of another penalty. No sooner had that registered than MacLean was chased by the referee and sent off.

After a crazy few minutes, McCabe stepped up again, but Sam Ramsbottom pushed away his spot kick.

With a man advantage, the Diamonds dominated, with Kerr McInroy and Calum Gallagher seeing efforts saved and drifting over respectively.

At the other end, a header by Paton was at too narrow an angle and drifted across goal and wide.

Then, with four minutes left, Buchanan became the second Sons player to be dismissed, picking up a second booking after a tussle with Jordan Allan.

In the 90th minute, Easton looked to have won the game for the home side with a finish from the edge of the box.

It looked even more like the points had slipped from Sons' grasp when Geggan was walking for a second booking after a challenge on the keeper.

But incredibly, four minutes into injury time, a low ball came in from the right and Paton was there to tap it home to earn an unlikely point.

Only he hadn't.

Airdrieonians: Currie; McInroy (Allan 85), Kerr (G McGill 70), Fordyce, McCabe, Gallagher, Easton, Smith, Watson, Frizzell, S McGill (Kouider-Aissa 79). Subs: Cantley; Agnew, Caves, Walker. Booked: Kerr, Kouider-Aissa.

Dumbarton: Ramsbottom; McGeever (Duthie 71), Boyle, Buchanan, Geggan, MacLean, McKee, Pignatiello, Paton, Wilson (Carswell 63), Schiavone (Orsi 74). Subs: O'Neill; Lynch, Stokes, Muir. Booked: Paton, McGeever, McKee, Ramsbottom, Boyle. Booked and sent off: Buchanan, Geggan. Sent off: MacLean.

Referee: Scott Lambie.

Andy Galloway