Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Caledonian Braves (1) v Dumbarton (0)

Saturday 25th June 2022, Kick Off 3pm

Pre-season friendlies

DUMBARTON'S first open door friendly of the new campaign ended in defeat to Lowland League Caledonian Braves. Marc Kelly's excellent finish six minutes before the interval was all that separated the sides at a scorching Alliance Park in Motherwell, with boss Stevie Farrell saying it was a worthwhile workout for his new look side.

Speaking afterwards he said: “It was exactly what we were looking for. They were young and energetic and used the ball well. Our fitness levels are still not quite there.It gave me a good look at some trialists which gives me an understanding of them though. The result doesn't matter, it's all about getting people fit. The physio and sports scientist say everyone has come through fit.

"Declan only came back from holiday on Wednesday and had been away for two weeks. Matty (Fenwick), our sports scientist, is advising us exactly what gametime people should play so we build them. The important thing is having them sharp and ready for the League Cup and then Stirling Albion on the first day of the season.”

Farrell made six changes to the side which had drawn 1-1 with Championship Ayr United behind closed doors on Thursday evening. Goalkeeper Brett Long and goalscorer Ally Love dropped out, along with David Wilson, Ross MacLean, Stuart Carswell and a trialist striker.

A typically scrappy pre-season affair had little in the way of goalmouth action early on. Trialist Sons forward looked unlucky to have a penalty shout waved away after he appeared to be kicked in the box in one of few early openings.

The Braves, to their credit, looked the more comfortable side in possession, with their short passing game causing issues for the new look Sons.

The visitors meanwhile had the trialist goalkeeper to thank for keeping the scores level,as he made a terrific one-on-one stop with 25 minutes on the clock. At the other end Ryan Blair's wicked free-kick was flicked narrowly over the bar by Kalvin Orsi in the Sons' best chance of the opening 45.

As the game moved towards half-time the Braves took the lead. Having already had an effort bravely blocked on the line by Aron Lynas, Marc Kelly wasn't to be denied for a second time, as he collected a corner on the edge of the area and finished with superb composure.

Dumbarton started the second-half with fresh purpose, and twice came close to levelling inside the opening two minutes.First good play by Declan Byrne opened up space for Kirkpatrick, but he was challenged before getting a shot away. Byrne himself then came close as he flicked a header from Kalvin Orsi's tempting cross just wide of target.

After a raft of substitutions for both sides the Sons then came close again on the hour mark. Ryan Blair's corner was met by the totally unmarked Gregor Buchanan at the far post, but he couldn't adjust his body to direct the ball goalwards. Two substitutes then combined to create another opening. David Wilson's excellent whipped cross found Carlos Lyon in the area, but he could only watch as his header clipped the woodwork and bounced to safety. And in injury time a final chance was passed up, as Ross MacLean couldn't quite turn Ally Love's delivery into the net.

Caledonian Braves: Henry, Brown J, Walker, Duncan, Forrester, Main, Butterworth, Lyndsey, Kelly, Bredner, Collins. Subs: Thakery, Brown, McDowell, Guthrie, Jamel, Monk, Paterson, Brown

Dumbarton: Trialist, Lynas, Buchanan, McNiff, Wylde, Trialist, Blair, Orsi, Trialist, Wilson C, Byrne. Subs: Carswell, Love, Wilson D, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Long, MacLean

Fraser Clarke