Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (0) v Raith Rovers (0)

Tuesday 19th July 2022, Kick Off 7.45pm

Premier Sports Cup

THIS match was never likely to further increase the record temperatures experienced by Scotland earlier in the day.

But while the mercury may not have been climbing, optimism just might. This was a deserved level scoreline by Dumbarton after 90 minutes against a Raith side with similar ambitions to theirs - but two divisions higher.

The visitors were expected to dominate possession, and that they may have done, especially in the second half against tiring opponents.

However, while Sons may have toiled, they remained organised, determined and solid, making it two clean sheets out of two at senior level for keeper Harry Broun, who had a great evening.

It would have been nice to add goals, and there is no reason to doubt those will come in the matches that lie ahead.

But after two seasons in a row of finishing the Premier Sports Cup bottom of the group with no points, the dizzying heights of fourth place with four points is a reasonable enough boost ahead of the league.

It could have been a different evening had Raith taken an early chance on a quick counter attack from a Dumbarton throw-in.

Aidan Connolly raced in on goal, but Broun was alert and blocked from him at close range.

Soon after that, Callum Wilson found space in the box, but while his low shot had plenty of pace, it was saved.

The midfielder had another chance later in the half, from a more difficult position, which was on target but again stopped by the keeper.

A Gregor Buchanan header also drifted across goal without a touch to put it away.

At the other end, Raith were moving forward but a workmanlike effort at the back was stopping them from creating much in the way of clearcut chances.

That continued into the second half. After substitute Kieran Mitchell shot over when well-placed, Raith had plenty of the ball but Sons stood steady.

Connolly, and then Dylan Easton, were denied by Broun with late opportunities. It had been a tough shift for Dumbarton, some of whose players were completing a run of 360 minutes in 10 days.

Those minutes were prolonged a bit longer by the penalty shootout for the bonus point, which saw the two keepers save from Jamie Gullan, followed by Buchanan.

Christophe Berra got Raith off the mark, with Declan Byrne hitting Dumbarton's second penalty wide. Ross Millen and Joe McKee were each successful, before Broun saved again to deny Liam Dick.

Ally Love stepped up to make it 2-2 after four penalties each, but when Easton found the net with his penalty, Stuart Carswell had to score.

His effort was saved, but spirits remained high after a positive night's work.

Dumbarton: Broun; Buchanan, Carswell, Orsi (McKee 65), Love, C Wilson (Wylde 65), Lynas, Gray (D Wilson 73), Blair, McNiff, Wallace (Byrne 73). Sub: Long. Booked: Wallace, Gray.

Raith Rovers: MacDonald; Dick, Millen, Berra, Connolly, Gullan, Zanatta (Coulson 69), Stanton, Brown, Ross (Mitchell 46), Easton. Subs: Thomson; Mahady, Arnott, Young, Masson. Booked: Zanatta, Brown.

Referee: Graham Grainger.