Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (4) v Annan Athletic (0)

Saturday 13th August 2022, Kick Off 3pm

cinch League Two

HAROLD MACMILLAN was in number 10. Dwight D Eisenhower was in the White House.

Among the people born in the calendar year were John McEnroe, Hugh Laurie and Simon Cowell.

Dumbarton started their league campaign with three consecutive victories, against Stranraer, Alloa Athletic and Queen's Park.

The year was 1959. In the 63 intervening years they had never matched that feat of a 100 per cent record after three league games.

But today was that day. Instead of the above three teams, it has been Stirling Albion, Albion Rovers and Annan Athletic.

It is, though, hard to imagine how the final third of that trilogy could have been achieved in a superior way. This was Sons at their sensational best so far.

From the moment Declan Byrne headed them in front on three minutes, Annan had something to chase. Chase it they did, but to limited effect.

Yes, there was maybe a bit of good fortune when the officials ruled that Brett Long had saved Tommy Goss' close range shot late in the first half when it certainly looked close to the goal line.

But when Finlay Gray made it 2-0 five minutes from half time, there was clear daylight between the teams.

The visitors continued to work hard, but the only further goals came from Byrne again and, late in the day, Gregor Buchanan.

Nobody is getting carried away. It is three games out of a 36-game journey. But against a team who defeated three higher-league opponents in the Premier Sports Cup recently, this was quite a statement.

Byrne took only marginally more time than he did in the last home game, but it was no less of an impression to make.

Gray's cross from the right found him at the back post and once again, Sons were off to a great start.

For most of the rest of the first half, clear chances gave way to yellow cards. Four players, two from each team, had their names taken in the opening quarter of the game.

But just after the half hour mark, maybe a bit of an escape. The visitors worked the ball into the box, and Goss's close range finish was pushed away by Long.

Annan were adamant that the Sons keeper did so after the ball had crossed the line. The officials were equally adamant that he did not.

Long also did well to stop from Tony Wallace, but five minutes from half time, a moment of real quality had Sons flying.

Kalvin Orsi set Gray up a few yards inside the area, and after a couple of twists and turns, he bent home a brilliant finish.

Six minutes into the second half, Gray could have had his second after stealing possession in midfield and running in on goal, but the keeper blocked.

Instead, the honour of making it 3-0 went to the other player who had already found the net. Joe McKee's cross found Byrne in the centre and he applied another polished finish.

Wallace gave Long something else to do, and then even when he was beaten, Stuart Carswell was there to clear off the line as Annan sought some sort of foothold.

With seven minutes left, Sons brought on a trialist with a familiar look about him. Perhaps from days at Forfar or Kirkcaldy in 2006.

And five minutes after his introduction, Trialist had an assist, cutting the ball back from a corner for Buchanan to slide home.

It all led to the home support leaving the stadium in spirits as high as the temperature.

Dumbarton: Long; Buchanan, Carswell, Orsi (Trialist 84), Love (C Wilson 44), Lynas, McKee (Wylde 76), Byrne (D Wilson 76), Gray, Blair, McNiff. Subs: Broun; McGeever. Booked: Carswell, Byrne, Lynas.

Annan Athletic: Fleming; Steele (Muir 55), Lowdon (Williamson 80), Hunter (Johnston 46), Hooper, Swinglehurst (Kilsby 80), Wallace, Docherty, Smith, Goss (McCartney 80), Luissint. Sub: Mitchell. Booked: Goss, Hunter, Swinglehurst.

Referee: Barry Cook.