Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Forfar Athletic (0) v Dumbarton (0)

Saturday 1st October 2022, Kick Off 3pm

cinch League Two

AS the ball dropped to John Gemmell at the back post in the final minute of this game, it looked like that could be it.

Sixteen years after he led Dumbarton's incredible fightback with nine men at Forfar Athletic's Station Park, history was about to repeat itself.

At the same end of the stadium where it all happened in January 2006, he got his head to Michael Garrity's cross aiming to supply more last minute drama.

But this time around, the Forfar goalkeeper stopped his effort. It was the tin lid on a frustrating afternoon where, although Sons retained top spot, their lead lessened again.

A disappointing first half was followed by a second 45 minutes where they got forward with more frequency, but could not find the net.

Although Dumbarton's name remains at the top of cinch League Two, goals from open play have not been easy to come by of late. Changes were made to the attacking side of the team which started this game, but it could not prevent a first blank sheet of the league season.

The big picture of course remains a very positive one, but Dumbarton will aim for a greater goal return in the weeks ahead.

What chances there were in the first half mainly fell to the home side, but there were none that caused Brett Long too much trouble until late in the half.

A free kick routine close to half time, between two ex-Sons players, did prove troublesome. Stefan McCluskey sent Mark Docherty in on goal, but the keeper stood up to block.

Against the run of play, Sons could have taken the lead on half time, but Finlay Gray's chipped shot was seen all the way by the goalkeeper.

Early in the second half, a close range Gregor Buchanan effort looked as if it had put Dumbarton in front, but the flag was already up for offside.

It was not until midway through the second half that the visitors looked as though they could find the net again.

Efforts by Michael Garrity and then Gray narrowly missed the target, the latter after latching on to a great through ball by Ryan Blair.

Blair then tried himself, only to see the goalkeeper push his effort over, before the late chance for Gemmell, and an even later opportunity for Forfar.

Craig Thomson played the ball across goal, but Matthew Aitken got the finish all wrong.

Not a game for the classics folder.

Forfar Athletic: McCallum; Brindley, Docherty (Dailly 89), Hutton, Thomson, Aitken, McCluskey, Moore, Ferguson (Jack 64), Moreland, Munro. Subs: Kennedy; Armour, Harkins, Hanratty. Booked: Hutton, Aitken, Moore.

Dumbarton: Long; Buchanan, Carswell, Love (Garrity 65), MacLean (Orsi 81), Lynas, McKee (Gemmell 75), Gray, Blair, McNiff, Wallace. Subs: Broun; McGeever, Wylde, D Wilson, Byrne. Booked: McNiff, Buchanan.

Referee: Alastair Grieve.