Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (1) v Albion Rovers (1)

Saturday 15th October 2022, Kick Off 3pm

cinch League Two

BACK to square one, then.

On Dumbarton's last home matchday before this one, they had opened up a 10-point lead at the top of cinch League Two after victory over Bonnyrigg Rose.

After several weeks at the summit, this game against Albion Rovers saw their name replaced in that position by Stirling Albion.

It is only on goal difference, and the season has only passed matchday 11 out of 36. But this was the latest frustrating episode of the slump which has seen that double-figure lead now completely vanish.

Hopes of a clean sheet to bounce back from the hefty defeat at Stirling lasted only seven minutes before Charlie Reilly put Rovers ahead, having already threatened to do so.

Stuart Carswell responded from the spot after a foul on Kalvin Orsi in the 18th minute. It was a goal Dumbarton needed and they found some rhythm from there.

However, none of it was enough to sufficiently trouble the visiting defence, and scoring goals from open play continues to be a problem which needs fixing.

Sons will have to try to fix it in the next league game without Ryan Wallace, who was dismissed after the final whistle for something said to the referee.

They will also miss John Gemmell for what looks like a lengthy period of time after he suffered a ruptured achilles early in the game.

After the visitors were awarded an early free kick, Reilly stepped up to hit it. His shot came back off the wall, but he had another crack and his shot went out off the base of the post.

It was not an ideal start for Sons, but only minutes later they were behind. Reilly made no mistake this time with a clinical finish after Rovers passed their way through.

Ross MacLean looked for an immediate equaliser, only for the goalkeeper to block at close range, before the equaliser came minutes after Gemmell's premature exit.

With Orsi trying to make space, he was challenged in the box, and Carswell, for the second time against the men from Coatbridge this season, scored from the spot.

Just after the half hour mark, Declan Byrne, who had taken over from Gemmell, thought he had put Sons in front with a fine finish. However, he used an arm to control the ball and the goal was ruled out.

Two minutes from half time, what an escape. After Rovers again found a route to goal, Blair Malcolm looked set to put it away, only for the ball to be blocked on the line and, eventually, cleared to safety.

Visiting players were adamant that either the ball had crossed the line, or that there was a handball offence in clearing it. The officials were unmoved in either case.

The second half was 45 minutes of frustration for Dumbarton. Aron Lynas was working hard down the right hand side, but his cross from the goal line was blocked before a team-mate could reach it.

A corner by Ryan Blair was also unable to be converted, before again Rovers went close. Brett Long was alert to turn Reilly's effort over at close range.

And that was really it. Except for most of the crowd to start making their way out, turn around and see the referee waving the red card in Wallace's direction.

Dumbarton: Long; Buchanan, Carswell, Orsi (Wallace 68), Love (McKee 74), MacLean (Garrity 74), Lynas, Gray, Blair, McNiff, Gemmell (Byrne 17). Subs: Broun; McGeever, Wylde, D Wilson. Booked: Gray, Byrne. Sent off: Wallace.

Albion Rovers: Leighfield; Malcolm (Duncan 69), Sonkur, Fleming, C Wilson, Leslie, Reilly, E Wilson, Dolan (Paton 58), Fagan (Fernie 58), Graham. Subs: Smith; Roberts, Testa, McColl, Wright. Booked: E Wilson, Reilly, Graham, Fleming.

Referee: Peter Stuart.