Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Rangers (3) v Dumbarton (1)

Saturday 3rd January 2015, Kick Off 3pm

SPFL Championship

DUMBARTON put on a determined display at Ibrox today, but eventually went down 3-1 to a tough Rangers side, despite leading early on.

Sons shook the home team in the first quarter of an hour and the last ten minutes especially, probably shading the first half.

After the break Rangers came back into the game and gave themselves a two-goal cushion at the death, just as Dumbarton looked as if they might grab a headline-making equalizer.

Gaffer Ian Murray praised his side after the match. “We were the better side in the first half”, he declared, noting several missed chances and the “battling quality” of the display overall.

The game began with a respectful minute's silence paying tribute to the 66 fans who lost their lives in the Ibrox disaster on 2 January 1971.

Dumbarton were soon on the attack as the match got underway. Chris Kane's effort from the right side of the box missed to the right of the goal.

On seven minutes Chris Turner had another go on the right hand side, but was blocked.

At the other end, good keeping from Sons' Danny Rogers saw him keep out Richard Foster before preventing a follow-up from ex-Hearts man David Templeton.

Most of the initial pressure came from the visitors, with several long throws probing Rangers' defence.

Steven Smith moved into a dangerous position for the home team, but then dragged his shot wide from the edge of the area.

Meawhile, Scott Agnew had a punt from distance for Dumbarton. The ball went high and wide.

On 15 minutes Dumbarton's early efforts were rewarded with an opening goal which rocked Rangers.

After Jon Daly conceded a corner for the 'Gers, Agnew stepped up to take it. His inswinger was assisted by Colin Nish.

In the resulting scramble big defender Andy Graham got his foot to the ball at close range and nudged it in to the net to give Sons a one-goal lead, to the evident delight of the vocal travelling contingent.

It was almost two for Dumbarton within a couple of minutes, as Nish had a great chance to extend the lead but headed tamely towards keeper Steve Simonsen.

Rangers, stung by the setback, were soon back on the attack. Templeton had a go, but fired high and wide to the left.

Still Sons came forward. Nish and Agnew won free kicks for Dumbarton, with the latter firing over the bar from a set-play outside the area in a central position on 21 minutes.

The home side then got back into the game through a slice of good fortune, against the general run of play.

Smith's cross was deflected on to Daly, who despite Lee Mair's defensive efforts pushed it into the net with his knee to make the score 1-1 on 22 minutes.

The energy came back into the Ibrox crowd as the home team got their tails up again after a difficult opening period.

Steven Smith had another go for Rangers, his left footed free kick from outside the box this time being saved in the centre of the goal by an alert Rogers.

The Dumbarton keeper was in action again shortly afterwards, this time denying Daly from a header.

On 34 minutes Nish had a go for Sons from the left, but his effort went wide of the post.

Four minutes later Scott Linton was booked for a robust challenge. He got the ball first, but referee Colvin adjudged it to be an infringement worthy of a yellow card.

A shot from Templeton was blocked on39 minutes as Rangers pushed forward, and there were corners at both ends in rapid succession.

On 42 minutes the Sons defence appeared to have been caught a little square.

A good ball in from Steven Smith was picked up by Lee Wallace, who made no mistake, drilling home across Rogers' body to put Rangers 2-1 in front.

It was disappointing end to a half in which Sons had shown more of the attacking prowess and had achieved a good deal of possession in the home side's half.

After the break Rangers pushed up and Dumbarton were sometimes in danger of being forced into a low line.

Chris Turner and Gary Fleming got the second half underway, but it was the men from Ibrox who were soon on the attack.

Nevertheless, Sons had their chances. A distance throw from Linton caused Rangers' defence problems.

Graham flicked the ball on, but Simonsen was able to gather it comfortably.

An Agnew free kick was then turned over the bar. The expected corner did not follow, however.

Sons were nearly made to pay for giving the ball away once too often in the middle of the park.

Uncharacteristically, Garry Fleming lost possession and Kenny Miller rushed in to take advantage of the slip.

Thankfully for the visitors, his strike curled wide of the post.

In the meantime, Andy Graham and Kane nearly got on to the end of a clipped free kick from Scott Agnew, who had been bundled off the ball on a couple of occasions.

At the other end, Kyle Hutton had an opportunity for Rangers, but blazed his shot high over the crossbar.

Another free kick from Agnew caused more problems in the Blues' penalty box.

The ball bobbled threateningly before eventually being put behind by Chris Turner.

Rangers were looking dangerous again. Kenny Miller had virtually a free header from an inswinging ball, but was unable to keep it on target.

Smith again had a chance but shot well wide of the left hand post with 63 minutes on the clock.

Templeton and Smith had further opportunities for Rangers which they could not capitalize upon, before Nish was booked for Sons on 67 minutes.

The home side could have gone further in front, but gradually Sons clawed their way back into the match with a final burst of energy.

The difference came after boss Ian Murray made two switches for Dumbarton on 70 minutes.

First, Mark Gilhaney came on for Garry Fleming, and immediately set about taunting the Rangers defence from the wing.

Then Mitch Megginson replaced Archie Campbell.

On 74 minutes Rangers won a direct free kick outside the box in a dangerous position.

Up stepped Steven Smith. However, his effort was too high to cause Danny Rogers any difficulties.

Nicky Clark's right-footed effort from a sharp angle was then well saved before the home side won two quick corners in succession.

On 80 minutes Murray made his final Sons switch, bringing off defender David van Zanten and putting on Scott Taggart.

Just afterwards Dean Shiels replaced Steven Smith for Rangers in what proved to be a significant substitution.

Dumbarton pressed hard. They won a free kick just outside the area, but Chris Turner's low drive cannoned off the Blues' wall and away on 84 minutes.

Still they came. Chris Kane, in particular, had three efforts on goal in the final minutes heading into time-added-on. Two of his right-footed shots came close.

As Sons piled on the effort for an equalizer they left themselves exposed at the back.

In the dying seconds of a hard-fought match, Rangers broke away again.

Dean Shiels was the man on the end of a sweeping move. He ended Dumbarton's hopes of a late equalizer by slicing the ball clinically past Rogers to make it 3-1 to the home team.

The final whistle came not long afterwards. It was a brave display by Sons, who slip back into seventh position in the SPFL Championship.


Dumbarton: Rogers, van Zanten (Taggart 80), Graham, Mair, Linton, Agnew, Fleming (Gilhaney 70), Turner, Campbell (Megginson 70), Kane, Nish. Subs Not Used: McCallum, Ewings (gk), Whitefield.

Rangers: Simonsen, Foster, McGregor, McCulloch, Wallace, Templeton (Aird 75), Hutton, Law, Smith (Shiels 81), Miller (Clark 74), Daly. Subs Not Used: Black, Boyd, Faure, Robinson (gk).

Referee: Brian Colvin. Assistants: Gary Hilland, David Dunne.

Attendance: 30,031.

Match Highlights from Sons TV

Simon Barrow