Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (1) v Hearts (5)

Saturday 10th January 2015, Kick Off 3pm

SPFL Championship

DUMBARTON were comfortably beaten 5-1 by Hearts at the Rock this afternoon, in the first home game of the 2015 calendar year.

A brace each from Sam Nicholson and Genero Zeefuik and a goal from Jamie Walker put the visitors in a commanding lead, before Chris Kane got a consolation on his final game for Dumbarton.

Goalkeeper Danny Rogers also made a penalty save to prevent the score from going to 6-0. and to deny Zeefuik his hat-trick.

The match was played in brutally windy conditions, with rain and snow being on and off throughout the 90 minutes. Dumbarton won the coin toss and chose to have the wind advantage in the first half.

It was the visitors, however, who had the first chance of the game. Callum Paterson's cross from the right hand side was glanced on by James Keatings. The header flashed across the face of goal and went wide.

Sons then came inches away from the opener from a Scott Agnew free kick. When Danny Wilson gave away a foul 25 yards out, Agnew stepped up and hit the side netting.

Less than a minute later, Hearts took the lead. Sam Nicholson picked up on a loose ball and took a touch before finishing well into the bottom corner of the net from distance.

The Jambos had two opportunities to extend the score line shortly after, with Genero Zeefuik having his shot beaten away by Rogers before Keatings was just inches away from connecting with Adam Eckersley's swerving cross.

Dumbarton picked up their performance from here on, but were later on punished for not taking one of the several clear cut chances.

Wilson nearly put a free kick from Agnew into his own net as, under pressure from Sons captain Andy Graham, he headed just inches wide of the post. From the resulting corner, Colin Nish' header bounced narrowly wide.

The windy conditions were making it difficult for Dumbarton to make the most of set plays, but Agnew nearly found the net direct from a corner as his cross hit the bar before going over.

The hosts were again the width of a crossbar away from equalising just minutes later, when Mark Gilhaney's cross was met by Chris Turner and the Northern Irishman's header came off the underside of the bar, bouncing off the line and away.

Ian Murray's men had another golden opportunity soon afterwards. Nish sent Gilhaney through, Gilhaney tried to take the ball round Neil Alexander in the Hearts goal, but Alexander managed to push the ball away. It fell to Sons man Archie Campbell, who saw his effort beat Alexander, but Alim Ozturk was standing on the line to avert the danger.

Nish then knocked the ball down from Chris Kane. However, the young striker couldn't connect with it properly.

Dumbarton were made to pay on 25 minutes. Zeefuik held the ball up well, before teeing up Jamie Walker who took it beyond Scott Linton and fired past Danny Rogers and into the net. The loan 'keeper from Aberdeen got something to the shot, but it wasn't enough to keep the ball out.

There was one more chance for the home side before the break. Gilhaney nipped the ball off of Nicholson just outside the penalty area, before taking a touch to set himself and shoot for the top corner, only to be denied by Alexander who pushed his effort behind.

It could have been 3-0 on the stroke of half time when the two scorers combined, as Nicholson sent Walker through on goal. The Hearts number 7, however, waited too long to get a shot away and ended up hitting the side netting.

Keatings had another opportunity for himself early in the second half, as he rattled the crossbar from 20 yards. Paterson then sent a shot slightly wide of Rogers' far post from just outside the six-yard box.

The game was put beyond doubt after 51 minutes, when Zeefuik converted from close range after good work on the left-hand side from Nicholson and Walker.

On 57 minutes Nicholson grabbed his second and Hearts' fourth, as he stroked the ball home from six yards out after a cross from Paterson was missed by Lee Mair.

Just five minutes later it was 5-0, as the Jambos grabbed their third goal in 10 second half minutes. Walker put the ball across goal once more, and Zeefuik slid it home from six yards.

Dumbarton responded a minute later, as Kane signed off his time at Dumbarton with a goal. He fired the ball across Alexander and into the far bottom corner after Agnew teed him up.

The visitors then won a penalty when Linton was adjudged to have brought down Walker by referee John Beaton.

Zeefuik stepped up for his hat-trick, but Rogers guessed right and pushed the ball away before blocking the follow up from the same man.

Rogers was called into action on several more occasions before time was up, as he made saves to deny Nicholson and King. Keatings should have made it six on 88 minutes, but he put the ball over the bar from a few yards out.

Dumbarton had another chance through Agnew as the ball dropped to the midfielder's feet from a long throw by Linton, but Alexander got down to hold it.

Youngster Donald McCallum replaced Kane in added time, making his Sons debut.

Dumbarton remain in seventh place in the SPFL Championship after the defeat. With none of the teams below winning, the damage has been limited. Next up is a trip to Starks Park, as Sons face sixth placed Raith Rovers.

Dumbarton: Rogers, Linton, van Zanten, Graham, Mair, Turner, Gilhaney, Agnew, Nish (Taggart, 70'), Campbell (Megginson, 54'), Kane (McCallum, 89'). Subs Not Used: Ewings, Fleming, Whitefield.

Hearts: Alexander, Paterson, Wilson, Ozturk, Gomis (King, 80'), Walker, Nicholson, Buaben (Pallardo, 74'), Keatings, Zeefuik (Holt, 67'), Eckersley. Subs Not Used: Hamilton, Oliver, McKay, McGhee.

Referee: John Beaton, Assistants: Ross Haswell, Ronnie Strain.

Attendance: 1,531.

Jack Crawford