Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Alloa Athletic (3) v Dumbarton (0)

Saturday 11th April 2015, Kick Off 3pm

SPFL Championship

A lacklustre performance in Clackmannanshire saw Dumbarton slump to their first defeat at the hands of Alloa Athletic in 15 matches.

'Gaffer' Ian Murray made two changes to the side that narrowly lost 2-1 to Hibs on Wednesday night with on-loan Dundee United midfielder Darren Petrie replacing the suspended Chris Turner, and fit again Jordan Kirkpatrick starting at the expense of Wednesday's goalscorer, Mitch Megginson.

The Wasps looked threatening from the first whistle. Ryan McCord played the ball to full back Michael Doyle in space on the right wing.

Doyle's cross was taken down by Liam Buchanan who took a touch to create space but his goalbound effort was well blocked from close range by Andy Graham.

It did not take the home side long to make their early dominance count. With only seven minutes on the clock Scott Agnew brought down Ryan McCord just outside the area.

From the resulting free-kick Iain Flannigan curled the ball beautifully around the wall and beyond the despairing dive of Danny Rogers into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

Sons reaction to going behind was swift. Archie Campbell challenged Wasps keeper John Gibson for a high ball and it appeared that the Sons frontman was impeded by the Alloa no.1, but referee Kevin Graham dismissed the protests from the visiting players.

Dumbarton stopper Rogers then had to be sharply off his line to save at the feet of Alloa's Kevin Cawley who sprang the Sons offside trap and almost managed to latch on to an impressive ball from McCord.

Alloa's experienced strike force of Liam Buchanan and Michael Chopra were linking up well.

Graeme Holmes freed Buchanan in space and his cut back found Chopra. The former Sunderland striker however could not force Danny Rogers into a save and the danger was cleared.

Strong aerial play from Andy Graham set up an opportunity for Scott Agnew, but his effort from range flashed just wide of Gibson's goal.

The weather began to deteriorate with a sharp hail shower and sudden strong gusts of wind making playing conditions almost impossible for both sets of players.

Scott Taggart and Jordan Kirkpatrick linked up well but the latter saw his cross fly evade everyone in the penalty area and float out of play.

The Wasps then added a second. The dangerous Kevin Cawley was given time to run at the Sons defence and he unleashed a thunderous effort which swerved and dipped its way into Rogers top corner.

It was a stunning strike which rightly gained applause from many in the away support. It could have been worse as Rogers miraculously kept out Buchanan from close range after ex-Son Ben Gordon had found him with a knock down inside the area from a McCord corner.

Mark Wilson then had Gibson scrambling, and Scott Taggart delivered a cross which swerved beyond everyone in the middle. Former Celtic captain Wilson picked the ball up on the edge of the box and moved it on to his right foot, but his low effort was inches wide of the target.

A glorious chance then came and went for the visitors. Jordan Kirkpatrick did well to charge down a Daryll Meggatt clearance, and the ball ricocheted to Archie Campbell. The Sons striker found himself one-on-one with Gibson but could only slide the ball wide from a tight angle.

Campbell then delivered a dangerous ball into the area which Gordon did well to reach and head behind. From the resulting corner Gibson uncomfortably punched away Kirkpatrick's delivery under little pressure.

The home team remained dangerous on the counter attack. Michael Doyle opened up space for Iain Flannigan to cross. The former Kilmarnock midfielder's low, hard delivery was well cleared by Graham with Chopra ready to pounce.

Kirkpatrick fizzed a low effort just wide after tricky wing play from Mark Gilhaney opened up space at the edge of the box.

Gilhaney then won a corner which again had Gibson looking uncomfortable, but no white shirt was near enough to pounce as the keeper fumbled an attempted punch.

Neat play by Chopra freed Buchanan as the relegation threatened Wasps looked to put the game beyond doubt, but he fired just wide from close range as Rogers closed in.

The final action of the first half saw Darren Petrie deliver a dangerous ball into the penalty area but once again there were no white shirts challenging Gibson.

The half-time whistle sounded soon after with the home side holding a deserved and commanding 2-0 lead.

The second period started at a far slower pace than the first, Andy Graham saw his header from an Agnew delivery deflected wide for a corner in one of the few attacking moves during the opening minutes.

Jordan Kirkpatrick took the ball beyond Kyle Benedictus but his low cross lacked power and was easily held by Gibson.

Both managers made substitutions with the subdued Darren Petrie being replaced by Dylan Easton, whilst the tiring Chopra was replaced by Greig Spence for the home side.

A wonderful ball from skipper Graham freed Archie Campbell who delivered a low cross into the penalty area. Garry Fleming could not adjust his body enough to make contact however, and the danger was cleared by Gordon.

A real moment of panic then arrived as Mark Wilson's intended backpass was almost intercepted by Spence. Both he and keeper Rogers missed the ball and it rolled narrowly wide of the goal.

Gilhaney won a free kick in a dangerous position but Agnew's powerful effort was well held by Gibson.

Spence then tried his luck with an acrobatic overhead kick which was kept out by a mixture of Danny Rogers and the woodwork.

Alloa then put the result beyond doubt. Meggatt intercepted the ball with a hint of handball. As Sons players and fans looked to the referee the Wasps left back sent the ball forward into a dangerous area.

A breakdown in communication between Rogers and Stuart Findlay allowed Spence to slip in and dink the ball over the on-loan Aberdeen keeper before nodding in from less than a yard.

It was a sloppy goal to lose and killed off any hope amongst the visitors of mounting a comeback.

The injured Scott Taggart and lively Mark Gilhaney came off for Scott Linton and Mitch Megginson as Ian Murray used his final substitutions.

Rogers had to be alert again as he brilliantly tipped over a McCord effort from distance as the home side continued to threaten.

Dylan Easton showed quick footwork to carve open space in the box and get a shot away, but Gibson did well to tip the young St Johnstone attacker's effort wide.

From the resulting corner the former Dundee goalkeeper's weak punch dropped to Megginson but he blazed his shot over the bar.

An outstanding tackle from Garry Fleming prevented the scoreline getting worse for the visitors as he halted Cawley with Danny Lennon's men outnumbering Sons defenders on a swift break.

Stuart Findlay became the first player booked as he threw the ball away in disgust after referee Kevin Graham awarded a disputed free-kick against the Sons man.

Scott Linton had the ball in the net late on, neatly chipping an effort over the advancing Gibson but his effort was correctly ruled out for offside.

The only consolation for the visiting fans was the news from Central Park that Cowdenbeath had lost to Livingston meaning that for the third year running Dumbarton will finish the season as Scotland's best part-time team.

Sons now face Rangers next Saturday in the penultimate home match of the 2014-15 campaign at what is sure to be a sold out Dumbarton Football Stadium.

Alloa Athletic: Gibson, Doyle, Gordon, Benedictus, Meggatt, McCord, Holmes, Flannigan (Ferguson 87'), Cawley, Chopra (Spence 59'), Buchanan (Layne 91'). Subs not used: McDowall (GK), Ashgar, Rutherford, Roberts.

Dumbarton: Rogers, Taggart (Linton 72'), Wilson, Graham, Findlay, Petrie (Easton 55'), Gilhaney (Megginson 72'), Kirkpatrick, Agnew, Campbell, Fleming. Subs not used: Ewings (GK), McCallum, Lightbody.

Referee: Kevin Graham. Assistants: Mark McLean & Evan Cairns

Fraser Clarke