Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dundee (6) v Dumbarton (2)

Saturday 23rd July 2016, Kick Off 3pm

Betfred Cup

DELIVERING a shock result against a higher division side in a cup tie is a 90-minute job.

Dumbarton know that. Always have, always will. But that was reinforced at Dundee in tough and unmerited fashion.

At half time, Sons were on course for a stunning victory which would have wiped out the memory of Tuesday's 2-0 reverse to East Fife.

Not only did they lead the Dark Blues 2-1 — the goals which cancelled out Greg Stewart's opener were scored by centre halves. Frazer Wright's equaliser was his first goal for the club, Gregor Buchanan's his second.

It was a position they fully deserved to be in. But there was another half to be played.

And a scenario which seemed laughable at half time came true as Dundee's superior full-time fitness told. Stewart netted two more for his hat-trick, Kane Hemmings scored twice and Darren O'Dea also headed in as part of a ruthless show.

It was hard to take. But Dumbarton's pride was restored to a fair extent.

Whatever happens against Peterhead on Saturday, their Betfred Cup campaign ends there. But their capabilities were on far greater display than in Tuesday's game.

After that encounter a long, hard afternoon had been predicted at Dens Park. And after 14 minutes, with Sons having put only one foot wrong, those forecasts looked accurate.

That mistake was to make a meal of a clearance which resulted in Dundee winning a free kick wide on the right. Stewart bent the set piece in at the far post.

David Smith and Robert Thomson made decent attempts to equalise as the heads stayed up. Then on 24 minutes came the reward.

After Buchanan headed Garry Fleming's ball across goal, Thomson couldn't quite apply the finish but Wright forced the ball home.

It was a boost Sons fully deserved — and so was what came seven minutes later.

Some people thought Thomson's header, which hit the bar, had crossed the line. The assistant referee was not one of them, but to save any argument, Buchanan stuck it away.

Half time arrived with only a good save by Mark Brown from Michael Duffy to trouble Sons. They were in a great position which was totally merited.

If they could hold on, despite circumstances which would be increasingly trying, what a response this would be to Tuesday.

Unfortunately, the lead lasted only three minutes of the second half, with Hemmings latching on to a through ball and finishing clinically.

But still the game was up in the air and, despite a procession of opportunities for Dundee which was to follow, Sons remained in with a shout.

Brown twice saved impressively from Stewart, with the second followed immediately by an even better stop from Duffy from the loose ball.

Rory Loy was also close twice before Brown was beaten by Mark O'Hara's header from a corner. However, Ryan Stevenson was not, and cleared off the line to keep Sons level.

With 19 minutes to go the sides were still on terms. Then Dundee's big push paid off.

The goal which put them in front did stick in the throat, as the free kick it came from, awarded after a challenge by Josh Todd, was to say the least contestable. Once it was put into the mix, O'Dea rose highest to head home.

That blow was still being recovered from when Sons went 4-2 down within a minute. The area was crowded, but Stewart was given too much room and when he fired home that, realistically, was game, set and match.

Stevenson was close to one back with a low shot from distance which went wide, but with 12 minutes left Sons, for a second consecutive visit to Dens Park, conceded a fifth goal.

Stewart ran through a jaded defence to slot home, clinch his hat-trick and inflict more punishment, which was not finished.

In a similar move with six minutes remaining, Hemmings had too much pace for the exhausted part-timers and ran in to score his second.

Soon after Dundee were reduced to 10 men as Nick Ross went off injured with all three substitutions made.

That led the teams to play out time, and Sons to contemplate their final game in this season's Betfred Cup at home to Peterhead on Saturday.

There will be nothing at stake for either side in that game if Peterhead lose to Dundee over 90 minutes in midweek. But whatever the circumstances, Sons can play without pressure.

And after a tough week this week, maybe there will be a break for them.

Dundee: Mitchell; Holt, Vincent (O'Hara 61), O'Dea, Stewart, Loy (Teijsse 75), Duffy (Williams 67), Hemmings, Etxabeguren, Ross, Kerr. Subs: Bain; Black, Curran, Wighton. Booked: O'Dea.

Dumbarton: Brown; Pettigrew, Docherty, Buchanan, Stevenson, Todd, Fleming (Kassarate 72), Thomson, Smith, Wright, Stirling. Subs: Barclay; Barr, McCallum, Clark.

Referee: Kevin Clancy.

Andy Galloway