Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

QoS (1) v Dumbarton (0)

Saturday 19th August 2017, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

COME the end of April, this game, as a spectacle, won't be remembered.

Exciting it wasn't. But it could be important.

A share of the points would not have been entirely unfair. But an opportunist piece of attacking play by Queen of the South's Callum Fordyce made the difference.

At a ground where they won twice last season, Dumbarton battled alright, but were punished for a lack of end product.

The closest they got was when Andy Dowie, on his former home ground, saw Jordan Marshall clear his header off the line.

In 90 minutes, they went from being unbeaten to winless in this season's Championship.

At such an early stage in the season there is definitely no panic after the first league defeat. But the warning signs for the games to come were obvious.

The old saying that goals win games has rarely been more true.

Sons sustained their first blow before kick off, when Craig Barr withdrew from the warm-up. Dougie Hill was restored at centre half, with Kyle Prior replacing him among the substitutes.

You couldn't accuse the first half of being all-action. Huffing and puffing and hard work were there in plentiful supply; clear chances weren't.

The first incident resembling a goal for either side came on 29 minutes when Stephen Dobbie made space at a narrow angle only for Scott Gallacher to smartly turn his shot wide.

Sons then forced their first opening five minutes from half time when neat play by David Wilson and Mark Stewart played in Tom Walsh.

But Alan Martin was equal to the forward's effort.

The game was meandering towards a blank half time scoreline. All Dumbarton had to do was see a corner clear.

They couldn't, as Fordyce rose highest to head home Jordan Marshall's delivery from the right.

All was not lost for Sons. Their second Palmerston success last season was secured from behind, and they had the wind advantage after the restart.

Only they didn't. The elements dictated that in the second half, the wind no longer blew towards the empty terracing to the left of the Sons support.

However, they did start strongly, with David Smith cutting in from the left, only for his shot to fail to unduly trouble Martin.

Then Marshall headed off the line from Dowie. It looked as if an equaliser was coming – if Sons could keep the pressure on.

But they couldn't as Queens ramped things up. Indeed, it was another goal line clearance, by Chris McLaughlin from John Rankin, that prevented a second goal.

Gallacher then denied Dobbie at close range for the second time in the game after the striker was played through on goal.

Substitute Connor Murray also forced a save from Gallacher, while his fellow replacement Lyndon Dykes broke through only for his shot to roll past.

In that time, a Hill header which missed the target from a McLaughlin free kick was all Dumbarton could drum up. The late first half/early second half momentum had gone.

And so had at least a point.

Queen of the South: Martin; Rooney, Marshall, Fordyce, Brownlie, Rankin, Lyle (Dykes 73), Kane (Stirling 61), Dobbie, Jacobs, Carmichael (Murray 73). Subs: Leighfield; Tapping, Kerr, Mercer. Booked: Rooney.

Dumbarton: S Gallacher; Smith (Roy 61), McLaughlin, Dowie, Carswell, Wilson (C Gallagher 69), Stewart, Walsh (Nade 61), Wardrop, Hutton, Hill. Subs: Ewings; Johnston, Prior, Handling. Booked: Wardrop, Hutton.

Referee: Gavin Duncan.

Andy Galloway