Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

St Mirren (0) v Dumbarton (1)

Saturday 2nd December 2017, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

IN more ways than one, it was just meant to be.

Since January 28, 2017, 13 Championship sides had visited St Mirren on league business. Dumbarton, in April, were one of three teams to escape with a point. The rest all left with nothing.

Sons were team number 14, having lost just once in their four visits to Paisley since the Buddies' relegation in 2016.

And not only did they prolong that run and end their hosts' sequence. They did so with a former player inflicting the damage.

When Dumbarton last won at the Paisley 2021 Stadium in November 2016, Tom Walsh had just been dropped by St Mirren.

In this game, he produced an imperious performance which was crowned with its only goal 10 minutes from full time.

The Buddies played more than half the game with 10 men after Stelios Demetriou's dismissal close to half time, but that didn't tell the full story. Even with equal teams, Sons were on top.

But it wasn't only St Mirren's run that made this victory special. It was how big a task it looked on paper for Dumbarton.

There was more than the Erskine Bridge separating the sides going into this game. They were kept apart by seven league places and 14 points.

Come just shy of 5pm, two notches in the table, and three points, had been taken out of that gap.

It wasn't difficult to work out that Walsh was up for this game. Within 10 minutes, he had two shots from the edge of the area which went just past, the former with a deflection.

However, in between those, Mark Stewart had to leave the action injured.

Corners were then Dumbarton's best form of attack for a spell, firstly when substitute Ally Roy couldn't quite make clean enough contact after Greg Morrison headed Walsh's corner across.

Then, after a Kyle Magennis shot went just wide for the home team, Andy Dowie's header from another corner was deflected over.

There were then fewer chances, but a minute from half time Stelios clashed with Sam Wardrop, seemingly elbowing the Sons man in the face.

The referee's red card reaction was immediate, and Dumbarton had an extra advantage.

Despite that, opportunities remained scarce after the restart. It was the 64th minute before the next one came, when Roy ran in on goal, but his narrow angled shot was saved.

From the corner, Chris McLaughlin headed just over.

Nine minutes later Roy again found himself in a promising position, but sliced wide after Walsh played him in.

A third draw of the week, which wouldn't have been a disastrous result, looked likely, but with 10 minutes remaining the moment came.

Dimitris Froxylias sent Walsh away down the right, and after cutting inside, the forward applied a placed finish from the edge of the area.

St Mirren had limited time to protect their record, and predictably, the rest of Sons' afternoon was a case of defending against everything thrown at them.

That task was made harder when Froxylias, after only 20 minutes' action as a substitute, had to go off injured. With no more changes left to make, Dumbarton too now had 10 players.

With five minutes to go, a cross from the left found Ross Stewart in a decent position, but his header was wayward.

A sustained effort by the defence ensured that was as close as the Buddies got to scoring, bar a late scramble after Scott Gallacher dropped a free kick, with the ball eventually hacked clear.

What a way to end a long week of football.

St Mirren: Samson; Stelios, McGinn, Magennis, Morgan, Baird, McShane (R C Stewart 82), Reilly (Sutton 76), Davis, Smith, Eckersley. Subs: R M Stewart; Buchanan, Duffy, Kirkpatrick, McCart. Sent off: Stelios.

Dumbarton: S Gallacher; McLaughlin, Dowie, Carswell, C Gallagher (Nade 71), Stewart (Roy 6), Walsh, Wardrop, Hutton, Morrison (Froxylias 63, off 83), Barr. Subs: Ewings; Wilson, Johnston, Hill. Booked: Froxylias, Walsh.

Referee: Andrew Dallas.

Andy Galloway