Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Brechin City (1) v Dumbarton (3)

Saturday 17th March 2018, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

IT lives.

But for now, it's on hold.

Dumbarton are now consumed by Irn Bru Cup final fever. When they return to league business, their Championship survival ambitions will be very much alive.

In the space of a week, a nine-point gap to Inverness CT — their opponents in Saturday's final — has become a four-point gap.

That is courtesy of an essential six-point haul from a double header against a detached, although still spirited, Brechin side.

Dimitris Froxylias scored the winner against City on Tuesday. In part two of the double header, his corners resulted in all three goals.

Calum Gallagher nodded in the opener before Andy Dowie's netbound header was credited by some as an own goal by the unlucky Sean Crighton.

Craig Storie's free kick got one back for the home side, but Danny Handling stabbed in a third for Sons.

And all that was in the first half. The second 45 minutes was less eventful, but Dumbarton did what they had to.

They did have to survive a penalty, rolled wide by Kalvin Orsi on 72 minutes, but they saw it out against the Championship's other part-time side, who they now lead by 23 points.

The league campaign is now in recess for what could the game of a lifetime on Saturday, but when it resumes, it will be in a new-found blaze of optimism.

Froxylias tried to open the scoring again on nine minutes with a bending shot, but it was deflected just wide.

The resulting corner brought another, and then another, this time on the right. Froxylias swung it in and after Dowie headed it across, Gallagher had a straightforward close range finish.

On 23 minutes another Froxylias corner enabled the lead to be doubled. Dowie was straight on to the end of the flighted ball, and whether the goal is his or Crighton's, it had Sons in a powerful position.

Brechin then got on top for a spell and after a Finn Graham effort drifted across goal and wide, they got back in touch seven minutes from half time.

Storie's 20-yard free kick was well struck and well placed, and restored the one-goal deficit.

But it lasted only four minutes, with Froxylias again assisting along with Dowie. The defender jabbed the ball back across from the corner and Handling forced it home from close range.

Going down the Glebe Park slope in the second half, Sons may have been expected to go further clear. However, their opponents didn't chuck it.

However, Gallagher and then Andy Stirling were each denied by the keeper, the latter seeing his shot turned on to the post.

Stirling then cleared a Dylan Mackin header off the line before the only remaining serious action of the afternoon in the form of Brechin's penalty.

Craig Barr was punished for a foul on Euan Spark in the area, but Orsi missed the target from the spot.

It was seen out from there. Next stop Perth.

Another bonus for manager Stevie Aitken was the comeback after months out through injury of Chris McLaughlin.

Brechin City: O'Neill; Dyer, Fusco, Tapping, Graham, Watt, Spark, Orsi, Crighton, Mackin (Layne 63), Storie (Morrison 46). Subs: Costello; McLean, Dale, Sinclair, Smith. Booked: Graham.

Dumbarton: S Gallacher; McLaughlin (Hill 69), Dowie, Carswell, C Gallagher, Wardrop (Smith 16), Hutton, Froxylias (Burt 82), Handling, Stirling, Barr. Subs: Ewings; D Wilson, Stewart, Nisbet. Booked: Hill.

Referee: Alan Muir.

Andy Galloway