Report: Dumbarton 1-1 St Mirren


SAINTS came from behind to take a point from a hard fought encounter against Dumbarton. Both teams had chances to win it, but for Saints, who remain winless, it was an improved showing on the outing against Queen of the South, but one still leaving lots of room for improvement.
Saints were dealt a low prior to kick off when Jamie Langfield was ruled out having sustained an injury in the warm-up. Scott Gallacher replaced him in the starting eleven.
Other than the goalkeeping issue there was only one change to the team so comprehensively beaten seven days previous. That change saw Jack Baird replacing Andy Webster who joined a fit again Calum Gallagher on the bench alongside Lawrence Shankland and David Clarkson.
It was a decent enough start from the Buddies who twice inside the opening fifteen-minutes came close. Ryan Hardie spun his marker and fired over in the early exchanges and Gary MacKenzie saw his header from a corner blocked on the line.
In-between these chances the home team had forced Gallacher into action with the keeper saving well from Robert Thomson who then lifted the rebound over. All this after MacKenzie looked to have got away with a poor challenge inside the area.
If this was a warning for what looked like a nervous and fragile Saints defence it was one they failed to take any notice of. With quarter of an hour on the clock Dumbarton broke down the right and when the ball was centred Andy Stirling was all alone front and centre to easily sweep home.
If there were concerns as to the durability and resilience of Saints this weekend they proved unfounded as far from retreating into their shell they went on to boss the remainder of the half. It was more a case of chances to create chances rather than glaring openings, but there was enough on show to keep the travelling fans on side.
Eventually the pressure told with Saints getting parity a little short of the interval. Ryan Hardie nodding home a precision header having been well picked out by Tom Walsh; fitting that the two most dangerous looking players combined.
However there was almost an immediate sucker punch from the Sons. Josh Todd held the ball up, rolled in Joe Thomson who saw his thumping drive blocked by Gallacher to avoid an almost carbon copy of seven days previous when Queen of the South hit back immediately.
Half-Time: Dumbarton 1-1 St Mirren
Staying level ensured Alex Rae was afforded the opportunity to give a very different team talk within the confines of the dressing room at half time. Clearly the message would have been there was enough to suggest we could profit going forward, but to be very wary of being picked off on the counter.
Steven Aitken in the home dressing room would also have had his say and his team started way better after the break. Danny Harvie should have scored when left all alone for a free header six-yards out and the hard to handle Thomson clipped the outside of the woodwork having got in behind the defence onto a long diagonal ball.
By the hour mark it was all Dumbarton with Thomson causing no end of problems for a Saints defence struggling to cope with anything in behind or anything in the air. Gallacher was an increasingly busy figure with one good stop from David Smith causing the keeper to receive prolonged treatment.
For a time it was corner after corner raining down on the Saints goal, but to be fair they coped well with them. Closest Dumbarton came was another header from Harvie.
Alex Rae made changes with Lewis Morgan and Ryan Hardie making way for Calum Gallagher and Lawrence Shankland, but in between them Darren Whyte made his first team debut coming on to replace Kyle Hutton.
Eventually Saints rallied and produced chances of their own. Hardie headed wide when he ought to have done better, John Sutton saw a scuffed effort skid wide of goal with Martin scrambling across his line and the keeper saved well from a Calum Gallagher volley.
The final chance went the way of Dumbarton. Thomson got away from Scott Gallacher, but a combination of the keeper and MacKenzie prevented a certain goal even if the home bench felt it should have been a penalty.
Full-Time: Dumbarton 1-1 St Mirren
Dumbarton: Martin, Pettigrew, J. Thomson, Buchanan, Todd, Gallagher, R. Thomson, Harvie, Barr, Smith (Fleming 72), Stirling (Stanton 81).
Subs Not Used: Stevenson, McCallum, Wright, Kassarate, Ewings (GK).
St Mirren: Gallacher, Naismith, Irvine, MacKenzie, Sutton, Mallan, Hutton (Whyte 80), Baird, Walsh, Morgan (Gallagher 74), Hardie (Shankland 85).
Subs Not Used: Webster, Clarkson, McAllister, Langfield (GK).
Referee: Stephen Finnie.
Assistant Referee: Dougie Potter.
Assistant Referee: Graham Fraser.
Attendance: 1,101.
Star Saint: Saints were shaky defensively at times and Scott Gallacher did well with a few stops, but the award goes to Tom Walsh who set-up the goal and sent over a string of good crosses deserving of better
Match report pictures by Allan Picken – © Allan Picken Photography.
Match Gallery Pictures © John Millar.

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