SPFL 2: Rock-all in Stalemate with the Sons.

Posted on Wednesday, February 14th, 2024

The Spartans and Dumbarton played out a goal-free stalemate in the cold in their re-arranged SPFL 2 clash on Tuesday evening, in a game that had two penalty shouts waved aside and a disappearing card trick.

Mason McCready made his full debut between the sticks after replacing the injured Blair Carswell at the weekend whilst Sam Jones returned to the starting XI as did Paul Watson.

There was an early scare within the opening moments of the game as the hosts had the ball in the net, thankfully for the small, but noisy travelling support, they banged their drums in appreciation of the lino’s flag to deny Michael Ruth.

Dumbarton were dominating early proceedings on a tricky surface underfoot that offered its own challenges in terms of determining the direction of passing, whilst neither keeper was particularly grateful for a cheeky wee pass-back heading their way.

Mason McCready, on loan from Partick Thistle, had to look sharp shortly after and he made a fantastic save, pushing David Wilson’s effort over the bar.

It took until the 25th minute before Spartans had their first offering in the danger area with Sam Newman drilling a shot through a busy Dumbarton penalty box that Jay Hogarth managed to fling a leg at to execute the save.

What Murdo McLeod and Neil Lennon made of the opening forty five as they watched on from the stand is as yet unknown.

HT: Dumbarton 0-0 The Spartans

An early half chance for Spartans to open proceedings saw Cammy Russell thread the ball through to Blair Henderson only for Howarth to race off his line to smother.

Quite how the ball stayed out of McCready’s net just before the hour mark remains a mystery following Ryan Wallace’s effort that the keeper palmed away and the outstretched boot of Jamie Dishington done just about enough to poke the ball beyond Marc Kelly who was ready to pounce.

Dumbarton were awarded a free-kick twenty yards out after Kieran Watson felled his man however the five man wall remained strong with skipper Kevin Waugh taking the sting out the ball with some ‘mid-rift’ control that probably stung in the cold.

Robbie Thompson then replaced Sam Jones.

There were strong claims for a penalty within the visiting ranks when the ball appeared to have been sent behind by a Dumbarton defender’s arm.  Unfortunately any hope of Spartans receiving only their second spot kick of the season were dashed when the Referee pointed for a corner kick.

Meanwhile, a challenge on the Spartans bye-line saw wild remonstrations being displayed by the Dumbarton bench as they demanded a penalty of their own.  All square in terms of score and now in non-awarding of kicks from the penalty mark.

Kieran Watson atoned for his earlier transgression on the edge of the box by putting in a telling tackle and block to deny Kalvin Orsi as the Dumbarton sub looked to pull the metaphorical trigger.

Skipper Waugh was then replaced by Callum Booth with ten minutes left on the clock.

Further confusion followed shortly after when, on the eve of Valentine’s Day, there were cards being handed out by the Ref, however the red version was a Return to Sender following a mix-up of an earlier yellow distributed to a Sons player.

Dumbarton were pressing hard to sneak the winning goal and Spartans were defending resolutely.  With this in mind, another change took place with Academy Graduate Josh Laing making his SPFL debut, replacing Rhys Armstrong.

FT: Dumbarton 0-0 The Spartans

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Jamie Dishington

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 27th April
Opponent: Peterhead
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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