Dumbarton 2
Spartans 1
League 1 Play Offs (Final 1st Leg)


Dumbarton
2 - 1
Spartans 

League 1 Play Offs (Final 1st Leg)
Tuesday, May 14th, 2024
Dumbarton Football Stadium. Att. 850
7:30 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
Tony Wallace (21)
Finlay Gray (29)
Ayrton Sonkur (48)

Team Managers
Stevie Farrell
Dougie Samuel

Starting Eleven
19. Jay Hogarth
26. Sean Crighton
5. Mark Durnan
28. Gallagher Lennon
21. Cian Newbury
14. Tony Wallace
18. Finlay Gray
7. Kalvin Orsi
12. Carlo Pignatiello
8. David Wilson
23. Michael Ruth
Blair Carswell
Callum Booth
Paul Watson
Kieran Watson
Ayrton Sonkur
Jamie Dishington
James Craigen
Bradley Whyte
Marc McNulty
Cameron Russell
Blair Henderson

Bench
21. Patrick O'Neil
2. Aron Lynas
4. Blair Malcolm
6. Ryan Blair
10. Aaron Healy
17. James Hilton
20. Callum Wilson
9. James Graham
27. Marc Kelly
Samuel Newman
Robbie Thompson
Mason McCready
Jrdan Tapping
Sam Jones
Rhys Armstrong
Josh Laing
Danny Denholm
Sean Brown

Substitutions
James Hilton for David Wilson (77)
James Graham for Kalvin Orsi (90)
Jordan Tapping for Paul Watson (73)
Danny Denholm for Cameron Russell (86)

Cautions
David Wilson (64)
Cameron Russell (31)
Paul Watson (40)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Steven Kirkland (Referee)
Paul O'Neill & Craig Macrae (Assistants)
Alastair Grieve (Fourth Official)



Match Report


Goals from local heroes Tony Wallace and Finlay Gray gave Dumbarton a 2-1 first leg advantage over The Spartans at a wind battered Rock.


Wallace pounced after Spartans keeper Blair Carswell misjudged a swirling Gallagher Lennon cross to give Sons a 20th minute lead, with the hosts in dreamland nine minutes later when Gray stabbed home Michael Ruth’s cutback.


The half ended with controversy as Spartans’ Ayrton Sonkur looked extremely fortunate to get away with a stamp on Ruth, whilst Sean Crighton had a third for Sons ruled out for offside.


Sonkur’s superb finish early in the second-half halved the deficit - but Sons held firm to ensure they’d take a narrow lead to the capital.


Boss Stevie Farrell stuck with the same side that had drawn 0-0 with Stirling Albion four days previous, with Jinky Hilton added to the bench.


Fresh off the back of a thumping win against Peterhead, the visitors started the brighter.


Cammy Russell’s deep corner had to be cleared by some alert Gallagher Lennon defending, before the same man curled a free-kick from 25 yards off target.


Sons responded, and a flowing move down the right saw Michael Ruth cross for Finlay Gray, but the midfield drilled narrowly over from the edge of the area.

 

Trademark interplay from Kalvin Orsi and Carlo Pignatiello then picked out Tony Wallace, but he couldn’t get enough on his effort and Spartans cleared.


A cute Michael Ruth pass then almost sent Gray clear, but the ball skipped off the soaking surface and was well claimed by onrushing Spartans keeper Blair Carswell.


As the game reached the 20 minute mark, Sons took the lead that their play had threatened - albeit in bizarre circumstances.


Gallagher Lennon’s deep cross was caught in the wind, deceiving keeper Carswell who could only touch the ball onto the bar - with top scorer Tony Wallace alert to lash in his 16th of the season from point blank range.


Spartans’ response was strong, as Ayrton Sonkur saw his header clawed away by keeper Jay Hogarth - before nobody in blue could get on the end of a vicious Cammy Russell delivery.


And they would be punished for that, as Sons took a two goal lead on the half hour.


Michael Ruth showed superb strength to outmuscle James Craigen and drive beyond Kieran Watson, before rolling across goal for the onrushing Finlay Gray to smash into the net.


Shortly after the goal great strength from Ruth saw him win a foul under pressure from Ayrton Sonkur - with replays showing that the former Stranraer centre-half appeared to stamp on the Sons man.


Despite having a clear view of the incident referee Steven Kirkland waved away appeals for further punishment.


That was quickly forgotten as Sons thought they had a third goal four minutes before half-time.


David Wilson’s free-kick found Sean Crighton at the far post, with the veteran doing enough to force the ball over the line - before his celebrations were halted by a delayed flag from the assistant.


Wilson went from provider to threat himself soon after, looping a header from Kalvin Orsi’s cross onto the roof of the net in the final first-half chance of note.


Spartans started the second period as they had the first, but this time quickly got on the scoresheet to half the deficit.


Sons only half cleared a corner, with Callum Booth’s delivery superbly directed over Jay Hogarth and into the net from the edge of the area by Sonkur,


Gallagher Lennon almost instantly found a response, with his header from David Wilson’s swirling corner hooked off the line by Craigen.


Spartans then looked fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men for the second time, as Cammy Russell clattered Carlo Pignatiello with a high late challenge - but the already booked former Airdrie man avoided further punishment.


And soon after it was roles reversed, as Pignatiello clipped Russell in the area - with referee Kirkland waving away furious penalty appeals from those in blue.


If Sons had got fortunate with that decision, they were even more grateful to the woodwork with 25 minutes remaining - as James Craigen burst into the area, but cracked the bar one-on-one with Hogarth.


That would be as close as either side came until the final 10 minutes, as Sons put together their best move of the half.


Clever play from Finlay Gray and Tony Wallace sent Gallagher Lennon clear, with his deep cross reaching substitute Jinky Hilton at the far post - but he sliced his volley high and wide, leaving Sons with just a single goal advantage ahead of their trip to Pilton.

Match report written by Fraser Clarke



Squad Statistics (as at May 14th, 2024)


2023/24 All Time
Age
Jay Hogarth (GK)20 21 - 21 -
Sean Crighton34 452452
Mark Durnan31 28 - 28 -
Gallagher Lennon18 201201
Cian Newbury18 22 - 22 -
Tony Wallace33 47168219
Finlay Gray22 4168412
Kalvin Orsi27 3611193
Carlo Pignatiello24 443855
David Wilson29 3721037
Michael Ruth22 43134313
James Hilton (sub)26 407407
James Graham (sub)19 122122






League Table (as at May 14th, 2024)