Dumbarton v Stenhousemuir at Strathclyde Homes Stadium, Dumbarton on 23.03.10
Irn Bru Scottish Second Division Att 486
Dumbarton 2 [Chaplain 45, 68 pen] Stenhousemuir 1 [Lyle 65]
Although Stenhousemuir and Dumbarton had met only ten days previous the Warriors had made no fewer than six changes to the starting eleven from that match. One of the changes was the first ever start in a Warrior’s jersey of Paul Quinn who had scored the winner that day.
After Saturday’s defeat at Alloa it was always going to be interesting to see how Stenhousemuir would react to the shocking end of that game. John Coughlin freshened up the team with Scott Bennett playing in his first league game of the season instead of Chris McCluskey. The starting formation of a 3-4-3 showed intent in trying to get all three points in as positive a fashion as they could.
These tactics looked as if they would bear fruit in the opening stages of the game when the Warrior’s pressed hard for the opening goal and were causing problems for the home defence. Indeed they almost opened the scoring in the second minute when Kevin Motion, back from suspension, played a ball down the line for Andy Stirling and he went past his marker with ease before firing in a cross that Iain Diack headed just wide. Stenhousemuir continued to press and Quinn had an effort blocked in the 4th minute and from the resultant corner Son’s keeper Jan Vojacek was relieved to see his misjudged punch go over his own bar. Gradually Dumbarton got over the initial storm and they came close through a Scott Chaplain effort that was cleared off the line by Bennett’s feet. In the 15th minute Dumbarton once again prised open the Warrior’s defence and only a timely interception by Jordan Smith kept the Sons at bay.
After this blip in proceedings Stenhousemuir began to get on top again with the home side struggling to cope with the passing of the Stenhousemuir team but the Warriors were unable to cap some flowing moves with the rewards that they deserved, the best of which saw a grateful Vojacek clutch a Motion effort at full stretch. It was not a one sided encounter however and was far more open than the previous match and Chaplain came close once again to opening the scoring after good link up play with Dennis Wyness. With the first half looking to end goalless the home side struck seconds before the interval when dangerman Chaplain timed a run well to latch onto a through pass and steer the ball past the helpless Bennett.
Once again this was a test of Stenhousemuir’s character and whether they would react positively to this setback. Within the first minute of the second half they could and possibly should have equalised, first through a Quinn effort from close range that was saved and this was followed seconds later with a run and shot by Stirling that just went wide. After being on the back foot once again Dumbarton came into the game and Ross O’Donoghue shot past from 20 yards after some excellent one touch lead up play in the 57th minute. This was followed shortly afterward by a Wyness effort just over the bar.
Stenhousemuir eventually got back on level terms in the 65th minute when Willie Lyle scored when he met a Pat Scullion pass and blasted the ball into the net. The Warrior’s celebrations were to be short lived however as Dumbarton went back into the lead three minutes later when Chaplain converted from the penalty spot after he had been fouled in the box.
After this it was Dumbarton who looked the more likely to score but Stenhousemuir’s Trialist brought the crowd to life with a burst of speed that took into the danger area but his effort was to be in vain when his shot went just the wrong side of the post.
With seven minutes remaining the game was effectively finished when Stenhousemuir were reduced to 10 men after Gary Thom was sent off for a foul on the keeper and Dumbarton were too experienced to give the ball away cheaply after this and ran out more comfortable winners than looked likely in the early stages of each half.
Dumbarton – Vojacek, Chisholm, Smith, Dunlop, Gordon, O’Donoghue, McNiff [McStay 75], Chaplain [Carcary 85], Winters, Wyness and Cook [Murray 53][b90]. Subs not used – Brannen and White
Stenhousemuir – Bennett, Lyle, Thom [so83], McLeod [b26], Smith, Molloy [b10], Stirling [Bradley 80], Scullion, Diack [Dalziel 68], Quinn [Anderson 68][t] and Motion. Subs not used – Love and McCluskey
Referee – Iain Brines Assistants – Tom Murphy and Graham McNellie