1 - 1Full Time
Alloa returned to the Dumbarton Football Stadium for the first time since the 2-0 win in the playoffs launched our 3 year championship stint back in May 2018. This season both teams are in the mix for what looks like a tasty promotion battle with 7 teams within three points of the top. Alloa named a single change as Scougall came in for Connor Sammon from last weeks triumph in Montrose.
Alloa impressed in the first half. Solid at the back and the creators of the best chances. Scougall volleyed a cross past Ramsbottom in the Dumbarton goal but Buchanan was there to clear any danger inside the six yard box. Adam King, clearly still flying from his wonder strike at Links Park, smashed a first time effort destined for the top corner if not for a quick hands of the Son’s keeper. While Henderson was only stopped by a cynical foul by Duthie after some incisive running. He was soon withdrawn with what looked like a hamstring issue, the attacks didn’t stop with Scougall and Durnan both winning headers but failing to direct them on target as Alloa pressured for the opener.
In the 45th minute, Taggart’s by-line cross was aimed at O’Donnell. Dumbarton could only flick it up in the air and so the predatory Steven Boyd latched on to the free ball and unleashed a low volley under Ramsbotttom from 12 yards.
The second half held a strange holding pattern. It seemed to trend with Alloa working the ball up the field, giving away cheap fouls and inviting more pressure as the increasingly desperate Dumbarton lumped crosses into the box.
While King had an early opportunity screwed wide. Dumbarton were inches away from creating an opening with Duthie just too short to connect to Buchanan’s lofted through ball. Callum Wilson’s free kick was a stramash in the box which fell to Edin Lynch but the defender could only tamely aim it at Hutton. Buchanan earned a free header after some questionable pushing on the Alloa captain Durnan, but thankfully his connection sent the ball high over the Alloa goal. Callum Wilson’s in swinging delivery was again a thorn in the side for Alloa as Durnan misjudged a leaping header leaving the cross to land at the feet of sub Ross McLean, only to blaze over from inside 10 yards. .
Despite winning the ball back from what looked like a foul and a grabbing a handful of Stefan Scougall’s shirt, Dumbarton picked up a corner. It was ultimately the end for Scougall, who delayed the game getting treatment before being withdrawn in a double substitution with Boyd for Sammon and Cawley. After a much delayed corner, Wilson found the head of Paddy Boyle. Boyle glanced it towards goal off the ground and it bounced past Hutton and over Dan Church on the line to give Dumbarton the equaliser.
Mouhamed ‘Sena’ Niang had another handsome performance in the midfield and had enjoyed a favourable running battle with Son’s midfielder Stuart Carswell and the Dumbarton man was lucky to only receive a yellow after giving Sena an incredibly late boot as the on-loan Partick Thistle star danced past him.
Ross McLean would volley over for what was the last note of attack for Dumbarton but Alloa almost sealed three points with the clearly aggravated Niang executing a driving and firing at goal from just outside the 6 yard box only to be denied by Ramsbottomm.
It was on the whole another solid display in Dumbarton as both sides shared a point.
Barry Ferguson, Alloa Manager
“First half we were good in terms of hitting on the counter. Dumbarton have had some great results. Stephen Farrell’s got a right good team here, a physical team, which we knew would be tough. We came to get three points but with the injuries to Scougs and Hendo it was tough. Scougall’s not trained all week with having a new baby. Down the line this’ll probably be a decent point, but we want to win every game we play.”
“It was a good finish from Steve Boyd. Boyd’s pace in behind worked in the first half, in bits, but in the second, I said to him at half time it would need to continue – we were good in the first with winning the first ball and if not winning that we were on to the second, which was pleasing but we’d like to have that level of consistency off [the players]”
“We got negative comments but I’ll stick up for my boys, first half excellent, second half we were poor but it wasn’t for a lack of trying and that’s one thing about my team: My boys still worked hard for me. There’s a small section of fans out with the majority who want to support the team, I understand that they want to win every game but when it becomes personal, I don’t like it. It’s not just me it’s the players noticing it. We’ve had a big turnaround in players, and they need to realise it doesn’t happen overnight. We’re still in touching distance of the top [of the league.] Constructive criticism I can take all day, but I’ve had enough of the negative stuff with having a go at players not trying hard enough. It’s not been great but the players out there still run, still work.”