Tuesday 18th August 2015
TONIGHT sees Dumbarton play in the second round of the Petrofac Cup for the seventh time in its 25-year history.
It’s not a stage of the competition that Sons are particularly familiar with – especially since three of the previous six occasions came about as a result of a first round bye.
But with all that in the past, they will head to Hampden tonight aiming to do to Queen’s Park what they did to Ayr United at this stage in 2002.
Here’s how Sons have fared when they have reached the last 16 of the competition.
2011/12 – Dumbarton 0 Berwick Rangers 2
Nobody should need told that opposition from the bottom division is not to be taken lightly by Dumbarton tonight. But if they do, this is the perfect example.
Sons faced Berwick Rangers as favourites despite making heavy weather of beating another Third Division outfit, East Stirlingshire, 3-2 in round one.
But after a goalless first half, goals by David Greenhill and Lee Currie provided the shock result. Berwick went on to lose 2-1 to Livingston in the quarter finals.
The match was the middle instalment of a bad week for Dumbarton, whose preceding 3-0 defeat at Airdrie was followed by a 5-1 reverse to Stirling Albion.
2005/06 – Raith Rovers 2 Dumbarton 1 (AET, 0-0 after 90 minutes)
Sons were one of two teams given a bye to round two of the competition this season. After a goalless first 90 minutes, it all looked good when Andy Rodgers gave them the lead against fellow Second Division outfit Raith Rovers. But the final eight minutes of extra time were where it all started to unravel, starting when Mark Dempsie put through his own net. And with two extra minutes left, Paul McManus got the winner for the Kirkcaldy club, who lost 5-1 to St Johnstone in the quarter finals.
2003/04 – Ross County 5 Dumbarton 0
Although regionalisation was not introduced to the competition until 2006, this was probably a tie that made the Scottish Football League decide it was a good idea! Sons were again drawn to receive a bye to round two, and were making a game of it at Dingwall, only trailing 1-0 with 20 minutes to go. The goal came from future Dumbarton striker David Winters, but then it all went wrong. Winters went on to add two more for his hat-trick while Jim Hamilton also netted twice.
Throw in injuries to Gordon Herd and Iain Russell and the midweek trip north wasn’t a fun experience for Sons. County went out in the quarter-finals, losing a derby tie 1-0 at Inverness CT.
2002/03 – Dumbarton 3 Ayr United 0
Any win would do tonight, but this is some benchmark for Dumbarton to aim at.
David Winnie’s team had beaten East Fife 1-0 in round one, but were underdogs against First Division Ayr United. But after the visitors had Aaron Black sent off, Tom Brown headed Sons in front and John Dillon extended the lead in the second half. Ayr were reduced to nine men by Iain Nicholson’s dismissal, and although Dumbarton’s Craig McEwan became the third player dismissed, Dillon’s second wrapped it up. The quarter final draw gave Sons an away tie at Queen of the South.
2001/02 – Dumbarton 0 Ross County 2
Another season where Dumbarton were given a bye to round two, only for their campaign to end at the ‘first’ hurdle. First Division Ross County were being held at half time – but took the lead two minutes after the restart through former Sons striker John McQuade. Steven Hislop doubled the lead midway through the second half of what was the first-ever Challenge Cup tie to take place at what is now the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium. But County were put out by a Third Division side in the quarter finals, as Brechin City were 2-0 winners at Victoria Park.
2000/01 – Arbroath 2 Dumbarton 0
Without a home ground, and off to a bad start in the Third Division, Dumbarton nevertheless hoped for a shock result away to Second Division Arbroath.
They earned this tie by beating Elgin City 4-2 at Borough Briggs in round one, the Morayshire club’s first-ever tie in the competition. This tie was still goalless with two minutes remaining only for Steve Mallan to give Arbroath the lead. In injury time, Paul Brownlie’s penalty conversion meant that Sons were out. Arbroath’s campaign only lasted a game more, as they lost 3-2 at Stranraer in the quarter finals.
Andy Galloway @AGallowaySport