Saturday 24th December 2016

DUMBARTON went down to ten men and twice fought back to come from behind in a thrilling 4-4 draw with Ayr United in windy conditions at Somerset Park this afternoon.

Sons started out with more of the chances from the first half hour, but then went behind to a header by Scott McKenna from a corner.

Eleven minutes later the men from the Rock had their defence shattered before Gary Harkins nodded in a simple second goal.

However, Dumbarton got right back in the game before the break. Robert Thomson glanced home with his head just before the referee whistled for half time, solidly converting Mark Docherty’s free kick.

On 51 minutes Sons were level, thanks to a touch of luck. Daniel Harvie crossed the ball from the left and it went all the way into the corner of the net to make the score a breathless 2-2.

Both keepers made important saves, as the rain and wind began to gather and the end-to-end excitement continued.

Andy Stirling got into a tangle with Cairney in the area on 68 minutes and the referee pointed to the spot and produced a rather harsh red card for the Sons man.

From the spot-kick Alan Forrest sent Sons goalie Alan Martin the wrong way to give Ayr United a 3-2 lead with just over 20 minutes remaining.

On 84 Minutes Dumbarton were level again, with Joe Thomson tipping home a corner in the midst of a packed area.

Seconds after equalising the visitors were behind again. A volley clattered off the post and Cairney responded first to put the home side 4-3 in front.

Moments later there were scenes of joy among the travelling support as Ryan Stevenson struck back at close range, assisted again by Joe Thomson(pictured), to make the final score 4-4.

It was a hard-won and valuable point for Dumbarton, and an early Christmas present in the shape of a breathtaking game for both sets of fans.

Dumbarton now move up to seventh in the Championship, one place above their hosts today.

Full match report, match photographs, reaction and Sons TV to follow.

Simon Barrow

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