Saturday 17th July 2021

DUMBARTON got off to the worst possible start in their Premier Sports Cup group H clash with full-time Dunfermline Athletic at a sunny and very hot East End Park, losing two early goals and eventually going down 5-1.

Manager Stevie Farrell gave starting places to Kris Syvertsen (pictured) up front and 16 year-old Kirk McKnight at right back — and it was a baptism of fire for the young Killie loanee.

The on-form Pars took the lead in the first minute, when keeper Sam Ramsbottom’s attempt to tip away a cross from the right rebounded off Bulgarian internationalist Nicolay Todorov and into the net.

A minute later ex-Son Dom Thomas twisted and turned inside the area before netting from a narrow angle.

Sons first attempt on goal came in the 17th minute when a Ross MacLean free kick led to a corner, but Conner Duthie’s shot went over the bar. Four minutes later an Eoghan Stokes shot was easily saved.

After a drinks break because of the heat, Craig Wighton headed home a third goal for Peter Grant’s men. As half-time approached a MacLean shot from distance went just past the post as Sons tried to fight back.

Just before the interval David Hopkirk broke down the right and into the box, but Syvertsen’s attempt from the cutback was blocked.

The home side began the second period on the attack, and Gregor Buchanan did well to deny Todorov from a Josh Edwards cross. But moments later an unfortunate Buchanan own goal gave the Pars no.4 from another Edwards cross.

Sons finally pulled one back when MacLean picked up a slack pass and ran in to score with a fine angled finish. At the other end a Thomas shot was blocked and Wighton put the rebound over the bar, then an Aaron Comrie shot went wide.

Next striker Kevin O’Hara was through on goal but Ramsbottom deflected the shot wide, then Calum Wilson came on for Stokes. Soon after O’Hara made it five with a free header, and in the 81st minute Ramsbottom got down well to save another O’Hara header.

The final whistle ended a learning experience for the new Sons line-up.

Donald Fullarton

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