Saturday 23rd July 2022

DUMBARTON have won by the odd goal in five away to Irvine Meadow this afternoon in a lively final pre-season friendly.

After the teams were piped on to the field in recognition of their respective milestones this year – Meadow 125 years and Sons 150 years – a competitive fixture followed.

And each team made a fast start, with Dumbarton striking first in two minutes when Declan Byrne swept home an Ally Love cross.

But the lead only lasted a few minutes, Callum Graham heading home for Meadow from close range.

Midway through the first half, a deflected Neil Slooves effort found the net to put the home side in front.

The crowd were also entertained by a fly-past from the Red Arrows, who were part of a nearby music festival taking place in the town.

Dumbarton headed in at half time very fortunate to only trail by one goal, but started the second half with more purpose after three half time changes.

And they levelled early in the second half, this time Byrne doing brilliantly to set up Love for his second goal of pre-season.

Dumbarton were slightly steadier at the back in the second half, but Meadow remained dangerous and a shot by Graham struck the crossbar.

However, it was Sons who regained the lead when Finlay Gray (pictured), one of the three substitutes introduced at half time, struck home a shot from the edge of the box.

Late in the game, Love had the ball in the net for a second time, but the referee had already ruled a foul against him.

The match preparation for the new league season is done – now it is on to the real thing. Dumbarton start cinch League Two action at home to Stirling Albion next Saturday.

They will have to do so without winning goalscorer Gray, who is suspended for one game, the ban being carried over from the Lowland League last season.

Reaction to follow.

Dumbarton Football Club

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