Tuesday 19th July 2022

DUMBARTON conclude the group stage of their Premier Sports Cup campaign tonight with a visit from cinch Championship outfit Raith Rovers.

Victory in 90 minutes tonight will give Sons at least a theoretical chance of finishing second in Group A.

But regardless of the impact on the group, they are looking to finish the group stage with a positive result to build momentum ahead of the new league season.

Manager Stevie Farrell is looking for the team to kick on from the 2-0 win at Peterhead in Saturday’s sectional tie.

He said: “Saturday’s result was a very pleasing one, and one that we felt we deserved for how we played.

“However, it is done and dusted now, and we know what a test we face against a Raith Rovers side who have already recorded a convincing victory in the group.

“Once again, we will make use of all the players available to us and we expect to make some changes to the team tonight.

“However, it will be a team that we feel is up to the job of taking on Raith Rovers, and we feel is able to get a result.”

In view of the extremely high temperatures forecast for today, it is highly likely that a water break will take place in each half.

Stevie added: “The conditions tonight are something we will have to bear in mind and manage accordingly, and we are sure Raith will do likewise.”

We also ask supporters attending tonight’s game to ensure they take the appropriate measures to deal with the high temperatures.

Cold drinks will be available from food serveries if needed, and also in Bar 72 before the game.

In terms of team news, Martin McNiff (pictured) missed the Peterhead match due to personal commitments, and is available to return to the squad tonight.

Team captain Ryan McGeever is stepping up his training to recover from injury but is not ready yet, while Edin Lynch is also out.

Admission tonight is via cash at the turnstiles, with admission costing £15 for adults, £10 for over-65s and students (proof of age required) and £5 for under-16s.

As with all cup ties, season tickets are not valid.

Raith Rovers have played two games in the group so far, at home. They were 6-0 winners against Peterhead last Wednesday evening before losing on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Stirling Albion on Saturday.

Their final game in the group is on Sunday, away to Aberdeen.

We last met as opponents in what was then League One in season 2019/20, with Dumbarton winning two of our three clashes.

The most recent of those was on Saturday, February 29, 2020, when an injury time goal by Stuart Carswell was the only one of the game.

This will be our seventh meeting in the League Cup with Raith, and the fourth to be played at home. It is one win each and one draw to date.

Our last meeting in the competition was in 1980, in a two-legged second round tie. Sons lost the first leg 1-0 at Boghead Park, but won 1-0 in 90 minutes at Stark’s Park to take the tie to extra time.

However, a goal by Raith in the added 30 minutes saw them through.

Several Rovers players have turned out for Sons in the past, including Dylan Easton, Scott Brown, Sam Stanton and Liam Dick.

Lewis Vaughan, Tom Lang and Brad Spencer are also ex-Dumbarton players, but are recovering from injuries and won’t play tonight.

And of course, the Rovers management team of Ian Murray and Scott Agnew also operated together here at DFC, although Agnew was a player then. He has now hung up his boots to focus on his role as Murray’s assistant.

Graham Grainger will referee tonight’s game, with assistance from David Doig and Thomas Denholm.

Should the game end in a draw, it will go straight to penalties for the bonus point, with no extra time.

If you can’t make it to Dumbarton Football Stadium tonight, live streaming is available.

Dumbarton Football Club

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