Sunday 22nd July 2018

TO many people, Dumbarton’s game with Kilmarnock served its purpose — no heavy defeat and no injuries.

But, for Craig Barr, it was a tale of what might have been.

His 40th minute header had Sons where they wanted to be — in front against the Premiership side who are likely European challengers this season.

Even after the equaliser was conceded, Dumbarton regained the lead, only for it to slip through their fingers as Killie substitute Kris Boyd bagged a hat-trick.

It was a source of frustration for Craig, but he was keen to take the positives out of the afternoon as well.

Speaking to www.dumbartonfootballclub.com, Craig said: “It’s frustrating to lose after scoring two goals, although against good opposition.

“The goals we conceded were disappointing. We’ve defended well in the first couple of games but today has been a step up in opposition and we’ve been punished for our mistakes. With the subs they brought on they were able to do that.

“But there were good things as well. We ran them close for a large part of the game. We scored against the run of play but we were solid enough in the first half.

“To score a couple of goals against them is good but we have to tidy up at the other end. It’s frustrating for myself.

“It’s easy to say from the outside that we haven’t lost heavily and haven’t had any injuries, but we’ve set high standards here and to go ahead twice and be pegged back and lose is disappointing.

“However, the gulf in quality shone through for Kilmarnock in the end.”

After Tuesday, when they are the idle team in the group, Dumbarton will know what is at stake when they visit St Mirren in their final tie.

They are still top of the section, but depending on Tuesday’s results, Sons could be fourth for the trip to Paisley.

After that, it is the big League One kick-off at East Fife. The New Bayview trip, and the following 35 league outings, are a challenge Craig is looking forward to — and one he is determined will end successfully.

He added: “We know about St Mirren from last season. We went there and won in December so we know what we can do there.

“We’ve also made some good signings so we’ll go there looking to win.

“We’re optimistic for the league season but we know the likes of Raith, Arbroath and Airdrie will be as well. We’re looking forward to trying to bounce back.

“Relegation wasn’t easy for anybody and it was the same throughout the club — not just the players. So we are going out to put it right.

“Be under no illusions — we’re going out there to try and win this league.”

Craig Barr scores against Kilmarnock

© Fullarton Photos 2018

Andy Galloway

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