Saturday 12th May 2012
DUMBARTON made history by qualifying for the First Division play-off finals after a tense 0-0 draw away to Arbroath. Sons won the tie 2-1 overall, thanks to their victory at the Rock in the semi-final first leg last Wednesday.
Both sides had opportunities to score in the opening 45 minutes, but neither could break the deadlock in an action-packed afternoon at Gayfield.
Arbroath started strongly in the second half, holding most possession. Sons ‘keeper Stephen Grindlay made some crucial saves to preserve the first leg lead. Then the visitors came back with some strong chances of their own.
In one move with minutes to go, Pat Walker picked up the ball from a thrown-in, nutmegged a Red Lichties defender and played in Mark Gilhaney, whose shot was blocked and went just over the crossbar.
The final minutes were extremely tense as Arbroath threw everything at Dumbarton to get an equaliser. Huge celebrations followed the final whistle. Stephen Grindlay was voted ‘Man of the Match’.
Sons are now just two games away from a First Division place. They face Airdrie United, who defeated Ayr in the other semi-final, at home on Wednesday night (16th May) and then away on Sunday 20th May in the final.
Full match report from Jack Crawford and photos from Donald Fullarton now online. Sons Player video coverage from Gary Black and assistants to follow.