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Recap

THIS game may not stay in the memory beyond the end of 2022.

It will not cause any more debate for those who decide the greatest game of the calendar year.

But sometimes, the only matter is who puts the ball in the net the most times. In that regard, Dumbarton were victorious over Albion Rovers again despite an afternoon which tested the resolve.

Ally Love got the goal that settled a scrappy game, thrashing the ball home from six yards with 21 minutes left. It was one of very few clearcut chances across the match.

The Wee Rovers, not for the first time against Sons this season, felt they should have had more. But they found a visiting defence that did its job, including when goalkeeper Brett Long was beaten.

The keeper could only look on as Callum Wilson’s lob headed for the net with eight minutes left, but a combination of Stuart Carswell and Martin McNiff performed a spectacular clearance.

It was not one of the all-action attacking performances of late, but it was enough.

On 18 minutes Joe McKee unusually went straight for goal from a free kick, and he was close, too. But the home keeper pushed away his effort from 25 yards.

The home side were on top of possession but were struggling to get efforts sufficiently close to the target to trouble Long.

Indeed, it was again Sons who could have opened the scoring, Ryan Wallace doing well to set himself up but seeing his effort cleared off the line.

That was really all there was, and the second half was equally frustrating to begin with. Albion Rovers had Dumbarton under pressure from corners, but it was all dealt with well enough.

And then, with changes made to overcome the stuffiness of the match, Sons led. David Wilson’s ball into the box was cut back by Ross MacLean, and there was his fellow sub Love to do the rest.

The lead could easily have lasted only nine minutes after Rovers got in behind the defence, but Wilson was frustrated by the joint goal line clearance.

Dumbarton started 2022 with a 1-0 defeat to a team from Monklands. They end it with a 1-0 win against a team from Monklands. Funny old game right enough.

Four points clear it is at the top to start 2023.

Albion Rovers: Leighfield; Fernie, Malcolm, Sonkur, Fleming, C Wilson, Leslie, Reilly, E Wilson, Dolan. Graham. Subs: Smith; Roberts, McColl, Duncan, Kidd, Semirimu, McArthur. Booked: C Wilson, Fleming, Leslie, Malcolm.

Dumbarton: Long; Wylde (MacLean 62), Lynch, Buchanan, Carswell, Orsi, D Wilson, McKee (Love 62), Gray (Blair 54), McNiff, Wallace (McGeever 81). Sub: Broun. Booked: Buchanan, Lynch, D Wilson, Orsi, Blair.

Referee: Barry Cook.

Pictures below by Andy Scott.

Edin Lynch plays out of defence
Gregor Buchanan clears.
Gregg Wylde looks for a pass.
David Wilson beats a defender.
Ryan Wallace’s shot was cleared off the line.
Stuart Carswell battles.
Brett Long deals with an Albion Rovers corner.
Finlay Gray competes with a Rovers defender.
Ally Love scores the winner…
…and heads off to celebrate.
Ally Love shares his joy with the fans.
Players join the celebrations.
Aerial action in the Rovers box.
Gaffer Stevie Farrell salutes the fans.
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