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Dumbarton had to settle for a point against Bonnyrigg Rose on the opening day of the 2023/24 cinch League Two season.

Ryan Blair’s deflected effort got Sons off to a flyer after just four minutes at New Dundas Park were pegged back with less than ten minutes to go when Luke Mahady struck.

Stevie Farrell handed DFC league debuts to five of his summer recruits as Mark Durnan, Sean Crighton, Greig Young, James Hilton and Michael Ruth all found themselves in the starting eleven.

The action was only a few minutes old when Sons opened the scoring – Ruth held the ball up well on the left-hand side of the pitch and played the ball to Blair on the edge of the box, with his first-time left footed effort flying into the top corner.

Rose looked for a quick response and nearly found it through Alieu Faye with his header pushed around the post by Brett Long that started off a succession of corners.

Long was called into action from the first of those set pieces, making a superb point blank save to deny Neil Martinuik.

At the other end, the visitors had a couple of efforts cleared off the line with Tony Wallace and David Wilson coming close but there was no change to the score line before the interval.

Sons started the second-half brightly with Ross MacLean having a curling shot from the edge of the box pushed away by Martin before the shotstopper pounced on the loose ball with Ruth lurking.

The home goalkeeper was certainly the busier of the two in the second period and he made a stunning save to deny a powerful Ruth header from six-yards after MacLean clipped a cross in.

The Sons frontman didn’t do a whole lot wrong with his header having plenty of power and set for the corner, but Martin clawed the ball over the bar.

Matty Shiels and Finlay Gray were introduced just after the 70-minute mark with the former nearly making a glorious start to his second stint with the club.

He was picked out superbly by Blair in behind the Rose defence and put the ball across goal, only to be denied by the foot of that man Martin once again.

After the missed chances and inspired goalkeeper, Dumbarton received a sucker punch when Mahady got in behind the defence, held up play to steady himself and picked out the far corner.

There were a couple of openings for the visitors in the final ten minutes as Gray and MacLean created space for a shot and whilst they tested Martin, they were comfortable stops for him compared to his earlier heroics.

It was a point to start the season for Dumbarton who now prepare for the visit of SPFL new boys Spartans this weekend.


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