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Recap

Dumbarton rounded off the first quarter of the 2023/24 season with a comfortable 4-0 win at Clyde.

Two goals in either half – Ryan Wallace and Tony Wallace in the first and Michael Ruth and James Hilton in the second – secured a comfortable three points for the visitors.

Boss Stevie Farrell named an unchanged side for the trip to the ZLX Stadium, home of Hamilton Accies, with the only addition to the substitutes bench being Finlay Gray who returned from suspension.

The opening opportunity of the game fell to the hosts after just a couple of minutes but Kian Leslie was off target after Martin Rennie had knocked the ball down for him, and in truth that was about as it got for Clyde throughout the game.

From then on, Sons were on the front foot and were finding pockets of space in between the Clyde midfield and defence as well as in behind the full-backs which set up a number of promising opportunities.

One effort was stabbed towards goal by Ruth after Carlo Pignatiello’s pulled the ball across goal before Sean Crighton was just off target with a first-time effort following a corner routine.

David Wilson was next to try his luck after Tony Wallace clipped the ball towards the back post but he hit the side netting and Pignatiello got in down the right-hand side again, this time shooting for goal, but his effort was well kept out by the legs of Jack Leighfield.

Sons were knocking on the door and eventually got their reward on 19 minutes, a smart pass from Matty Shiels sending Ryan Wallace in on goal and he had all the time in the world to pick his spot and bury the ball into the bottom corner.

Dumbarton continued to boss possession but couldn’t find that final pass to break down the hosts, though there was one superb move involving Shiels and Ruth that set up R Wallace but his first-time strike flew over the bar.

A few minutes before the break Sons were awarded a penalty after Shiels was bundled over, and T Wallace stepped up to send the goalkeeper the wrong way and double his sides lead.

The visitors were well worth their two-goal lead so a reaction from Clyde after the break was expected and they started the second period well with Rennie having a couple of attempts – one header was comfortable for Brett Long whilst one of his crosses almost ended up sneaking in at the far post.

The game was wrapped up midway through the half, though, with Ruth finishing off a quick passing move from the edge of the box.

He should have had his second a few minutes later but hit the isndie of the post after a poor clearance from Leighfield and the rebound was fired over by R Wallace.

The introduction of Finlay Gray, James Hilton and Ryan Blair with 15 minutes to go just goes to show the strength in depth available to Faz and two of those substitutes combined just minutes after coming on.

Kalvin Orsi sent Gray running down the right and he used all his energy and pace to ghost inside and square the ball for Hilton who couldn’t miss from close range.

There was a couple of final bits of work for Long to do to keep his clean sheet intact, using his feet well to keep out Ji Stevenson’s low angled shot before beating away Ross Forbes’ long range strike.

Dumbarton finish the first quarter of the season with 17 points and sit second in cinch League Two ahead of their trip to New Ainslie Park after the international trip where Spartans await.

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