Dumbarton’s first public friendly ahead of the 2023/24 campaign ended in defeat against Hebburn Town.
The Northern Premier League Division One East side ran out 3-2 winners in a competitive affair at The Rock.
Stevie Farrell’s troops were in action just a few days prior in a closed doors friendly with Lowland League outfit Caledonian Braves, in which Sons earned a 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Jinky Hilton and David Wilson, but this would be the supporters first opportunity to catch a glance of the nine new Summer signings from the club.
With seven players wearing the famous black and gold for the first time, another two making their second debuts for the club and a trialist all involved, impressions looked to be made ahead of the competitive action kicking off in a couple of weeks.
Dumbarton should have taken the lead in the opening seconds of the contest with Michael Ruth doing well down the right with a storming run forward and creating an opportunity for Jinky Hilton and had he got the desired contact on his attempt, it would have found the bottom corner.
Tony Wallace then created space on the edge of the box to get a shot away but his effort was right at visiting goalkeeper Andy Coulson.
The English side took the lead on 5 minutes when a long ball forward was only half headed away by the Dumbarton defence and into the path of Dean Briggs, who unleashed a ferocious shot from the edge of the area that flew high
into the roof of the net.
Olly Martin came close to doubling the lead but was just off target before Sons levelled things up.
A smart move then cutback down the right from Carlo Pignatiello created space for the right-back to steady himself and tee up Hilton, who struck the ball into the near corner from 12 yards.
Hilton looked to be enjoying himself and was very much living up to the reputation that he arrived from Stranraer with and was promised by Faz as he clipped a cross to the back post for Wallace who should have done better than loop a header over the bar from close range.
Ruth was another impressing on his first showing for the club with his ability to powerfully run forward with the ball; he seemed to be in a position with not an awful lot on out on the right-hand side of the park but managed to get through a couple of challenges and advance on goal with only a brilliant save from Coulson denying him a moment to remember on his debut.
The resulting corner resulted in a swift counter-attack from the Hornets that was capped off with a curling finish from Olly Martin, across Brett Long and into the far corner.
It looked as if that was the way the teams would head into the second-half but Hebburn skipper Amar Purewal glanced in a header from a long free-kick, that was misjudged by the Sons defence due to the high winds, to give the visitors a two-goal lead.
The English side made nine changes for the second-half whilst Farrell waited until the hour mark to get minutes into the legs of the other members of his squad, but not before the deficit was halved.
Wallace done well down the left-hand side to skip by his man and delivered a cross that was perfect for the onrushing Ross MacLean, the only outfield player to start the match that was a Sons player last season, to stroke into the net from a few yards out.
Gregg Wylde, Finlay Gray, Declan Byrne, Luca Vata, David Wilson, Aron Lynas and Ryan Wallace were all introduced for Dumbarton as they looked to grab an equaliser.
Whilst they enjoyed plenty of possession, Sons struggled to get to grips with the windy conditions that resulted in passes and crosses into the box being overhit and flying out of play.
It was Hebburn who nearly added to their tally with Long making a couple of exceptional saves to deny Martin and Ryan Hardie.