A late goal once again prevented Dumbarton from picking up their first three points of the cinch League Two 2023/24 season.
Sons conceded in the final ten minutes against Bonnyrigg Rose on the opening day to draw 1-1 and it was a familiar tale at The Rock on matchday two when Jamie Dishington’s last-gasp volley cancelled out Tony Wallace’s opener from the spot.
Boss Stevie Farrell made two changes from the side that earned a point in the capital the weekend previous with Matty Shiels handed his first start after signing for the club for a second time, whilst Carlo Pignatiello was preferred to Aron Lynas at right-back.
The home side were looking to make a positive start in their first home league game of the season with Michael Ruth at the forefront of the attack. On 12 minutes he won the ball in midfield and slipped a pass through for David Wilson, but unfortunately for the midfielder the ball just got caught up behind him and the Spartans defence could recover.
Seven minutes later James Hilton found himself in a good area in the 18-yard box and tried to pick out teammate Ross MacLean but the danger was snuffed out by the visitors.
Shiels had made a positive impact off the bench against Bonnyrigg the week before and he battled hard down the left on 27 minutes; his first cross was half cleared by a defender but the ball fell back to him and he put an effort across goal that trickled just wide of the far corner.
Wallace replaced Ruth just after the half-hour mark after the front man picked up a knock before the best chance of the half fell to Dumbarton on 38 minutes.
A cross dropped to Hilton in the penalty area and he brought the ball down before battering a shot towards goal that was tipped away by Blair Carswell before he gathered at the second attempt.
Spartans came out slightly sharper after the interval and created their first real opportunity of the afternoon that Mark Durnan had to be alert to block with the rebound falling to Matty Allan who curled a shot off target from the centre of goal.
It was Dumbarton, however, who would break the deadlock from the penalty spot on 56 minutes.
MacLean’s cross from the right clearly struck the flailing arm of a Spartans defender, with Tony Wallace stroking the ball into the corner from the spot.
The away side came close to equalising on a couple of occassions as James Craigen fired off target from Blair Henderson’s knock down and Durnan was again well placed to prevent an easy tap-in for Henderson.
Despite those chances it was Sons who should have found the next goal and sealed the game when MacLean was through on goal but lost his footing which allowed Spartans to regroup.
And Dumbarton were made to pay on 89 minutes when Jamie Dishington was given the freedom of G82 from a corner to rifle a well-taken volley into the net.
It was the only shot on target for the visitors in what will feel like two points dropped for the second consecutive week for Farrell.