MATTY Yates’ last gasp strike denied Dumbarton victory against in-form Stenhousemuir. The former Stranraer forward lashed home a leveller deep in injury time to deny the Sons a second win of 2023, after Ally Love’s goal on the stroke of half-time looked like it would be enough for the visitors to extend their league advantage to six points.
Boss Stevie Farrell stuck with the same 11 that had defeated Bonnyrigg Rose a week earlier, with new signing Peter Grant added to the bench in the place of Ryan McGeever. With the host’s slick astroturf park suiting Dumbarton far more than the Sons’ own heavy grass pitch, the visitors looked a threat from the off.
Gregg Wylde had a corner bravely cleared by Nicky Jamieson, before the former Rangers winger flashed an effort inches over the bar – with Stenny keeper Curtis Lyle beaten. Typically direct play from Kalvin Orsi then saw him upended by Adam Corbett, who became the first player in referee Curran’s book, with Ryan Wallace only denied a first goal since November by the woodwork from the resulting free-kick.
At the other end Sean Crighton volleyed Matty Yates’ corner well over the bar, in the home side’s first chance of note. Clever play from the ever-dangerous Wallace then almost set Ally Love free in the box, but he couldn’t stretch to meet the pass. After Yates had hit the side-netting with a free-kick and Gregg Wylde had forced Lyle into a routine save, the Sons made a breakthrough on the stroke of half-time.
A deep cross found the grounded Gregg Wylde at the far post, he went for goal whilst on the deck – with Lyle only parrying his effort as far as Ally Love, who did enough to force the ball home from close range.
The second-half began as the first had ended, with Sons finding the net. Ryan Wallace found the onrushing David Wilson who slid beyond Lyle – but the assistant referee’s flag cut any celebrations short. Goalscorer Love then tried his luck with a blistering long range effort, but was off target. Gregg Wylde was next to threaten, however he couldn’t divert Aron Lynas’ deep cross on target.
Then came a moment of controversy. Ryan Wallace looked to be hauled to the ground inside the area as he burst in on goal, only for referee Jordan Curran to wave away protests – to the disbelief of those in navy blue. And it would prove a costly decision, as the home side threw everything they had forward in search of a leveller.
After Adam Corbett had headed over the crossbar, the home side forced one final corner – and even sent goalkeeper Curtis Lyle forward. Sons half-cleared the ball before it eventually fell to Matty Yates, who squeezed an effort beyond Long to snatch a point.
Stenhousemuir: Lyle, Yeats (Lowdon 64), Crighton, Wedderburn (Spiers 88), Miller (Anderson 64), Orr (Sewell 90), Yates, Brown (Forbes 80), Corbett, O’Reilly, Jamieson. Sub: Cantley.
Dumbarton: Long, Wylde (Gray 77), Buchanan, Carswell, Orsi, Wilson D (Grant 88), Love (MacLean 77), Lynas, Blair, McNiff, Wallace (McLean 83). Subs: Broun, Lynch, Byrne, Vata.
Referee: Jordan Curran.
Images by Andy Scott