Tuesday 7th July 2020

ON to number nine in our countdown of the 100 greatest games to be played at what is currently the C&G Systems Stadium.

Supporters Jack Crawford, Fraser Clarke, Andy Galloway and Graeme Robertson worked together to rank the matches we’ve played in our arena in close on 20 years.

Today we feature a game from 2012, one which preceded an afternoon of incredible drama three days later.

Number 8 will be online on Thursday at 10am.

9. Dumbarton 2-1 Arbroath – Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Football was almost invented for games to be played on summer evenings like this.

As the sun set over the Rock, Dumbarton’s promotion chances rose. Having secured their playoff place in the penultimate game of the ordinary league season with victory at Stirling Albion, Sons knew what an opportunity they had.

Having lost three of the four league games against Arbroath during the season, though, a trend would have to be bucked.

It was continued after only six minutes of an evening which, although glorious weatherwise, got off to an inauspicious start.

Some of us were in the process of taking our seats when Josh Falkingham crossed for Stuart Malcolm to head home the opening goal for Arbroath. It was their 13th in four-and-a-bit games against Sons during the season.

A response was needed from Dumbarton, but they specialised in responding to setbacks, and took only 10 minutes to do so here.

After a Scott Agnew effort was too powerful for the keeper to get a firm grip, Tony Wallace was on hand from close range. Not a bad time to get your first goal for the club.

Copyright Fullarton Photos 2012

Alan Lithgow could have established the lead late in the first half, but his header missed the target. Instead, the decisive moment came just after the hour mark.

The visiting keeper was adjudged to have picked up a deliberate passback, and when Scott Agnew played the free kick short to him, Bryan Prunty thrashed it into the corner.

Late chances for Liam Caddis and Lee Sibanda threatened to send the teams to Gayfield for the second leg all square on aggregate, but Sons held on.

Arbroath’s position was hardly disastrous from their point of view – one goal behind with 90 minutes on their own pitch to play.

That was until they found themselves up against Stephen Grindlay in the second leg. It was the finest display by a Dumbarton goalkeeper for a long time beforehand and quite possibly since.

Whatever breaks Sons had missed out on against the Red Lichties over the season, they made up for them here. An all-hands-on-deck effort ensured a goalless draw and it was time to contemplate the playoff final for promotion, against Airdrie.

Dumbarton: Grindlay; Nugent, Creaney, Lithgow, McNiff, Nicoll, Gilhaney (Gray 84), Wallace, Prunty (Walker 71), Agnew, Dargo. Subs: Ewings; Kennedy, Thomson.

Arbroath: Hill; Baxter, McAnespie, Malcolm, Innes, Kerr, Falkingham, Birse (Caddis 67), Samuel (Sibanda 84), Doris, Sheerin (Gibson 48). Subs: White; Busch.

Referee: Craig Charleston.

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