Fine performance saw Sons through
IN a pressure situation when many sides freeze, Dumbarton produced their finest performance of the season and blew Airdrie United away.
Long before the end the game was over as a contest and the Dumbarton fans were able to enjoy stress free later stages knowing their side had won promotion.
Scoring early was vital and, having done so, Dumbarton were able to pressure the home side into making mistakes and, with more composure, could have won even more comfortably.
As United threw caution to the wind Dumbarton created chance after chance.
The opening chance of the game fell to the home side's Nathan Blockley but he headed wide.
With their first attack of the game, Dumbarton took the lead.
Scott Agnew played a fabulous through ball to Craig Dargo who produced a sublime finish, lofting the ball over the advancing Grant Adam.
Airdrie United had two long range efforts well over the bar before Dumbarton doubled their advantage in the 20th minute.
Although the finish was quality, the build up involved a slice of fortune.
In trying to clear his lines, Blockley drove the ball off the chest of Agnew.
The ball fell kindly for Dargo who stroked the ball under the advancing goalkeeper and into the net.
Ryan Donnelly lifted the ball onto the roof of the net before Airdrie United created their first good chance when a David Lilley free kick fell to Willie McLaren who lifted the ball over the bar as Stephen Grindlay advanced.
On the half hour Dargo turned provider with a flick pass to Mark Gilhaney but Adam saved his effort.
Grindlay saved from Sean Lynch before the homesters pulled a goal back in 35 minutes.
Following a corner the ball fell to Derek Holmes who drove the ball home from 10 yards.
Tony Wallace failed to control a Gilhaney pass when in good position before he redeemed himself in stoppage time when he dispossessed Ricki Lamie, cut inside Paul Lovering before squaring the ball for Gilhaney to hit it first time into the net for what proved to be the decisive goal.
By comparison the second half was a tame affair.
The goal immediately before the break knocked the stuffing out of Airdrie United and they never really mounted a challenge.
Although they pushed forward and enjoyed more possession, the Dumbarton defence held firm and gaps continued to appear in the home defence.
As a result the visitors created the better chances and scored the only goal of the half after 65 minutes when Bryan Prunty collected a long ball from Grindlay, pushed the ball into the path of Wallace who ran on to beat Adam.
Airdire's best chance of the half came when a long range Jamie Stevenson shot bounced awkwardly in front of Grindlay before striking the keeper on the shoulder and over the bar.
Airdire's misery was complete 10 minutes from time when Jamie Bain was shown a straight red card for a challenge on James Creaney.
Dumbarton held on comfortably and can now look forward to trips to Dundee, Dunfermline and Falkirk next season. Dumbarton: Grindlay, Finnie, Creaney, Lithgow, McNiff, Gilhaney, (Lamont 63)Wallace, Nicoll, Prunty, (Graham 83), Agnew, Dargo (Walker 61)
Subs not used: Kennedy, Ewings
This article appeared in Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter 24 May 12
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