Dumbarton United Amateurs 3-2 Lomond Thistle A victory in our first game back since the world went into COVID-shutdown mode.
We started slow, looking disjointed, a telling sign of a team who hadn't played together in over six months. The barnstorming Lomond Thistle that finished the 19/20 season was nowhere to be seen today.
Logan Park had the firs piece of action of the half, breaking into the box and going down, it was deemed a dive and Logan was rather deservingly booked.
Approaching the 10' minute mark in the game, Ali Orr took the ball from the half-way line and carried it to roughly 40-yards out. We're still not sure what possessed him, but he decided to hit it...... met with groans and mumbles as the ball left his foot, the wonderfully placed shot ended up right in the top corner with no chance for the keeper. An absolute screamer from Ali.
Thistle couldn't get to grips with the game at all, with the midfield struggling for any sort of dominance. Scott Dallas, carrying a hip injury, was forced off with Dougie Stewart replacing him.
The game continued to be a bit scrappy, with neither team able to keep hold of the ball or make anything happen.
Outside of Chris Allan and Hamish Watt both coming close but hitting the woodwork, there was nothing of note in the opening exchanges.
23' minutes in and a fully committed Jacob Withers leaped for a header at the back, only to miss the ball and clatter his opponents head. A brief scare, as blood began to appear. Not even blood squirting out a gash in his head could keep the big man down, as he asked to go back on. Needless to say no risks were taken with a head knock and he was replaced by Andrew Macnally.
Shortly after, a ball into the box wasn't dealt with first time and Douglas Stewart got the wrong side of his man and jumped into him - too aggressively for the referees liking. Penalty awarded to Dumbarton United.
It was cooly slotted home, sending 'keeper Mick Quinn in the opposite direction.
The game continued to be scrappy, with no real rhythm being found by either team.
A couple of changes made at the break seen Dave Allan, Stuart Sichi and Nick Burrows come on.
Another quiet, slow start for Thistle in the second half.
Chris Allan testing the 'keeper from a free kick on minute 51' was the closest we came.
Thistle started to look a bit brighter, with Nick Burrows finding pockets of space and Dave Allans pace causing problems.
It took us until minute 54' to get another clean cut chance. Sichi doing well down right to beat his man and play an excellent cross to the back post, falling perfectly to Dave Allans feet - Dave slotted it into the bottom corner past the 'keeper.
2-1 THISTLE RETAKE THE LEAD.
The lead was short lived. A sloppy free kick to give away on the edge of the box, poor defending leaving a man free at the back post and it was an easy header from just a few yards out for Dumbarton United - despite 'keeper Mick Quinns best efforts to claw it back.
2-2. 60' minutes played.
Another few changes for Thistle saw Macfeat and Ali Maule introduced and Ali Orr reintroduced.
Thistle started to come into the game a bit more in the final half hour. A lot more organised and Burrows and Sichi starting to get on the ball.
Just as the momentum started swinging in our favour, another injury struck. Nick Burrows reoccurring groin issue forced him off - after a dangerous couple of minutes. Scott Dallas back on to replace him, Logan Park back on for Chris Allan and Kyle Cunningham on for captain Callum Dewar.
With Thistle looking better on the ball, we still weren't creating too much but the encouraging signs were there.
80' minutes played. A bit of magic was required to win this one, with neither team looking likely to break the other down.
A bit of magic was exactly what we got. Ali Maule playing a wonderfully lofted, first-time through ball to Dave Allan. With Dave receiving the ball and taking it down the line, a rampant Ali Maule, underlapping from left back received the ball back from Dave and with a bit of quick feet on the edge of the box got him free from his man. A low driven strike was well met by the 'keeper but our fox in the box Logan Park was there to mop up any spilt shot and that exactly what he done. Pouncing on the parry, he had an easy finish to make it 3-2 to the Panda Jags. A really special goal for Logan in his first start after a very long spell out with an ACL injury.
3-2 THISTLE with 10 to play.
Thistle kept going, looking more like the team we know we are. Dave Allan had a chance 1v1 the 'keeper but it was well saved.
With a few minutes left on the clock, Thistle began to see the game out and completed a professional job as the full time whistle went.
FULL TIME | Dumbarton United Amateurs 2-3 Lomond Thistle
Always nice to get the win and while there were some positives to take, there's plenty to work on for the boys before the league campaign kick off on the 11th of October.
We're back in action next Sunday, with a friendly against GCCL newcomers Westwood FC.