Sons so close to victory in Dundee Late goal forces them to share points
Gallacher, Smith (C Gallagher 80), McLaughlin, Hill, Barr, Carswell,Wilson,Wardrop, Morrison (Nade 71),Walsh, Froxylias (Roy 89). Subs (unused) - Ewings, Prior, Johnston Lewis, Murdoch, Quinn, Edjenguele, Robson, McMullan, Fraser (King 57), Stanton (N’koyi 45), Briels (Keatings 82), Fyvie, McDonald Greg Aitken
Fraser Clarke A late James Keatings freekick denied Dumbarton their first victory of the season.
Sons’ best performance of the campaign was only rewarded with a point against title-chasing Dundee United.
Dumbarton kicked off shooting away from their own fans and four minutes in had a shock lead.
Tom Walsh capitalised on a Stewart Murdoch mistake on the left wing and clipped a cross to the far post.
As United’s Jamie Robson dithered David Smith charged in to squeeze home his first league goal in more than two-and-a-half years.
It was a dream start to the game for Stevie Aitken’s side and it was one which looked to instantly boost the confidence of those on the pitch in white.
United almost responded four minutes later, however, as Scott Fraser blasted an effort into the away end when there were better options in the middle.
For all their possession, United failed to seriously test the Dumbarton back four, with Sons looking the more dangerous of the sides on the counter-attack.
A sensational Tom Walsh dummy took Stewart Murdoch out of the game, with the former Rangers winger’s deep cross uncomfortably scrambled clear by a mixture of William Edjenguélé and Jamie Robson.
As the game continued to flow from end to end a glorious chance was squandered by Ray McKinnon’s men.
Dutchman Jordie Briels latched on to a Paul McMullan through-ball and rounded Scott Gallacher but from a tight angle he could only hit the side netting.
Gallacher was then twice called into action to preserve Sons’ lead at the interval.
He scrambled a McMullan freekick clear before easily saving a tame Scott McDonald effort from the edge of the area.
In the second half almost straight from kick-off Paul McMullan called Gallacher into action with a looping cross before N’Koyi worked his way into the penalty area and fired narrowly wide.
McMullan then threatened again as his cutback looked perfect for Scott Fraser, only for the United number 10 to get his feet mixed up, allowing the danger to be cleared.
Gradually Dumbarton settled into the game and Greg Morrison was unfortunate not to get a debut goal after Harry Lewis fumbled a trademark Dimitris Froxylias freekick.
There was no denying who the busier keeper was as Gallacher, who has endured a difficult start to life at the Rock, once again produced heroics to keep United at bay.
With 20 minutes remaining Stevie Aitken turned to his bench, with Christian Nadé called upon to replace hard-working debutant Morrison.
The big Frenchman’s impact was immediate as he looked to unsettle both William Edjenguélé and Paul Quinn, creating space for Tom Walsh.
From all of 30 yards and from a tight angle he attempted an audacious effort on goal which had to be tipped on to the bar by the backpedalling Harry Lewis.
As the game ticked into the final 10 minutes a careless David Wilson challenge on Billy King handed Keatings a glorious opportunity on the edge of the box.
After a break in play for Wilson to receive treatment the former Celtic kid duly stepped up and blasted the ball beyond the Dumbarton wall and Gallacher into the top left-hand corner of the net.
It was a cruel blow for a Sons side who had been good value for their lead and left the away end watching with bated breath for the final minutes.
They did not have to worry, however, as Dumbarton held on comfortably for a well-earned point.
Dundee United...1 Dumbarton ........ 1
Collision Tom Walsh and Sam Stanton
Pure joy David Smith opens the scoring