Car­swell sur­prise gives Sons vic­tory Win­ner is first goal in 161 matches

Lennox Herald - - SCOT CAREERS - Fraser Clarke

Dum­bar­ton: S Gal­lacher; Dowie, Car­swell, C Gal­lagher (Mor­ri­son 65), Ste­wart (Nade 87),Walsh,Wardrop, Hut­ton, Hill, Roy (Wil­son 75), Barr. Subs: Ewings; John­ston, Prior. Booked: Car­swell, Hill, Mor­ri­son. El­gin City: Wa­ters; Eadie, Al­lan, McHardy, Bron­sky, McGovern, Dodd (Fer­gu­son 65), Reilly, McLeish, Cameron, Suther­land (Reid 79). Subs: Dear; Smith, Byrne, Scott. Ref­eree: Colin Steven. Stu­art Car­swell was the most un­likely of he­roes as the mid­fielder’s first goal in 161 games was enough for Dum­bar­ton to see off League Two El­gin.

Car­swell’s 24th minute free-kick also en­sured the Sons’ strong run of form con­tin­ued as they strung three con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries to­gether for the first time since De­cem­ber 2015.

Dum­bar­ton started as they had fin­ished against Raith Rovers last week and should have been ahead in­side the open­ing 60 sec­onds. Calum Gal­lagher’s clever cross found his for­mer Rangers team­mate Tom Walsh in space in the box but he lashed his ef­fort from a good po­si­tion wildly over the bar.

Af­ter a ner­vous start the League Two side found their feet and they could have been ahead af­ter 12 min­utes.

Stephen Bron­sky found space down the right and picked out Chris McLeish, who was only de­nied by an out­stand­ing close-range Scott Gal­lacher save.

Less than a minute later Sons were left to rue a glo­ri­ous missed op­por­tu­nity.

Quick dis­tri­bu­tion from Gal­lacher sent Tom Walsh free and he drove at for­mer Sons tri­al­ist Jor­dan Al­lan be­fore pulling a ball back that only just evaded Ally Roy.

But they did not have to wait much longer for their first Scot­tish Cup goal since Jan­uary 2016, even if it ar­rived in slightly for­tu­itous cir­cum­stances.

Roy was brought down 25 yards out by a clumsy Dar­ryl McHardy chal­lenge. From the re­sult­ing free­kick Car­swell stepped up with real con­fi­dence and found the top cor­ner of the net, with the aid of a de­flec­tion, for the first goal of his ca­reer.

Quite why Car­swell was tak­ing the free-kick only he will know but it proved to be a de­ci­sion of un­ex­pected ge­nius.

Min­utes later the new, at­tack­ing Car­swell was at it again as he cut in­side be­fore driv­ing a left-footed ef­fort wide of Marc Wa­ters’ goal.

Walsh was next to try his luck and drove for­ward from a deep po­si­tion be­fore fir­ing an ef­fort high and wide of the tar­get.

Min­utes later his quick cor­ner opened up a great chance for Roy but once again the chance was wasted.

Walsh was in­volved again as the game neared half-time, with Mark Ste­wart cap­i­tal­is­ing on Wa­ters’ hes­i­tancy to flick the sum­mer sign­ing’s cross nar­rowly over the bar.

If Sons had been waste­ful in the first half they were al­most made to pay in a dis­jointed sec­ond pe­riod.

Walsh and Roy got in each other’s way as they bore down on goal. Nei­ther Dougie Hill or Craig Barr could then stretch to squeeze home a dan­ger­ous Walsh cor­ner that looked des­tined to cre­ate the killer sec­ond.

Clearly frus­trated by the missed op­por­tu­nity, Barr took mat­ters into his own hands. The cen­tre-half wove his way through a num­ber of chal­lenges be­fore sting­ing Wa­ters’ palms with a fierce ef­fort from the edge of the penalty area.

Those misses al­most came back to haunt Barr as El­gin cre­ated a se­ri­ous chance of note for the first time in the half. Slack play be­tween goalscorer Car­swell and the for­mer Raith Rovers man opened up space for Brian Cameron, with only the width of the post pre­vent­ing him from find­ing a sur­prise equaliser.

That miss looked to rat­tle Dum­bar­ton and more slack play led to Car­swell con­ced­ing a soft foul on the edge of the penalty area. Thomas Reilly lined up the re­sult­ing free-kick and saw his dip­ping ef­fort only just miss the tar­get.

The wel­come re­turn to ac­tion of Chris­tian Nadé, in place of the in­jured Mark Ste­wart, al­most pro­duced im­me­di­ate re­sults.

He could have bro­ken his long scor­ing drought deep into in­jury time too as Walsh picked out the for­mer Sh­effield United man on a late break for­ward. In­side the penalty area he beat two City de­fend­ers be­fore paus­ing as he went to shoot, al­low­ing the dan­ger to be cleared.

In the end it did not mat­ter as Dum­bar­ton en­sured that they would not be this year’s high-pro­file third round ca­su­al­ties.

Colin Steven’s full-time whis­tle also con­firmed that Sons have now gone three games with­out con­ced­ing a goal, some­thing which will have pleased Ste­vie Aitken ev­ery bit as much as the vic­tory.

Dum­bar­ton ........ 1 El­gin City ........... 0

In ac­tion Tom Walsh gets the bet­ter of a de­fender

In a tus­sle Mark Ste­wart in a chase for the ball

De­ter­mined Ally Roy makes a run

On the ball Mark Ste­wart gets into the ac­tion

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