Sons and Jags enjoy final day party


irnbru-sflBoth Dumbarton and Partick Thistle fans were in a celebratory mood at the Bet Butler Stadium on the final day of the First Division season.

Dumbarton were celebrating First Division survival and finishing the season as the highest placed part-time side in Scottish football while for Partick Thistle, they were enjoying their final day in the Scottish Football League before they move up to the SPL as First Division champions.

It was a near sell-out crowd at the Bet Butler, with both sets of fans in colourful fancy dress, Jaggies fans were in holiday mode with Hawaiian shirts, beach balls, hula skirts and some inflatable seats – an obvious reference to the desecration of seats by Old Firm fans earlier in the week at Firhill.

Dumbarton made three changes to the side which beat Cowdenbeath last Saturday with Jamie Ewings, James Creaney and Bryan Prunty starting in place of Stephen Grindlay, Alan Lithgow and Jim Lister respectively.

For the Jaggies, Glenn Daniels made his first start for the Firhill outfit in place of regular number one Scott Fox. Also starting were Liam Lindsay, Kris Doolan – replacing Andy Dowie who has left the club and Aaron Muirhead returned to the first team after serving his suspension. Chris Erskine started his last game for Partick Thistle on the bench.

The first chance of the game fell to Christie Elliott on seven minutes. The striker was set up by Jordan McMillan, but Elliott with plenty of space just inside the box could only strike a low shot to the near corner which Ewings in the Dumbarton goal easily saved.

The Sons first chance of the game fell to Mark Gilhaney when he was played through by a lovely chip over the Partick defence by Bryan Prunty however the wind drifted the ball away from the head of Gilhaney and into the fists of Glenn Daniels who punched the ball clear of danger.

Paul McGinn was the next Dumbarton player to have a crack at Daniels goal, and the wee defender nearly scored when his low shot to the far bottom corner was not held by Daniels with the Jaggies defence having to clear up the keepers mess.

With 24 minutes on the clock, Partick were unlucky not to take the lead when a Jordan McMillan volley nine yards out smacked off a Dumbarton defender before being parried wide for a corner by keeper Ewings.

The best chance of the first half was created and missed by one player; Scott Agnew dribbled and danced his way past three Partick players and Glenn Daniels before dispatching a poor low shot which was cleared of the line by Partick defender Jordan McMillan.

Just before half-time, Scott Smith nearly bundled the ball into his own net when a Christie Elliott cross on the line, five yards from goal came off the Dumbarton defender, however thankfully for the Sons it went just wide of Ewings goal.

Five minutes after the restart and a Forbes free-kick, 18 yards out goes over the Sons wall but is easily saved by Ewings.

With an hour of the game gone, the tannoy announcer made the unusual request for fans to stop swearing, which of course was completely ignored.

The best chance of the game came on 68 minutes, Scoot Agnew hit a terrific shot just wide of the box which thundered of the inside of the box, but did not cross the line. That effort would be as close as both sides got to scoring in the game with the match fizzling out to end honours even.

Both sides have now finished their respective seasons and can look forward to their summer holidays and season 2013-2014. Dumbarton in the First Division and Partick Thistle in the Scottish Premier League as First Division champions.

After the game, Dumbarton manager Iain Murray, said he was happy to end the season with a clean sheet: “Obviously we knew we were safe before the game, it was a good game, to finish with the champions at home. There was a nice little buzz round the stadium with a big crowd, so it was a great way for us to bow out this season. I’m glad to end on a clean sheet, it was pleasing as we had changed our formation in the second-half and that was a big adage. Overall we are exceptionally happy with the point and obviously over the course of the season we are happy to keep our First Division status.”

Partick Thistle manager, Alan Archibald was looking forward to his holidays: “It’s been great; the lads can now enjoy their summer. They deserve a rest, they have been brilliant, absolutely fantastic since I have taken over and the whole season they have been good. I am looking forward to the family holiday before work starts for next year.”

Dumbarton: Jamie Ewings, Paul McGinn, James Creaney, Andy Graham (Nicky Phinn), Scott Smith, Chris Turner (Adam Asghar), Mark Gilhaney, Scott Agnew, Garry Fleming (Jim Lister), Bryan Prunty, Steven McDougall.

Subs not used: Mark Lamont, Stephen Grindlay

Partick Thistle: Glenn Daniels, Jordan McMillan, Aaron Sinclair, Stuart Bannigan, Liam Lindsay, Conrad Balatoni (Jordan Leyden), Steven Lawless, Aaron Muirhead, Kris Doolan (Mark McGuigan), Ross Forbes, Christie Elliott (Chris Erskine).

Subs not used: David Wilson, Scott Fox

Referee: John Beaton


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