Dowds grabs a hat-trick on his Bairns return in big win

Returning loanee Anton Dowds showed just what the Bairns had been missing as he scored a hat-trick on his return to help head coach Martin Rennie pick up a much needed first win in charge against Dumbarton in a 6-2 victory in cinch League 1.

By Ben Kearney
Saturday, 8th January 2022, 4:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 9:23 am
Anton Dowds is mobbed by his teammates after scoring on his return to the side after a loan spell at Arbroath (Pictures by Alan Murray)
Anton Dowds is mobbed by his teammates after scoring on his return to the side after a loan spell at Arbroath (Pictures by Alan Murray)

A double from Dowds and a well-placed finish from Callumn Morrison gave Falkirk a comfortable lead at half time, with Aaron Talylor-Sinclair, Aidan Keena and Dowds again grabbing goals in the second half to ensure a first win for the Bairns in five league outings.

The Bairns first chance of the match came straight from kick off with defender Brad McKay missing a sitter from a knock-on. The centre back found himself free in the box and should have scored with his header.

On nine minutes Falkirk had the opener with Dowds continuing his excellent form, scoring on his return to the Bairns after a successful loan spell at Arbroath.

Dumbarton's trialist battles for possession in the box against Falkirk goalscorer Callumn Morrison

The 25-year-old showed his goal scoring touch, being in the perfect position to tap home after Ryan Williamson’s low cross.

Morrison soon made it two on 14 minutes when he rounded goalkeeper Sam Ramsbottom with ease after Dowds endeavour saw the ball break through a desperate Dumbarton defence.

The winger should have the chance for a second on 26 minutes after a poor clearance gave him the chance to head the ball past Ramsbottom.

He somehow managed to miss the ball on his jump and passed by a great chance, Craig McGuffie also went close with a driven effort just outside the area as the Bairns continued to control proceedings.

Callumn Morrison celebrates scoring the second goal of the match to make it 2-0

The visitors had their first real chance on the half hour mark, Carswell’s long range rasper just skimmed the crossbar after he shot from 30-yards.

Morrison had another moment to forget on 37 minutes when he should have played in Dowds but decided to have a tame effort instead. The striker was in a far better position out wide and looked odds on to tap home if he was played in.

Charlie Telfer and Dowds were both shown yellow cards after an off the ball incident just before the break.

The Sons nearly pulled a goal back on 44 minutes when Connor Duthie broke free at the back post. His header flew agonisingly wide.

Gary Miller looks to try and win the ball back in the midfield area

Like the opening of the first half, the second half saw Falkirk attack from the off and Dowds played in Morrison with a deft touch only for the winger to smash his effort off the post.

New signing Taylor-Sinclair was next to find the net for the Bairns on 52 minutes, poking home from a corner. The defender was quickest to react in the box and finished well to give Falkirk a commanding lead.

Straight from kick off the Sons had one back after a lapse in concentration at the back left the backline all over the place and a deflected effort eventually crept in from Paul Paton.

They had two after 66 minutes when Leon McCann’s error eventually led to a spot kick being awarded by referee Calum Scott. Dumbarton captain Stuart Carswell scored to make it 4-2.

Falkirk made sure the game was beyond doubt five minutes later when substitute Keena made it five. The Irishman fired into the far corner after a pinpoint delivery into the box from Telfer.

Dowds was gifted his hat-trick moments from time when Ramsbottom missed the ball and allowed the rangy forward to score into an open net and mark his return with a bang.

Teams

Falkirk: Paddy Martin, Ryan Williamson, Ben Hall, Brad McKay, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Leon McCann, Gary Miller, Charlie Telfer, Craig McGuffie, Callumn Morrison, Anton Dowds.

Subs: Scott Cowie, Aidan Nesbitt, Jaime Wilson, Seb Ross, Aidan Keena, Samuel Ompreon, Mackenzie Lemon.

Dumbarton: Sam Ramsbottom, Andy Geggan, Gregor Buchanan, Edin Lynch, Gregg Wylde, Carlo Pignatiello, Paul Paton, Stuart Carswell, Connor Duthie, Ross Maclean, Kalvin Orsi.

Subs: Paddy O’Neill, Joe McKee, Eoghan Stokes, Ryan Schiavone, Sam Muir, Callum Wilson, Evan Mavey.