By Lewis Laird
Kilmarnock ended their League Cup group on a high, picking up three points in a 2-0 win against League 1 side Dumbarton.
Alex Dyer’s men took the lead early on, through number nine Eamonn Brophy, who rifled a shot into the bottom corner. After looking threatening throughout the first 45, they were finally able to grab their second goal of the game with the last touch of the half, as Mitch Pinnock scored a perfectly weighted dink, just before the half-time whistle.
The home side opened the scoring after just three minutes. As Kilmarnock tried to pile on the pressure with balls into the box, the ball then came out to Youssouf Mulumbu on the edge who had a shot at goal. His effort looked to be going well wide of the target but Brophy was in the right place at the right time to open the scoring with an arrowed left-footed finish.
Dumbarton came under considerable pressure after conceding the goal, with Kilmarnock having wave after wave of attack, Kirk Broadfoot probably thinking he should have did better from the free header in the box. This was pretty much a story of things to come.
Killie were coming closer to giving themselves some breathing space after several efforts on goal, which were saved well by Kevin Dabrowski in the Dumbarton goal. A brilliantly delivered corner into the box landed on the head of Broadfoot, who’s header thundered off the crossbar, but was cleared from there.
Kilmarnock were then able to get that all-important second goal with the last touch of the half. A ball into the box broke to Pinnock, who used his body well and let the ball run across him. As the Dumbarton number one came out to shut the angle off, Pinnock placed the ball brilliantly into the net with a delicate chip.
Dumbarton seemed to be coming into the game a little more, with some confidence on the ball, and getting further up the pitch as former Killie man Adam Frizzell looked the most likely to create something for the Sons but were still yet to challenge Jake Eastwood in the Kilmarnock goal.
Their closest effort in the game came from a Ross Forbes free-kick from around 30-yards out. The Dumbarton captain was looking to find the top corner, but it deflected off the wall and went out for a corner, which came to nothing.
Brophy came so close to getting his second and Kilmarnock’s third of the game. Another good delivery into the box by right-back Aaron McGowan saw Brophy get on the end of it. His flicked header looked destined to find the bottom corner but it was saved superbly by Dabrowski.
This result finished off what has been a bit of a chaotic League Cup campaign for Kilmarnock on a high note. Here are three things we learned.
Taking this into league action
This win against Dumbarton rounds off the 2020/21 League Cup campaign for Kilmarnock, ending with two 2-0 wins on the bounce. Now, Alex Dyer and his side will be looking to take this into league action, after going the last three games without a win, starting with Ross County at Rugby Park again, next weekend.
When the team was named at 2:00 PM, a few key names were missing from the starting 11, with the likes of Stuart Findlay, Chris Burke and Nicke Kabamba being named on the bench.
Despite that, it was still a strong Kilmarnock side which won comfortably against the League One side. This shows the depth and quality they have in this squad, which is more than capable of challenging for a top-six place in the league.
More injury problems for Dumbarton
Dumbarton have had more than their fair share of injury problems recently, naming just two substitutes on the bench on Wednesday night in their fixture against Falkirk.
They named five on the bench here, with the addition of Daniel Church yesterday, helping to up the numbers in the squad. Yet, they still face more injury worries after Ryan McGeever was forced off with an injury after just 21 minutes. Jim Duffy must be scratching his head, thinking about how unlucky his side have been.