IN THE shadow of the Dumbarton Rock, Ian Murray’s hosts provided an appropriately stoic challenge for Hibernian as the capital club kicked off preparations for their Europa League exploits with a 1-1 draw.
Scorers: Dumbarton - McKerracher 52; Hibernian - Harris 49
Referee: E Anderson. Attendance: 1,000.
Just five weeks after the Easter Road outfit suffered defeat in the William Hill Scottish Cup final, there has been little time for the players to ponder that heartache - with a continental clash against either Malmo or Drogheda to come in little over a fortnight.
Pat Fenlon was first to point out that the result was wholly peripheral, lauding a helpful workout in which Alex Harris opened the scoring before an Ally McKerracher equaliser.
Useful first outings for summer signings Liam Craig and Owain Tudur Jones were also notable, while the respectable band of travelling fans will have been heartened by the substitute appearance of captain James McPake following his injury woes at the tail end of last season.
“We thank them for the friendly, because it probably benefited us more than them,” said Fenlon.
“It was a really good test for us – there were some good things and some things we have to work on. There was good quality, considering it was so recently we played Celtic.
“We need these games and it is a good start ahead of getting up to speed for Europe.”
Dumbarton came closest to breaking the deadlock in a first half of fairly underwhelming pre-season fare, with Kevin Smith striking the post with a fine lob.
However, Hibs began the second half in more intrepid fashion and claimed the lead through Harris. The 18-year-old latched on to a fine through-pass from Danny Handling and, despite Jamie Ewings saving his initial effort, the ball bounced fortunately against the young winger and trickled over the line.
Ally McKerracher levelled matters from close-range following some excellent build-up play from Mitchel Megginson.
Dumbarton: Grindlay (Ewings 45); McGinn, McNiff, S Smith, Horne (Coleman 64); Phinn, Turner (Prunty 60), Agnew; K Smith, Megginson (Halsman 73), McKerracher.
Hibernian: Williams; Donaldson, Hanlon, Forster (McPake 68), Stevenson; Harris (73), Taiwo (Robertson 66), Tudur Jones, Craig (Horribine 83); Cairney (Caldwell 45); Handling