Dumbarton 2

TNS were left to focus on a domestic treble after their Irn-Bru Cup dreams were dashed by Dumbarton on Saturday evening.

TNS took the lead after half-time through Dean Ebbe but a fine effort from Danny Handling and a brilliant free-kick from substitute Dimitris Froxylias helped the Scottish side book a first final date in a century.

The Saints should have taken the lead as early as the third minute but Aeron Edwards’ header from Simon Spender’s cross rattled the crossbar.

However the chance proved a rare opening in a frustrating first-half with the Saints totally dominating possession but unable to penetrate a physical Dumbarton side,

The deadlock was broken seven minutes into the second-half when Saints new boy Ebbe smashed home from close range after Ryan Brobbel’s superb piece of skill saw him skip past Dave Smith and deliver a low cross for the Irishman to net.

The Sons’ first sight on goal came on 67 minutes when substitute Liam Burt tested Paul Harrison after the Saints defence failed to clear.

Blaine Hudson thought he had doubled the Saints lead on 72 minutes when his header was superbly saved by goalkeeper Scott Gallacher with referee Neil Doyle pulling the game back for a foul.

Greg Draper had been kept quiet all day but almost put the tie to bed when he raced onto a long ball from Chris Marriott and cut inside only for his curling shot from the edge of the area to go just the wrong side of the post.

The hosts were left to rue their missed chances when Dumbarton levelled against the run of play with Handling curling a beautiful right foot shot beyond Harrison with 10 minutes remaining.

With the Saints still reeling the Scottish side led for the first time just three minutes later with Froxylias drilling home an unstoppable free-kick from 30 yards to leave Harrison rooted.

TNS went for broke in a desperate bid to keep their Irn Bru Cup dreams alive but found visiting goalkeeper Gallacher in fine form.

Gallacher palmed away a stinging 30 yard drive from Tom Holland before producing a stunning save to deny Brobbel as the Saints’ Irn-Bru Cup run finally ran out of fizz.

TNS: Harrison, Spender, Rawlinson, Hudson, Marriott, Routledge, Brobbel, Holland, Edwards (Kauber 87), Draper, Ebbe Subs: A Jones, Saunders, Pryce, C Jones, Craven

Att - 825