Jordan Jones’ injury-time volley spared Kilmarnock’s blushes and put them into the last 16 of the Scottish Cup at the expense of League 2 Dumbarton.
The leaders of the fourth tier had frustrated the hosts and had a David Wilson shot saved in the second half.
Dumbarton goalkeeper Brett Long pushed a Christian Doidge shot on to his post.
Daniel Armstrong impressed for Kilmarnock and it was his cross that was headed clear in the 91st minute, but only as far as Jones who scored.
After draining matches against Celtic and Rangers, Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes made six changes for this cup tie.
The hosts set the tone early on with Armstrong, Kerr McInroy and Fraser Murray seeing a lot of the ball in midfield and always looking to pick out Kyle Lafferty or Scott Robinson up front, the duo coming in for Doidge and Kyle Vassell.
Joe Wright volleyed an Armstrong cross over Long’s crossbar early on and the pressure on Stevie Farrell’s team continued as Liam Polworth sent in a dangerous cross and Armstrong worked a one-two and curled a shot wide from 22 yards.
Wright headed wide of the target as Kilmarnock probed for the opener but they were up against a defense guided by captain Gregor Buchanan, who applauded every blocking tackle and headed clearance with relish.
Seven minutes after the restart Dumbarton had their first attempt on goal when Wilson’s low drive was parried by Hemming into the path of Wylde who knocked the ball over the bar from seven yards.
Jones came on for the injured Murray and picked up Polworth’s free-kick and crossed for Taylor whose header was a foot over the bar.
Vassell, on for Lafferty, hit the crossbar with a looping header and the Dumbarton keeper saved well from Armstrong’s drive moments later.
At the other end, Martin McNiff almost pulled off a shock when he drifted into the box and knocked Ryan Wallace’s shot past a Kilmarnock post from eight yards.
That preceded Long’s save from Doidge, but the goalkeeper was finally beaten by Jones in added time.
Player of the match – Daniel Armstrong
What the managers said
Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes: “I’m delighted to get through. It was a tough game. We expected that. The credit goes to Dumbarton. They were a credit to their division. They were well set-up. They play very compact: 4-1-4 -1.We didn’t play well enough or with enough time.
“I thought we were a wee bit disjointed, but I have to credit my players because they kept going and it was a moment of real quality from Jordan.”
Dumbarton manager Stevie Farrell: “It’s a hard one to take. We defended really well. I thought we frustrated Kilmarnock for large parts of the game.
“We were prepared for extra-time. Jordan gave them that one bit of quality. He’s hit it really sweet right in to the bottom corner. We go away proud of our achievements today.”
- 5TaylorSubstituted forAlebiosuat 72′minutes
- 11ArmstrongSubstituted forSandersat 90+4′minutes
- 15MurraySubstituted forJonesat 59′minutes
- 28LaffertySubstituted forVassellat 45′minutes
- 16RobinsonSubstituted forDoidgeat 72′minutes
- 22BlairBooked at 58mins
- 9LoveSubstituted forGrayat 78′minutes
- 3WyldeSubstituted forMacLeanat 78′minutes
- 32WallaceSubstituted forMcLeanat 83′minutes
- Nick Walsh
Match ends, Kilmarnock 1, Dumbarton 0.
Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, Dumbarton 0.
Substitution, Kilmarnock. Jack Sanders replaces Daniel Armstrong.
Foul by Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock).
Finlay Gray (Dumbarton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Kilmarnock 1, Dumbarton 0. Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner.
Foul by Alan Power (Kilmarnock).
Russell McLean (Dumbarton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Kyle Vassell (Kilmarnock) header from the center of the box is high and wide to the left.
Corner, Kilmarnock. Granted by David Wilson.
Attempt blocked. Alan Power (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the center of the box is blocked.
Attempt saved. Christian Doidge (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the top left corner.
Attempt blocked. Kyle Vassell (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the center of the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Martin McNiff (Dumbarton) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.
Substitution, Dumbarton. Russell McLean replaces Ryan Wallace.
Kerr McInroy (Kilmarnock) hits the bar with a left footed shot from outside the box.
Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Kalvin Orsi (Dumbarton).
Foul by Kyle Vassell (Kilmarnock).
Gregor Buchanan (Dumbarton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.