The sending off of Andy Murdoch after 25 minutes made it a difficult afternoon for the Murray Park kids, but their coach was pleased with how they handled the situation.
He said: “I’m delighted with the result and in the first 20 or 25 minutes the lads played exceptionally well and created numerous chances.
“We always try to point them in the right direction at the end of the game and because of Andy’s sending off in the first half, those chances became really important.
“It didn’t reflect the true pattern of the game when we were sitting 1-0 when in fact we could have been three or four ahead.
“Andy’s misdemeanour meant it was more difficult and Dumbarton got a big lift from the red card and it being just 1-0 with us squandering good chances.
“It’s important that the boys understand that every opportunity that comes their way, regardless of the opposition, has to be taken.”
Kirkwood was disappointed by the moment of madness that saw Murdoch red carded but he doesn’t expect the indiscretion to hamper the young midfielder’s impressive start to the season.
He added: “It’s hard enough to play any team with 11 men but when you get someone sent off it makes it doubly difficult.
“It was like they had scored a goal when Andy went off. You could see their supporters and the players got a real lift from it.
“In his case it was just a moment of madness. The lad had made a robust challenge against him and Andy just lifted his foot and the referee was given the opportunity to produce a red card.
“Sometimes you get away a yellow and sometimes a warning, but the ref produced a red and he was within his rights to do that.
“I feel sorry for Andy because he has been playing exceptionally well and was outstanding in the reserve game against East Fife.
“We were hoping he would be the next one to get a wee opportunity with the first team and he has been training with them.
“If he keeps on plugging away and there was an opportunity there to get in the team I’m sure he would have been given that chance.
“Hopefully it’s not dented that opportunity too much.”