Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (1) v Livingston (0)

Saturday 30th January 2016, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

THERE are two ways in which this can be viewed as a particularly satisfying win for Dumbarton.

Number one is obvious. The victory, secured by Mark Docherty's goal direct from a corner on 57 minutes, put clear daylight between Sons and second bottom Livi. Six points of daylight, and a game in hand.

The second way? Because despite doubts over the weather which continued beyond the first whistle, this was a day when everyone wanted the game to go ahead, and worked for it.

The game was the first at home since the death of chief executive Gilbert Lawrie, and as such a minute's pre-match silence was observed.

It took the hard work of the club's groundstaff to ensure there was a game. After the wet, wild weather of the previous week, shoulders had to be put to the wheel to ensure a playable surface.

Even then, with a ferocious wind dictating the game from the early stages, referee Crawford Allan consulted with both managers after 15 minutes before continuing.

Sons were glad he did after Docherty's crafty finish gave them three points. That made it 16 points out of 21 against the three teams below them in the Championship.

Attacking against the elements in the first half, anything-nil was a half time score to aim for. As it turned out, Sons could have exceeded that target.

After they survived a near miss by Declan Gallagher, Tom Walsh played Garry Fleming in, but the angle was too narrow and the keeper turned his shot wide.

Walsh was close with another assist, but a defender headed his cross clear with Kevin Cawley and Grant Gallagher waiting. Gallagher did get an opportunity later, but his narrow angled shot was turned wide.

Jamie Ewings — continuing in goal in the absence of virus victim Mark Brown — was alert to a Sam Stanton shot before Livi missed a decent opening. Danny Mullen sliced the ball across goal, but Jordan White completely miskicked and the chance was gone.

Gregor Buchanan went close with a volley at the other end, but half time arrived with him and his defensive colleagues having done the harder part of their job. The clean sheet had been maintained despite the added opposition of the wind.

And 12 minutes after the restart, another of the back four did Sons a turn at the other end.

Lining up to defend a corner, Livingston may not have expected Docherty to go for goal. But anybody who saw him score from such a set piece at Alloa in December knows what he can deliver from there.

The kick from the right dropped into the net at the unguarded back post and Sons led.

Livingston responded, but neither Jordyn Sheerin nor Liam Buchanan could hit the target. At the other end, Fleming again saw a shot turned wide while Walsh's effort was narrowly past.

Then on 71 minutes came a succession of chances which somehow did not result in an equaliser for Livingston. Ewings continued to make a statement during his spell in the team by denying Scott Pittman, and then Sheerin from the resulting corner.

That resulted in another set piece delivery from Livi, but Steven Saunders got in the way of Sheerin's shot.

In the remaining stages, despite the visitors having most of the possession, Sons were more likely to add to their lead.

Nine minutes from full time they could have done so, but after the keeper again stopped Fleming and the ball spun loose, Walsh could not force it home.

Sometimes missed chances like that prove costly. But this one didn't.

Dumbarton: Ewings; Docherty, Saunders, Buchanan, Cawley (Taggart 73), Gallagher, Fleming, Routledge, Lindsay (Barr 79), Wright, Walsh (Heh 86). Subs: Brown; Kirkpatrick, McCallum, Waters.

Livingston: McCallum; Kakay, Cole (Neill 46), Pittman (Telfer 79), White, Mullen (Sheerin 46), Halkett, Gallagher, Buchanan, Stanton, Glen. Subs: Quinn; Gibbons, Currie, Knox. Booked: Halkett, Cole.

Referee: Crawford Allan.

Andy Galloway