Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (1) v Dundee Utd (0)

Saturday 13th August 2016, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

THAT'S why more than 500 Dumbarton fans came back.

Why, despite a Betfred Cup campaign with no victories, and a league opener which saw four goals conceded, they weren't going to miss this.

Because you just don't know when you're going to witness something special. It could come at any time.

And in years to come, they will be able to say that when Dumbarton beat the newly-relegated Dundee United, they were there.

The third penalty awarded to Sons in two games was the golden moment on 54 minutes. Mark Durnan fouled Gregor Buchanan in the area and Mark Docherty made himself outright top scorer by converting.

On another day there could have been more spot kicks. There could also have been more goals. And defending a lead on a day like this one, there's always the threat of those chances coming at a cost.

But Sons showed why they deserved this. It is argued that their victory over United 21 years ago was a smash and grab. This wasn't. It is quite credible to say that from start to finish, they were the better side.

All that was hoped was that a response could be provided to last week's defeat to Dunfermline. However, Dumbarton, just as they did to Hibs and St Mirren twice each last season, sent the Arabs home empty handed.

And they also sent out a message to the doubters. Nobody knows what lies ahead over the remaining 34 Championship fixtures, except that Sons cannot be written off.

Not a lot happened in the first half. Indeed, the first near miss of any description came on 34 minutes. Cammy Smith made space on the edge of the area for United, but Alan Martin saved with ease.

Six minutes from half time a corner dropped to Buchanan in the area, but his shot was too high. Apart from that, and a Joe Thomson shot which was deflected wide, that was pretty much it.

Arguably Sons had come through their hardest spell, defending against the wind in the first half. Now they were attacking with it.

Within a minute of the restart Robert Thomson looked to be fouled a yard inside the area only for a free kick outside the box, which came to nothing, was awarded.

Soon after Ryan Stevenson's header was turned wide by the keeper low at his near post. The midfielder then sent in a 30-yard free kick which crashed off the bar.

But on 57 minutes Buchanan was impeded while chasing Stevenson's corner, and Docherty rolled up to score.

Now it was all about what resistance could be put up to United's inevitable response. Things were stable to begin with but on 68 minutes came a real scare.

The ball broke to Simon Murray, who broke through on goal, but sliced wide.

Soon after that, Alan Martin did brilliantly to save Jamie Robson's narrow angled effort. For arguably the first time in the day, Sons were under significant pressure, but saw things through.

A volley by Stevenson was punched away by the keeper before Murray beat two defenders in the area but shot over.

With minutes turning to hours, United had one last opportunity, but Martin was up to the test posed by Coll Donaldson's ferocious shot.

An excellent result was secure.

Dumbarton: Martin; Pettigrew, Docherty, J Thomson, Buchanan, Stevenson, Todd, Gallagher (Stirling 81), R Thomson, Harvie, Smith. Subs: Barclay; McCallum, Clark, Kassarate. Booked: J Thomson, Smith, R Thomson.

Dundee United: Bell; Durnan, Donaldson, Toshney, Spittal (Murray 63), Murdoch, Fraser, Obadeyi (Van Der Velden 63), Smith (Telfer 83), Flood, Robson. Subs: Zwick; Dillon, Coote, Souttar. Booked: Bell, Donaldson, Durnan.

Referee: Gavin Duncan.

Crowd: 1,475.

Andy Galloway