Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Dumbarton (2) v Dunfermline Ath (2)

Saturday 29th October 2016, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

FOR one horrible minute, Dumbarton were looking down a very long and very dark barrel.

But cometh the hour - and an extra 22 minutes - cometh the man.

Garry Fleming has a habit of scoring important goals for Sons. Most notably, and most recently in league terms, his last league goal was the one against St Mirren that confirmed their place in this season's Championship.

There may be no telling until May how vital his goal with eight minutes left against Dunfermline may be.

It came a minute after Joe Cardle had given the Pars a 2-1 lead, with Nicky Clark having levelled Joe Thomson's first half opener for Sons.

Defeat, even at this early stage in the season, would have been a terrible blow for Dumbarton, leaving them four points adrift in second bottom place.

While they missed the chance to move out of the bottom two, they kept in touch with their visitors and moved a point further clear of the still winless St Mirren.

And the Buddies just happen to be Sons' next opponents, at Paisley on Saturday, having themselves travelled to face Morton on Tuesday.

What looked like being a big setback at the start of a key series of games turned into a base to build on.

For much of the early stages it did look like the game would end level - at 0-0. Chances were rare, and didn't look much like being taken when they came.

Kallum Higginbotham's lob hit the top of the bar and went over, while Fleming sliced an angled shot wide. In terms of goalmouth action in the first 36 minutes, that is pretty much the size of it.

But in minute 37, Sons led.

Fleming, away down the right wing, sent over a cross and when Robert Thomson played it back across goal, his namesake slid home his first goal on loan from Celtic.

The hope was to protect that lead for the early stages of the second half, but that ambition was ended five minutes after the restart.

Jason Talbot's cross was not dealt with by keeper or defence, and Clark took full advantage with a close range finish.

Soon after, Cardle had a low shot turned away and then narrowly missed the target from distance.

Sons were struggling to create opportunities but were denied one on 76 minutes when Gregor Buchanan's shirt was almost pulled over his head in the area. Neither the referee nor his perfectly placed assistant saw anything wrong.

And five minutes later Dunfermline were in front. For the second home game in a row, Dumbarton conceded from having had the ball in a threatening position themselves.

After Josh Todd was challenged on the edge of Dunfermline's area, the visitors broke at speed. After Clark hit the post, Cardle piled home the loose ball.

The clock was now ticking loudly. But it was soon silenced. Daniel Harvie sent over a high ball, Fleming chested it down and finished from six yards.

All roads now lead to Paisley.

Dumbarton: Martin; Docherty, J Thomson, Buchanan, Todd, Fleming, R Thomson (Stevenson 86), Stanton (Stirling 71), Harvie, Barr, Smith. Subs: Ewings; Pettigrew, McCallum, Wright. Booked: Harvie.

Dunfermline Athletic: Murdoch; Williamson, Talbot, Martin, Geggan, Paton (Cardle 46), Wedderburn, Ashcroft, Reilly (Moffat 66), Higginbotham, Clark. Subs: Hutton; Fordyce, McCabe, McMullan, Galloway.

Referee: Steven Kirkland.

Andy Galloway