Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

St Mirren (0) v Dumbarton (1)

Saturday 5th November 2016, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

NEARLY 3,000 people saw it. Almost 200 celebrated it.

But you'd do well to find many who could believe it.

In a battle with one of your challengers at the bottom, which has been scrappy and lacking in clear chances for 62 minutes, you'll take any goal going.

Then - Garry Fleming, for Dumbarton against St Mirren, again. And goals do not come in much more unexpected fashion.

What the Buddies felt should have been a routine goal kick ended with Joe Thomson squaring for the striker to net what proved to be the winner.

In six outings against the Paisley club, it is Sons' fourth victory and the striker has scored the decisive goal in every one.

If that wasn't enough for Dumbarton to feel the breaks were with them, they also survived two late hits of the bar, one from less than six yards with an almost open goal.

Some would argue that Sons lost to Dundee United two weeks ago with a better performance. But only one statistic mattered, and will go down in history.

Dumbarton put the ball in the net. Their opponents didn't.

They now have as many points as they did at the one-third mark of the league last season, and are out of the bottom two.

Perhaps this victory did owe a bit to luck, but it has been due to them, after Tannadice amongst others.

The statistics about goals might go down in history, but the first half certainly won't. It was largely dull, lifeless fare with very few moments which looked like the scoring could be opened.

When they did come, they fell to St Mirren, starting when John Sutton headed Lewis Morgan's cross narrowly over.

Morgan then tried to take a chance for himself, only to see his effort turned wide. From the resulting corner Sutton's header had the same outcome, this time without Alan Martin getting a touch.

Another Sutton header failed to hit the target, and that was it by and large. Mark Docherty did shoot from distance for Sons, with his effort deflected wide, but the corner came to nothing.

Within three minutes of the second half, things were more promising, as Fleming looked set to head in Andy Stirling's cross only for Jamie Langfield to make a remarkable one-handed save at close range.

After Kyle McAllister's bending shot went wide, Sam Stanton also forced action from Langfield with a 20-yard shot which was saved.

Jason Naismith then shot into the side netting as it looked like a goal was coming. On 63 minutes it did.

Langfield had a short goal kick returned, only to then play the ball straight to Thomson. He had Fleming square and from there, the result was inevitable.

Twelve minutes later, Fleming hit the back of the net again with a 20-yard shot. Unfortunately, it was THE back of the net, with the sight of the ball rolling into the advertising hoarding confirming he had actually shot wide and muting the celebrations.

With 10 minutes left, St Mirren were pressing hard without forcing too much action out of Martin. Another Sutton header then looked ominous, but hit the bar and was scrambled clear.

If that was close, what followed seven minutes later just confirmed this was Sons' day. A low ball from the left found Ryan Hardie, who from close range, with the goal gaping, also hit the bar.

From the corner which resulted from the goalmouth scramble, Lawrence Shankland was denied by Martin.

And that was it. Four weeks shy of a year without an away win - the longest such run since August 1995 to September 1996 - was over.

St Mirren: Langfield; Naismith, Irvine, Gordon (Gallagher 84), MacKenzie, Clarkson (Shankland 63), Sutton, Mallan, Morgan, McAllister (Hardie 75), Magennis. Subs: Gallacher; Hutton, Baird, McLear.

Dumbarton: Martin; Docherty, J Thomson, Buchanan, Fleming (Stevenson 81), R Thomson, Stanton, Harvie, Barr, Smith, Stirling (Todd 80). Subs: Ewings; Pettigrew, McCallum, Wright.

Referee: John McKendrick.

Andy Galloway