Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Raith Rovers (1) v Dumbarton (3)

Saturday 28th January 2017, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

SOMEBODY, somewhere in the Championship, was due this.

Previously in 2017, Dumbarton had delivered two potential matchwinning performances, followed by a 'draw would have been fair' display.

Those showings, against Morton, Hibs and Queen of the South, deserved a total of about four or five points. They got none.

Sometime it had to click. That time had arrived by around 4.17pm when Gregor Buchanan put away the goal that made it 3-1.

Half time arrived with Sons in 'here we go again' mode against Raith Rovers. They didn't deserve to be behind. They were, largely because of things they couldn't control, and Ryan Hardie's finish for the home side.

Within 17 minutes of the second half they led 3-1. Christian Nade equalised, Daniel Harvie put them ahead, Buchanan extended the lead.

In the end, there was only one team flattered by the 3-1 scoreline. This, from Dumbarton, was the best performance of the season so far.

And together with Ayr United's 4-1 reverse to Morton, it was enough to pull them four points clear of the bottom two of Ayr and St Mirren. Their next two opponents, who they meet at home.

Maybe it's going to continue happening during the coming weeks? Who knows? But over this game, it all fell into place.

Within two minutes they could have been ahead. David Smith's through ball found Robert Thomson for an angled shot which the home keeper beat clear.

Soon afterwards, Sam Stanton also tested the keeper, who turned his effort away from the target as well.

It was all going so well. All it needed was a finish. And then...

On 26 minutes, Buchanan was challenged for possession by Mark Stewart out wide. Opinions on the validity of the challenge were best described as varied, but play continued and Stewart squared for Hardie to score.

It was the striker's fifth goal against Sons in his relatively short career, for three different clubs.

The 1-0 deficit remained until half time without much threat of being extended or bridged.

But within three minutes of the restart the process of filling in the gap started. Harvie's cross from the left found Nade, whose header bounced out of the keeper's reach and into the net.

Two minutes later Andy Stirling, continuing his recent busy and impressive form, was shaping up to shoot when Kevin McHattie brought him down in the area. He was booked for diving.

Another break outwith Sons' control had evaded them. But after 56 minutes they had the chance of another break - one they vigorously snapped up.

Harvie latched on to a ball across the pitch and, with the keeper standing still, fired in a shot which found the net.

And after Nade had twisted and turned, but seen a shot deflected wide, there was more to follow. The question could be asked - when did two defenders last score for Dumbarton in the same league game?

Whenever it was, Buchanan ended the wait, tapping in after Stirling's low corner got all the way to him on the far side of the goal area.

After 65 minutes, Ross Callachan looked certain to reduce Sons' lead, but Stuart Carswell got a vital touch to deflect his shot wide.

Again, there were limited chances over what remained of the match. Thomson was unlucky not to get to a cross from the left before a defender could put it over.

The home side also had one final effort, but Rudi Skacel's shot on the turn was straight at Alan Martin.

It was the Sons keeper's first save of the game. And his last. He, and his 13 team-mates who got on the pitch, had ensured a comprehensive victory.

Four points clear. It is in Dumbarton's hands to extend it over the next 180 minutes of football.

Raith Rovers: Cuthbert; Thomson (Skacel 74), McHattie, Callachan, M'Voto, Benedictus, Johnston (Stevenson 58), Stewart, R Barr (Roberts 63), Matthews, Hardie. Subs: Brennan; Thompson, Bell, C Barr. Booked: McHattie.

Dumbarton: Martin; Docherty, Buchanan, Carswell, Thomson, Stanton (McCrorie 81), Harvie, Barr, Smith, Stirling (Lang 86), Nade (Gallagher 63). Sub: Brown.

Referee: Mat Northcroft.

Andy Galloway