Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Livingston (2) v Dumbarton (0)

Saturday 27th January 2018, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

THERE is still time. But the urgency continues to grow.

Dumbarton, for the first time this season, are in the bottom two of the Championship. The position they've been touted for by many onlookers.

This game, against Livingston, saw the reasons why. It was their sixth blank scoresheet in seven in the league, and the first half goals for the home side were all too easy for Alan Lithgow and Ryan Hardie.

One goal in 630 league minutes - by a player who is no longer with the club - is no recipe for achieving any goal. The run never looked like ending in a dispiriting afternoon in West Lothian.

But Sons have been here before, and defied the odds. There are still 14 league games left, and it may only be one of them until they are ahead of Falkirk again.

Nobody, though, needs to tell them what elements of the game need to improve. Failure to do so will mean no change from that position.

Not for the first time, this was a game which, although Dumbarton finished with nothing, started reasonably evenly.

A low Jordan Thompson shot for Livi was held by Scott Gallacher, while a Tom Walsh free kick was deflected wide.

The 23rd minute was then where it all started going wrong. A corner found the unmarked Lithgow at the back post and, just as in the first meeting of the sides this season, he opened the scoring.

Stuart Carswell was close to equalising with a close range shot which was saved, but what followed on 28 minutes could only be described as calamitous.

A long ball downfield was left to each other by the Sons rearguard. Before responsibility could be taken, Hardie snapped up the opportunity and shot home.

Counting Rangers and their under-20s as different teams, Hardie has now scored against Dumbarton for five different opponents.

He almost had another on 33 minutes, but hit the post with a low shot from the edge of the area.

Thompson had a shot turned over, while Lithgow was again left unattended at a corner but this time headed wide.

Sons were slightly revived early in the second half with a Kyle Hutton shot. It had pace and was on target, but was straight at the keeper.

But there then followed a spell where Livi somehow couldn't extend their lead. Hardie again hit the woodwork, this time the crossbar, while Gallacher did well to save from Rafa De Vita at close range.

Hardie and De Vita were then off target with further opportunities.

As time was played out, Calum Gallagher had a late shot from a corner which was saved.

This game will be followed by a series of fixtures against fellow bottom half competitors in the Championship.

The danger zone is now occupied. The time is there to escape, and a potential escape route is known. Putting points on the board.

But it needs to be executed.

Livingston: Alexander; Lithgow, Buchanan (Robinson 48), Pittman, Cadden (Mullin 77), Miller, Hardie, De Vita, Thompson (Boyd 73), Halkett, Gallagher. Subs: Maley; Todorov, Mackin, Knox. Booked: Lithgow.

Dumbarton: S Gallacher; Smith, Dowie, Carswell, Walsh (Wilson 82), Hutton, Hill (Froxylias 62), Dick, Russell (C Gallagher 72), Nisbet, Barr. Subs: Ewings; Johnston, Handling. Booked: Dick.

Referee: Colin Steven.

Andy Galloway