4 - 2
4 - 2
League (First Division)
Jim Lister (36)
Jim Lister (64)
Scott Agnew (pen.) (70)
Jim Lister (84)
Alan Lithgow for Bryan Prunty (85)
Mark Lamont for Steven McDougall (86)
Owen Ronald for Jim Lister (88)
Bobby Madden (Referee)
AN amazing second half fight-back by Dumbarton secured a vital 4-2 victory over Raith Rovers in a pulsating game at the Bet Butler Stadium.
In the first half Sons let Raith take a two-goal lead before pulling a goal back just before the break.
In the second half they burst into life to score three more, with hat-trick hero Jim Lister, unsurprisingly named Sonstrust Man of the Match, propelling Dumbarton to a win that reignites their First Division campaign.
Rovers made a swift start to the match on a cold evening at the Rock, Brian Graham forcing an early, if fairly comfortable, save out of Dumbarton 'keeper Stephen Grindlay.
Within just four minutes the visitors were in front, when the home team failed to clear their lines and Greig Spence fired the ball home after a blocked shot found its way out to him on the edge of the 6-yard box.
Sons pushed straight back. They nearly claimed an equaliser when Scott Smith headed for goal after an inswinging Scott Agnew corner, being denied by a great save from Raith 'keeper David McGurn.
Then Mark Gilhaney cut in from the left and shot just wide of the near post. Dumbarton were ratcheting up the pressure, but finding it difficult to get a breakthrough.
Raith Rovers almost contributed to their own downfall moments later, when an innocuous looking back-pass was missed completely by McGurn, almost resulting in a bizarre own-goal.
Then on 25 minutes, just as Sons were straining to get back on level terms, Grant Anderson added to their woes, making it 2-0 with shot from just inside the area after some weak defending.
Stung by a score line that in no way reflected the overall balance of play, Dumbarton were soon straining at the leash again.
Agnew hit the bar with a fierce free kick from 25 yards. The ball dropped near the goal line and Jim Lister came agonisingly close to scoring, but was not quite able to get hold of the ball.
On 36 minutes the big striker ensured that Sons got a reward for their endeavours. Another Scott Agnew free kick dropped to Lister in the six-yard box and he made no mistake.
Another good passing move from Sons shortly before the interval ended with Bryan Prunty shooting just wide from 18 yards and his team going in 1-2 down at half time.
The action continued after the break, with Dumbarton determined to level and Raith Rovers equally persistent in trying to extend their lead.
When Gilhaney laid the ball off for Agnew and his shot, which appeared destined for the top corner of the net, was brilliantly tipped over by McGurn, it seemed as if fate would be cruel to Sons.
There was a real let-off for Dumbarton just short of the hour, when Grant Anderson appeared to miss from a couple of yards out with the goal gaping.
At two down again, Sons would have found themselves in exactly the same position they had fought back against on the previous Saturday against Dunfermline.
Instead, on 64 minutes, they were level. Paul McGinn, who was having another very good game, crossed the ball for Jim Lister to outpace the 'keeper and heads home to make it 2-2.
Suddenly Sons were in the driving seat. More superb work from McGinn engineered another Sons chance when a chipped pass enabled Gilhaney to fire just wide of the post.
Then on 70 minutes came a penalty for Dumbarton for a shove in the area. Up stepped Scott Agnew to drive the ball fast and hard to his right. McGurn got a touch, but he could not stop the goal that gave Sons a remarkable 3-2 lead, having been two down 45 minutes earlier.
The drama provided a frantic denouement to an exciting game in which the home side, despite weaknesses, had put on a high quality performance overall.
Only a great point blank save by Stephen Grindlay in the Sons goal denied Raith equaliser on 80 minutes.
With six minutes to go, the hard-working Mark Gilhaney swung the ball into Rovers' box. Jim Lister rose once more to head home, securing his third goal and giving Dumbarton an unassailable 4-2 lead in a match that had looked dead and buried in the first half hour.
A second victory in five days propels Sons into an important double-header against Hamilton Accies with renewed confidence and momentum.
Following the weekend's 4-3 comeback win at Dunfermline, Dumbarton also leapfrogged Cowdenbeath out of the relegation play-off place into eighth in the Irn Bru SFL First Division.
Match report written by Simon Barrow
|Stephen Grindlay (GK)||31||21||-||276||-|
|Alan Lithgow (sub)||25||30||2||70||6|
|Mark Lamont (sub)||20||20||-||33||-|
|Owen Ronald (sub)||19||3||-||3||-|
No league table has been added for this season.