Friday 23rd September 2016

DUMBARTON face an away league fixture for the first time in nearly a month tomorrow, with Raith Rovers’ Stark’s Park the destination.

And manager Stevie Aitken is hoping his players can make it a double celebration this weekend, with a ‘milestone’ birthday looming on Sunday.

We won’t reveal the age he is about to reach, but he hopes that tomorrow, the last day of his 30s (take from that what you will…), will see three points as an early present.

The gaffer said: “A victory this weekend, especially away from home, would be an excellent celebration for everybody.

“We do not feel we have been getting the breaks in our recent games. Hopefully that will change at Kirkcaldy.

“Our performances have deserved better than some of the results we have had of late, and we know we need to pick up points to hit our target for the first quarter.

“So tomorrow is a big game for us, and it’s one we’ll be looking to take full points from.”

The manager will have a full squad to choose from to try to start his celebrations early. Mark Docherty has recovered from the injury which ruled him out last week and is available for selection.

Raith have lost all of their last three games in all competitions, while Dumbarton’s draw with St Mirren last week saw them claim their first point in three league outings.

None of Sons’ last six games have seen either them or their opponents score more than once, and last season’s visits to Kirkcaldy do not offer much hope of that ending.

The two matches had just one goal between them, headed by Raith’s Lewis Toshney (now with Dundee United) for a 1-0 win. The other trip to Stark’s Park ended goalless.

By contrast, Raith’s visits to Dumbarton ended 3-3 on the classic afternoon when Sons fought back from 3-0 down, and a 3-2 victory for the Kirkcaldy side.

Dumbarton last beat Raith Rovers in December 2014 (2-1 at home), while the last victory at Kirkcaldy was a 3-1 success in April of the same year.

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