Thursday 26th November 2015
GARRY FLEMING stood on the brink of something special.
As the majority of 707 fans held their breath, he was one kick away from completing a remarkable comeback for Dumbarton.
But for his mission to fail, all that had to happen was that an August evening at Hampden played on his mind.
Fortunately it didn’t. His penalty was hit hard and low into the bottom corner of the net despite the Raith Rovers keeper guessing the right way.
It finished off a miracle recovery by Sons, who less than seven minutes earlier had trailed 3-0 at home to the Kirkcaldy team.
The opportunity was given to the striker after Willie Gibson’s shot was handled by a Raith defender, with the officials deciding the offence took place inside the penalty area.
And although Garry was the one who got his name in the papers, he paid tribute to his team-mate, whose substitution made a difference.
Garry said: “Willie did really well, coming inside and beating a couple of players before getting his shot away.
“And with me being the penalty taker, I just had to take the ball when the spot kick was given for us to equalise.
“A few of the boys were asking me afterwards if there were any ghosts of Hampden left but I knew where I was putting it.
“As long as there was power in the shot, that was the main thing for me, and I managed to put it away.
“When Stephen Saunders headed his first goal we knew there was still a chance in it for us to take something from the game.
“It was great play by him to get that, and then his second a couple of minutes later. When it went to 3-2 we just wanted to get the ball again as we knew we were on our game.
“Raith had lost their last three going into it so we spoke about how if we got a goal, that would worry them. Two goals down at half time, the next goal was vital.
“To lose the third was a setback but once we got our first we were able to take advantage and put crosses into the box.”
Garry’s goal put him back on his own as Sons’ top league goalscorer this season.
All three of his Championship goals have been penalties, but he also has a goal from open play against Morton in the Petrofac Cup to his name.
The lack of goals have not been for the want of trying by him and his strike partners, with luck not going Sons’ way in front of goal.
And looking ahead to this week’s games against Alloa and Rangers, Garry added:
“It’s the sort of break we’ve been needing.
“It’s always good to get three goals and hopefully we can carry that on and start getting more breaks in front of goal.
“It will be a tough game against Alloa on Saturday, but coming back from three goals down will give the boys confidence.
“You always want to go through to the next round. Then it is on to Rangers at Ibrox and we will go there with no fear.
“We’ve given Rangers a good game already this season and there’s no reason why we can’t do it again. But we have to focus on Alloa first.”