Sunday 24th April 2016

DUMBARTON would have taken any way to seal their place in next season’s Championship.

But it’s hard to imagine a better method than they found against St Mirren yesterday.

With a local boy, who’s been there since the club’s first game back in the second tier in 2012, scoring one of his best ever goals.

Garry Fleming was that player, thrashing home the stunning volleyed goal that clinched a 2-1 win, just minutes after Queen of the South equalised against Livingston to do their bit on Sons’ behalf.

The victory against the Buddies, along with the Doonhamers’ eventual 3-1 win, meant that season 2016/17 will be Dumbarton’s fifth consecutive one in the Championship.

And Garry was keen to end one theory that had been put to him about his wonder strike which clinched victory yesterday.

He said: “People said it was a hit and hope, but I definitely meant it.

“With me scoring the winner it’s better for me than when we beat Cowdenbeath to seal survival three years ago. It’s also the best team performance all season for me.

“We’ve had a few lows this season but over the piece we’ve done what we need to do.

“When you beat teams like Hibernian and St Mirren you expect to stay in the league and we’ve done that with games to spare.

“We were never worrying about the game at Dumfries. We just concentrated on winning ourselves.”

Garry knows that the hard part of football is really about to begin, with manager Stevie Aitken about to decide who he wants to retain for next season.

He’s in no doubt about what he wants as the outcome of that, and paid tribute to the fans who he wants to keep playing for.

And he also had some good news for Falkirk supporters. Even though the goal is now achieved, he insists that Sons will aim to continue the winning form when they visit Hibernian on Tuesday.

A win would keep them in with a chance of finishing seventh, depending on their result at Alloa on Sunday, and the outcome of St Mirren’s clash with Rangers.

Garry added: “We’re safe now but we still want to win games. We don’t want to go out of the season on a low.

“We’ll prepare properly for Easter Road and we’ve proven all season we can beat full-time opposition, including Saturday.

“I’m happy to be at the club. Nobody has spoken about a new contract yet but hopefully we can over the next couple of weeks.

“The fans have been a big part of what we’ve achieved this season. Home and away they’ve cheered us on no matter how we’ve done, and we are glad we’ve repaid them.”

Andy Galloway

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