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Dumbarton made it three wins and three clean sheets in a row to set a new club record against East Fife.

The 1-0 victory over East Fife, which followed up a 0-0 draw against now league champions Stirling Albion a few days prior, was Sons goalkeeper Brett Long’s 16th shutout of the campaign which surpasses the previous best of 15 set by Ian MacFarlane in 1991/92.

And the Irishman marked the record with a penalty save as he kept out Alex Ferguson’s second-half spot-kick before Martin McNiff struck the only goal of the afternoon.

The home side could have doubled their tally in the closing stages with a penalty of their own but Stuart Carswell was denied.

Boss Stevie Farrell named an unchanged side for the third game in a row after Tuesday’s cagey goalless draw with Stirling.

Kalvin Orsi got off to a lively start for the home side as he cut in from the right and took aim for the far corner only for the inside of the post to deny him his first goal of the season.

The visitors best chance of the half fell to Conor McManus on the stroke of half-time when his looping header just missed the far post.

The second-half was a little over 10 minutes old when the first penalty of the game was awarded to the way of the Fifers when Scott Shepherd went down under Aron Lynas’ challenge.

St Johnstone loanee Ferguson stepped up for the away side but his attempt from 12-yards was at a good height and not particularly near the corner of the net, allowing for a somewhat basic penalty save for Long against his former club.

Dumbarton substitutes Ally Love and Russell McLean had the best opportunities for Dumbarton after being introduced shortly after the hour when Love’s free-kick was kicked away by Allan Fleming before the same man pushed away McLean’s shot from a tight angle.

Sons finally found the breakthrough on 73 minutes when Peter Grant helped the ball towards McNiff in the penalty area and the experienced full-back showed terrific composure to turn and slot the ball into the net for his first goal at The Rock since 2011.

With 88 minutes on the clock, the hosts could have sealed it when McLean went over in the box after Sam Denham’s challenge and referee Ross Hardie pointed to the spot.

Carswell was on spot-kick duties and whilst his effort was better than Ferguson’s, it was the same outcome with Fleming making a good stop.

The miss nearly came back to haunt Dumbarton as Jack Healy got in behind the defence on 91 minutes and tried to poke the ball around Long but he stood up to get something on it and earn his clean sheet record.

Sons have two more fixtures of the regular league season prior to the play-offs getting under way, starting with a trip to Elgin City.


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