WHEN Dumbarton FC was founded, 150 years and one day before this game, this must have been the sort of scenario it was invented for.
We already knew, after the postponements of the previous week, that Sons would be top of cinch League Two at Christmas.
But not only how far clear would they be – could they mark their century and a half in the same way they ended their stay at Boghead Park, by beating East Fife?
That question was emphatically answered. From the moment Gregor Buchanan headed them in front 12 minutes from half time, the result was never in doubt.
If the first goal was the spark the game needed, the second, a minute after the restart, was the sheer genius befitting of such a big milestone.
From the sublime pass by Ryan Wallace to the composed finish applied by David Wilson, via the latter’s outstanding run to ensure he met the ball, it was glorious.
There may have been more gears in the box, but they were not needed. Dumbarton’s job, on their club’s big day, was well done.
They will also end 2022 in first place in the league. Of course, the table which really counts is the one in May, but every little helps.
The game made a similar start to the sides’ previous meeting at New Bayview in September, won 1-0 by Sons. It was stuffy and saw little in the way of clear goalmouth action.
On the half hour mark, Ryan Wallace was well placed to meet a Kalvin Orsi cross. On another day his header was finding the net, but an on-form East Fife keeper turned his effort away.
He may then also have got the slightest touch to a Buchanan header shortly afterwards which thundered back off the crossbar. However, he was then beaten.
After several headers from each side, Buchanan met the ball at a narrow angle, and it looped perfectly over the keeper and into the corner. Anniversary party started.
The lead was seen through to half time; only a bit more cutting edge was needed to extend it. And within a minute of the restart, Sons showed it.
Wallace’s pass was perfectly measured, and Wilson, after a couple of touches, applied an equally perfectly composed finish.
Half chances came and went from there. Wallace also found the net after running on to a through ball, only to be flagged offside.
East Fife did not give up, and Alex Ferguson nearly managed a consolation goal, only for Brett Long to pull off a fine save from his swerving effort.
Teams have been beaten by bigger margins this season, but Dumbarton were always in full control of this game. They showed the authority that such a big day demanded.
Dumbarton: Long; Wylde (MacLean 70), Buchanan, Carswell, Orsi, D Wilson, Lynas, McKee, Gray (Love 70), McNiff, Wallace (Garrity 86). Subs: Broun; McGeever, Lynch.
East Fife: Fleming; Murdoch, Mercer, Millar, Schiavone (Trouten 61), Shepherd, Healy, Newton, Denham, Ferguson, Parker (Steven 61). Subs: Beveridge; Steele, Slattery, Mansouri, Balde, Omar. Booked: Millar, Healy.
Referee: Graham Beaton.
Pictures below by Andy Scott. Thumbnail photo by Tommy Hughes.
Colin Lawrie pipes the teams on to the pitch
Captains, referee and mascots before kick-off
Gregor Buchanan heads for goal…
Aron Lynas shoots.
Celebrations after David WIlson made it 2-0 to Sons.
Sons head out of defence.
Finlay Gray competes in midfield.
A late scramble in the East Fife area.