DESPITE it all, Dumbarton finished this game remaining top of cinch League Two.
But days like this will not keep them there.
It was hoped that this game would see a response to a disappointing afternoon at East Fife the previous week.
Two poorly conceded goals, and precious little sign of finding the net, save for a brilliant Ryan Blair free kick, was not it.
Blair’s effort cancelled out an opener for Elgin City by Kane Hester, but a Russell Dingwall penalty won the three points for the visitors.
Sons remain well positioned in the table, but a return to the very capable displays in the early part of the season need to replace the bad days at the office instantly.
The two sides had early chances, but Gregor Buchanan’s header was saved for Dumbarton and a shot by Hester had the same outcome for the visitors.
But the latter was given another opportunity on 17 minutes after Elgin strode through the home defence, and their number nine made no mistake from close range.
If anything, the visitors looked more likely to extend their lead from there than Sons did to cancel it out. Hester was denied by a timely intervention from Buchanan before only outstanding goalkeeping by Brett Long denied Mitchell Taylor in a goalmouth scramble.
A narrow angled Ryan Wallace effort was certainly travelling, but went across goal and wide. Dumbarton needed inspiration from somewhere.
And after a free kick was awarded 20 yards out, they got it from a player who was previously, officially at least, without a goal to his name this season.
Ryan Blair’s corner at Stenhousemuir in August went down as an own goal. There was no doubting his effort from this free kick, which found the corner perfectly.
It was hoped that the boost so close to half time would see Sons move forward from there. Instead, four minutes after the restart they had it all to do again.
After a Hester shot trundled against the post, the loose ball was dealt with in rather unusual fashion, resulting in Taylor being fouled, and Dingwall scoring the penalty.
From there, Sons offered little to no sign of a second equaliser. Changes were made, but chances were not.
A Peter Grant header which looped off target in the closing stages was as close as they came to finding the leveller.
Dumbarton: Long; Buchanan, Carswell (Grant 64), Orsi (Ross MacLean 73), Lynas, McKee (Wilson 61), Russell McLean (Byrne 61), Gray, Blair, McNiff, Wallace. Subs: Broun; Wylde, Lynch, Love, Vata. Booked: Long, Byrne, Gray.
Elgin City: McHale; Cooper, Towler, McHardy, Draper (Anderson 61), MacEwan, Dingwall, Mailer, Hester (Allan 90), Findlay, Taylor (Reid 70). Subs: Hoban; Jamieson, Cairns, Lawrence. Booked: Cooper, Findlay, McHardy.
Referee: Dan McFarlane.
Images below by Andy Scott.