Sunday 5th July 2020

WE’RE into the top 10 now.

Some outstanding games are coming up to conclude our series to find the 100 greatest games played at the Rock.

Supporters Graeme Robertson, Jack Crawford, Fraser Clarke and Andy Galloway have worked out the countdown based on how they each placed games individually.

Today’s game comes from 2015 at the start of a new era for the club.

Number 9 will be online on Tuesday at 10am.

10. Dumbarton 2-1 Hibernian – Saturday, August 8, 2015

As Stevie Aitken walked out of the Rock tunnel as manager for a competitive match for the first time, it was hard to see how his home debut as Dumbarton boss could begin with a harder game.

With Rangers and St Mirren having begun their season against each other the previous evening, Hibernian were the other ‘mainstays’ of the top flight in that season’s Championship.

Having beaten Morton in one cup tie, and lost on penalties to East Fife in another, it was Aitken’s first opportunity in the league and on home soil.

When he made the reverse journey to the dressing room at full time, it was impossible to think how the day could have gone better.

From the moment Gregor Buchanan put Sons into a third-minute lead, there was a very definite feeling that a surprise result was in the air.

Buchanan was one of eight players newly-signed by Aitken who started the match. Only Scott Taggart, Andy Graham and Garry Fleming did not fall into that category. Had Darren Barr been fit, that tally would surely have been nine.

It was a free kick by Willie Gibson that gave Buchanan his early close range finish. Little did anybody know, that would not be Gibson’s sole contribution from a dead ball that afternoon.

Copyright Fullarton Photos 2015

With Hibs responding strongly, the lead lasted only 11 minutes when Dominique Malonga finished off a long ball to level.

But Fleming was agonisingly close to almost immediately restoring the lead, with his shot hitting the post.

Ten minutes into the second half, though, Kevin Cawley was fouled 25 yards out and having already made a meaningful contribution with one free kick, Gibson stepped up for another.

This time he went for it himself, and as soon as the ball left his toe, it was finding the top corner. That was a goal that deserved to be a winner.

If it was to be, it would require an all-out effort during the remaining 35 minutes – which started with Hibs bringing on John McGinn.

Malonga had a shot while Liam Fontaine missed with a header, but Dumbarton held on for a deserving victory.

Not satisfied with the two impressions he made from a free kick in this game, Gibson did it again away to St Mirren the next week.

This time his free kick opened the scoring in a 2-1 win over the newly-relegated Buddies, giving Aitken a dream six points out of six at the start of his league tenure.

Dumbarton: Brown; Taggart, Docherty, Graham, Buchanan, Cawley (Kirkpatrick 67), Gallagher, Fleming (Smith 85), Craig (Lindsay 77), Gibson, Routledge. Subs: Ewings; Miller, McCallum, Waters.

Hibernian: Oxley; Gray, Hanlon, Fontaine, Bartley (Boyle 84), Fyvie, Allan, Malonga, Stevenson, Cummings (Stanton 69), Martin (McGinn 66). Subs: Reguero; Carmichael, Harris, Dunsmore.

Referee: Don Robertson.

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