Monday 13th July 2020
TODAY we profile a match from 2016 which is number five in our countdown of the 100 greatest games at the Rock.
The chart has been compiled by average individual placings awarded by supporters Jack Crawford, Fraser Clarke, Andy Galloway and Graeme Robertson.
Today’s game was one of the ones that secured a place in the following season’s Championship during our six-year stay in the second tier.
Number 4 will be online tomorrow at 10am.
5. Dumbarton 2-1 St Mirren – Saturday, April 23, 2016
Survival Saturday 2016.
Could we really secure a fifth season in the Championship by beating the newly-relegated St Mirren for the third time in the campaign?
Given that the Buddies had already secured their own survival, we had more to play for. If only it was that simple.
And that was before we even factored in that we needed a favour from Queen of the South.
Yesterday we told you how we needed Livingston to beat Queens at Palmerston Park to keep us in the hunt for the top four in 2014.
That didn’t happen. Now, two years on, we needed the Doonhamers to get a result against Livi. If they did that, and we beat St Mirren, the deal was done.
We even gave them a headstart, as kick-off at the Rock was delayed by 15 minutes due to traffic problems in the area.
That just allowed the atmosphere – generated by the visiting and vociferous Swiss Sons on their annual trip – to build up.
However, when things did get underway, they did not start well. With 10 minutes played, St Mirren struck first when Calum Gallagher rolled the ball home from the edge of the box after a headed clearance broke his way.
It was something he would make up for in a Sons shirt in years to come. So too would the player who inflicted the next blow.
That was not done at the Rock, but in Dumfries. Sam Stanton put Livingston in front and over what was left of the afternoon, we needed two games to turn around, or go to the last week of the season.
St Mirren pushed on from there and could have had more goals. But Dumbarton survived those opportunities and looked to hit back as half time approached.
And with six minutes left of the first half, Mark Docherty’s low ball was turned into the net. It was done by St Mirren defender Keith Watson, but who in the home end was caring?
Copyright True Scott Photography 2016
One goal for Sons, and one for Queen of the South, and everything would be on track.
At the Rock, each team hit the woodwork within three minutes of the second half – before down the M74, Queens delivered their part of the bargain when Derek Lyle equalised.
Now it was down to Dumbarton. A tap-in would do. It was more special than that.
On 54 minutes, Garry Fleming spun to thrash home a volley from the edge of the area. Now everything was poised.
As things carried on at Palmerston, it became clear that Queen of the South would deliver. A second for Lyle, and a goal by Gary Oliver, put them into a 3-1 lead they saw through to the end.
All Dumbarton now had to do was see their advantage through to the last whistle. Gallagher threatened to derail that process, but Gregor Buchanan cleared off the line.
Further chances came and went for St Mirren and Sons, with two games to spare, were over the line and in the Championship for a fifth season.
Dumbarton: Ewings; Docherty, Saunders, Buchanan, Fleming, Barr, Routledge, Lindsay (Gallagher 75), Heffernan (Nade 71), Wright, Walsh (Waters 86). Subs: Brown; Taggart, Cawley, McCallum.
St Mirren: Langfield; Naismith, Webster, Mallan, Watson, Gallagher (Thompson 83), Clarkson (Morgan 66), Shankland, Quinn, Irvine, Cooper (Stewart 81). Subs: Willison; Goodwin, Carswell, Baird.
Referee: Kevin Graham.