Thursday 9th July 2020

WE continue our countdown of the Rock’s 100 greatest games, with match number eight being profiled today.

The series has been put together based on individual placings by supporters Fraser Clarke, Andy Galloway, Graeme Robertson and Jack Crawford.

Today we go all the way back to 2003 for last-day drama.

Number 7 will be online on Saturday at 10am.

8. Dumbarton 4-1 Raith Rovers – Saturday, May 10, 2003

For approximately 10 minutes, Dumbarton’s name was on a place in the next season’s Third Division.

After six games unbeaten to start Brian Fairley’s tenure as manager, that would have been extremely harsh. Fortunately, it all came through in the end.

Fairley was appointed after the departure of David Winnie days after a disastrous defeat at Cowdenbeath which left Sons in real trouble.

Three wins and three draws later, all Dumbarton had to do was beat the already-crowned champions Raith Rovers. Even if they didn’t, they had a safety net in the form of Airdrie, who were away to Stranraer.

With 16 minutes played, Neill Collins was penalised for handball in the area. Joy at Stephen Grindlay’s save from Ryan Blackadder turned to despair when the referee ordered a retake for encroachment.

Blackadder made no mistake the second time around, and at the same time, Lee Sharp was putting Stranraer ahead against Airdrie. Dumbarton now needed to score two by themselves.

Emphatic would be a good word for how they delivered them. After 27 minutes, John Dillon squared for somebody to finish. Some people tell you it was Iain Russell, some tell you it was Emeka Obidile. They’ll probably never settle that debate.

The second, three minutes later, was in no doubt, Russell turning the ball home on the half hour mark to put Sons again in a position of safety.

Copyright Fullarton Photos 2003

That place was consolidated further after only a further three minutes and having set up the first goal, Dillon claimed this one for himself.

Six minutes after the restart Russell had his second or, depending on your point of view, third of the afternoon, shooting home through a crowded area.

As it turned out, Airdrie put the safety net in place for Dumbarton anyway by turning it round to win 2-1 at Stair Park.

But it was extremely satisfying to do the job ourselves and give the season the finish it deserved after such a positive run under the new regime.

Dumbarton: Grindlay; McEwan, Brittain, Collins, Duffy, Scally, Obidile, Bonar, Flannery (A Brown 77), Russell (McCutcheon 82), Dillon. Subs: Wight; Stewart, T Brown.

Raith Rovers: Gonzalez; Valdes, Parkin (Paliczka 55), Ross, Ellis, Moffat, Matheson, Blackadder, Smith (Shields 55), McManus, Fyfe (Davidson 46). Subs: Sweeney; Brown.

Referee: Stuart Dougal.

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