Thursday 25th June 2020

IT’S getting exciting in our countdown of the 100 greatest games at the Rock – and today we have our last part before reaching the top 20.

Supporters Fraser Clarke, Andy Galloway, Graeme Robertson and Jack Crawford have put the countdown together, based on average individual placings.

Today we feature games against Raith Rovers, Arbroath, Cowdenbeath, Peterhead and Partick Thistle.

Numbers 20 and 19 will be published on Saturday at 10am. As we approach the top of the chart, fewer matches will be published in each instalment.

25. Dumbarton 1-0 Raith Rovers – Saturday, February 29, 2020

The most recent game on this countdown. The fact that it was our first February 29 game for 28 years automatically made it special.

Little were we to know ahead of the game how much more special it would become as the league leaders were beaten for the second time this season.

In tough conditions, there were not many chances for either side. John Baird was close for Raith Rovers, Stefan McCluskey was nearest for Dumbarton.

After the restart, Baird’s goal was ruled out for offside, while Sons’ closest call was a PJ Crossan effort which rolled wide.

It looked like a no-scoring afternoon, but in the third minute of injury time, a headed clearance from a corner fell to Stuart Carswell 15 yards out.

Those scenes, eh?

Copyright Fullarton Photos 2020

24. Dumbarton 3-2 Arbroath – Monday, January 2, 2012

Our two previous meetings with Arbroath this season had seen us score a total of six goals and take no points. Surely something had to give.

After 20 minutes all looked well, when Bryan Prunty opened the scoring, just as he had done in the first of the two 4-3 defeats. He headed home Mark Lamont’s cross from the left.

But the lead lasted only six minutes when Steven Doris finished off a through ball to equalise for the Red Lichties.

Then Josh Falkingham got Arbroath’s second goal after a further six minutes, and it was lead they held until six minutes from the end.

A corner from the left bounced in the Arbroath area and fell to Alan Lithgow, who got Dumbarton level after 84 minutes.

And on injury time, Tony Wallace played Pat Walker through to run in and score. Our first win since mid-November – who knew where that could start taking us?

23. Dumbarton 2-1 Cowdenbeath – Saturday, September 20, 2008

We really love our last-minute winners here, don’t we?

Despite two away wins out of three, Dumbarton had yet to win at home in season 2008/09. It looked for all the world like an end to that run had slipped away.

The scoring was opened on 36 minutes through one of the goals of the season. Derek Carcary intercepted out on the right, wove past the Cowdenbeath defence and bent home a blistering shot.

Going into injury time, our lead was intact. But then Sons failed to clear their lines from a Cowden attack and Paul McQuade fired home.

So no home wins in four. But there was time yet, especially when Sons were awarded a free kick 30 yards out.

It was flighted in by David Gray for Ben Gordon to bullet home a header. Those two points hadn’t been dropped after all.

22. Dumbarton 3-0 Peterhead – Saturday, April 20, 2002

No ifs, no buts, this game had to be won if we wanted promotion. It was – emphatically.

After a couple of shock defeats on the road, we had run out of wiggle room, with Albion Rovers now right on our tails in the chase for second place.

The first half of this game was goalless, but not devoid of incident. After an off the ball exchange with Paddy Flannery, Peterhead’s Shaun McSkimming saw red.

The door was open to us and in the second half we ripped it off its hinges. Just after the hour mark, a blistering finish by Robert Dunn put us in front.

And only four minutes after that, an equally ferocious shot by Andy Brown, from the edge of the box, had us right in the clear.

With six minutes remaining, all three substitutes linked up for John Dillon to score the third from 12 yards. All roads led back to the Rock the next Saturday for the season’s final fixture against Queen’s Park.

21. Dumbarton 2-0 Partick Thistle – Saturday, January 12, 2013

All that was really missing from Ian Murray’s early days as manager was a home victory. Why not get it against a team chasing the title?

We had won at Falkirk and Morton but defeats on our own pitch to Hamilton (in the Scottish Cup) and Dunfermline had kept him waiting for his first win at the Rock.

After 21 minutes Dumbarton had the lead, although they needed some help from the opposition to do it. Bryan Prunty’s shot hit the bar, but hit the unlucky Conrad Balatoni and rebounded past his own keeper.

Despite the injury to goalkeeper Jamie Ewings which forced him off, Sons kept control of the game and the lead was doubled in 63 minutes.

Prunty needn’t have fretted about hitting the woodwork earlier, as he finished at close range after Jim Lister set him up.

Now Murray’s reign was really on the move.

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