It summed up Dumbarton’s day.

After going 2-0 down, Sons teammates Mark Docherty and Stuart Carswell clashed, with the latter coming off as blood streamed from his nose.

Ugly scenes and it was a dismal outing for Sons fans in many ways today.

Dunfermline punished Dumbarton, but could have scored more but for Alan Martin making several terrific saves.

Par’s Nicky Clark netted four, completely unmarked for three of them and is a result Stevie Aitken’s side will want to forget about quickly ahead of their crucial tie against Raith Rovers next week.

The Sons manager opted to stick with the same side that battled so well at Falkirk last week drawing 2-2, and came into the game in good form unbeaten in four.

But they went out with a whimper, Daniel Harvie’s late goal of little consolation to the travelling supporters.

Clark bagged the first after a neat interchange between Kallum Higginbotham and Michael Moffat, with the latter floating in a cross for the former Rangers striker to nod home after seven minutes.

The striker turned provider on 27 minutes and doubled the Pars’ lead. The 25-year-old supplied the ball to Moffat, who curled the ball into the top corner from just inside the box.

Frustrations grew between the Sons players, fighting between themselves about who should be marking who as the two holding midfielders came to blows.

Sam Stanton was brought on in the aftermath, as Sons looked to put the fix matters on the pitch.

But it was more doom and gloom for Dumbarton in the second half.

A brief spell of dominance and signs of a fightback after the break were ended when Clark headed in from a corner after 60 minutes, the ball fell to David Smith who sliced his clearance into the net.

And Clark sealed his hattrick after 79 minutes, heading in Spence’s cross in acres of space inside the box.

The Rangers man grabbed his fourth soon after, the second time in his career after smashing four past Forfar Athletic in 2013, as he tapped the ball into the bottom corner on 84 minutes.

On-loan Aberdeen defender Harvie scored a late goal for Sons, firing in from 10 yards out in the final minutes, but it will provide little solace to the away fans.

Stevie Aitken’s side must dust themselves down after this heavy defeat for a key clash at home to Raith on Saturday.

Rovers have not won in 17 games, and sit one point below Dumbarton as the Championship teams head into the final round of games this season.

Kick-off is at 3pm on Saturday at the CID Stadium.

Pars: Murdoch, Talbot, Ashcroft, Morris, Geggan, Higginbotham, Wedderburn (Spence 72), Herron (McCabe 57), McMullan, Moffat (Reilly 74), Clark.

Subs not used: Hutton (GK), Fordyce, Cardle, Paton.

Dumbarton: Martin, Harvie, Buchanan, Barr, Smith, Thomson, Docherty (Lang 72), Carswell (Stanton 28), Stirling, Vaughan, Nade (Fleming 74).

Subs not used: Ewings (GK), McCrorie, Gallagher, Prior.