Dumbarton were second best all afternoon against Queen of the South, as they lost 1-0 on Saturday at Palmerston Park.

The Sons were lacklustre in Dumfries, and were forced to defend for large spells of the game, particularly in the first half.

Callum Fordyce’s header was the difference between the sides, but Queen’s squandered a handful of chances and should have been more comfortably in front.

It was a disappointing afternoon all around for Sons, who have only netted five goals in eight games so far.

There was a welcome return to the side for Stuart Carswell, the midfielder starting his first game of the season for Sons.

David Smith made his 50th appearance for the visitors, Dougie Hill also started in defence after Craig Barr pulled up injured in the warm-up.

And Dumbarton’s injury woes had looked like they got worse 15 minutes into the game.

Mark Stewart went down awkwardly after a challenge, writhing in pain as he appeared to dislocate his elbow, but was able to play on.

Stephen Dobbie, one of four former Dumbarton players in the opposition line-up, had the first meaningful chance of the day.

The former Blackpool striker’s swivelled and shot just after the half-hour mark, but Scott Gallacher was down low to his left to save.

The away side’s first shot of the day came on 40 minutes, Stewart and Tom Walsh combined nicely down the left flank, with the latter shooting from just inside the box, but Alan Martin was able to comfortably save.

Sons looked to have weathered the storm as they closed in on the break, but Queens scored on 44 minutes.

Jordan Marshall’s corner was found Fordyce, the centre-back completely unmarked in the box powering his header into the net.

Dumbarton came out much better in the second half, and almost equalised six minutes after the break.

Walsh’s corner found Andy Dowie in the box, but his header was blocked on the line and Queen’s were able to scramble the ball to safety.

Sons manager Stevie Aitken made a double change after an hour, bringing off Walsh and Smith coming off for Ally Roy and Christian Nade as they looked for an equaliser.

But it was Queens who should have doubled their lead shortly after.

The home side broke away on the counter, Dobbie offloading to Andy Stirling, who unselfishly passed to Derek Lyle on the left, who should have scored but took too long on the ball.

Dobbie had another chance to extend Queens’ lead, but the striker was unable to guide his lob on target.

Gary Naysmith’s side continued to dominate possession, and carved out another chance via Dobbie after Dougie Hill missed an interception.

But the striker, who scored 19 goals in the league last season, was unable to work the ball past Gallacher, who saved well to keep Sons in the tie.

The game became stretched as both teams looked for the vital goal.

Queens had another chance that went begging, Lyndon Dykes twisted and turned to wriggle free of his marker, but his placed shot was too weak to trouble Gallacher.

Dowie was moved up top as Sons lumped the ball forward, but they were unable to make the breakthrough. Dumbarton’s next game is at home to Dunfermline, kick-off is at 3pm.