By Steph Brawn

Dumbarton manager Stevie Aitken was thankful to have Mark Stewart back after the striker returned from injury to contribute to their first win of the season.

Stewart was on the bench for Sons’ 2-1 win over Brechin City on Saturday after four weeks out with an elbow injury.

And when Aitken sent him on in the second half after the Sons fell behind within two minutes, he didn’t mess around in proving his worth, smashing home a crucial equaliser into the top corner, before Dimitris Froxylias netted a winner minutes from time.

Broken elbow or not, Aitken admitted Stewart was always hungry to get back out there.

He said: “Mark’s been really missed because he’s experienced at this level.

“He broke his elbow four weeks ago but he hasn’t missed a training session since.

“He was desperate to get back and do well and that goal was vital for us to get to 1-1. We were very strong towards the end of the game and it was a great finish from Dimi to win us the game.”

After City’s Aron Lynas was sent off in the second half for a two-footed tackle on David Wilson, Dumbarton got every man working for the win and their efforts were rewarded.

But before that the Sons struggled to break Brechin down and looked less than convincing defensively against their fellow part-timers.

And Aitken said it was vital his players hold it together at the start against former Premiership side Inverness Caledonian Thistle this weekend.

He said: “The first half was frustrating because we never gave ourselves a chance. It was a sloppy goal to concede after two minutes and we can’t keep asking players to dig deep and chase games.

“It’s got to be a better start. There’s individual mistakes happening like [Scott] Gallacher’s today but he put his hands up when the goal went in.”