Dumbarton’s seven-match unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday as Raith Rovers ran out 4-1 winners at Stark’s Park.

Ross Matthews and Liam Buchanan had the hosts in a commanding position in the opening 26 minutes before Calum Gallagher hit back for Dumbarton.

It looked as if it would be all to play for in the second-half, but Kevin Nisbet scored for Raith a minute before half-time and added another nine minutes into the second period to kill off the game.

It was no coincidence that Sons’ recent form had arrived when they were able to play players in more natural positions but with three of his four central defenders missing on Saturday, boss Jim Duffy had to move Stuart Carswell out of midfield and into defence, with Michael Paton taking his place in the middle.

The hosts created the first chance of the game after nine minutes, and it brought them the opening goal of the afternoon.

Grant Gillespie’s ball to the left was put into the box by Callum Crane and met by Matthews who side footed into the net from 12 yards.

The sides have shared 36 goals in their last ten meetings, so it was no surprise that Matthews’ strike wasn’t to be the last goal of the afternoon as Sons searched for an equaliser.

But they did little to test Robbie Thomson in the Rovers goal as both Bobby Barr and Dom Thomas had crosses headed away with Gallagher missing the target from the edge of the area.

And just a minute after that chance the Kirkcaldy side doubled their lead when Buchanan curled the ball into the corner from the edge of the box after Craig Barr’s missed interception.

Sons would find a way back into the match on 38 minutes with Gallagher’s finish from close range beating Thomson after a smart pass from David Ferguson teed up Bobby Barr who picked out the Dumbarton number nine.

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It looked as if Duffy’s side would be just a goal behind heading into the second-half, but Nisbet, who spent the second half of last season on loan at the Sons where he failed to score, took advantage of Grant Adam rushing out his goal to head in Jamie Barjonas’ cross for his 24th league goal of the season.

In the opening stages of the second 45 there was a chance for Gallagher but he couldn’t sort his feet out after being set up by Barr and the ball bobbled out of play.

Nisbet secured his 25th, and more importantly the points, on 54 minutes when Adam could only push Jamie Gullan’s effort as far as the Rovers frontman who headed into an empty net.

Buchanan’s glancing header clipped the bar on 56 minutes in what was almost the last notable chance of the game.

Substitute Iain Russell’s header hammered the crossbar as Sons looked for a late consolation but it wasn’t to be as Dumbarton now head into a period of three home games in a week, starting with Stenhousemuir this Saturday.

Kick-off for this weekend’s game is at 3pm.