Dumbarton manager Jim Duffy was left to curse his side’s mistakes as Stenhousemuir left The Rock on Saturday with a 2-1 victory – and three vital points in the relegation battle.

David Marsh opened the scoring for Stenny and Connor McBrearty doubled their lead, before Craig Barr hit a late consolation for Sons.

It was a timid display from Dumbarton, who remain in the fight against relegation, despite their previous good run of seven games unbeaten – and Duffy admitted his side were slow out of the blocks.

He said: “We’re disappointed with both the performance and the result.

"I didn’t think we started the game at all well. We didn’t seem to be on the front foot and as a result we gave the initiative to Stenhousemuir, and they took advantage of it from a set-play.

“After that I felt that they were the team most likely to score.

"In the second half I felt that we were the team on the front foot but we needed that goal to try and give us a platform to take something from the game.”

Read more: Dumbarton given reality check after home defeat to Stenhousemuir

Sons didn’t create much in the first half but controlled possession after the break as they searched for a way back into it – before their task was made even harder after Ross Forbes was robbed in midfield and Stenny increased their lead.

The Dumbarton boss said he was at least satisfied with his team’s second half performance, with opposition goalkeeper Graeme Smith being called into action on more than one occasion.

He added: “We allowed them too much time to get the ball wide and into the box.

"They were picking up all the second balls and as a result we just tried to stem the flow a little bit.

“At 1-0 at half-time I didn’t think we deserved anything more than that.

“In the second-half I felt as if we did try and rectify the situation and have a few more efforts in and around the goal with Graeme Smith having a few saves to make.

“Ultimately it’s a mistake that’s cost us taking anything from the game.”