Dumbarton secured their place in League One for the 2019/20 campaign with a comfortable 3-0 win over East Fife - their fourth win out of four over The Methil side this season.

Craig Barr had Sons ahead midway through the first-half before Dom Thomas added another contender to his personal Goal of the Season competition with a terrific solo strike on the stroke of half-time.

Calum Gallagher wrapped up the points in the second period, with Stenhousemuir and Brechin City’s defeats meaning that Sons moved seven points away from the bottom two with just six points left to play for.

Stuart Carswell was a welcome return to the line-up for Dumbarton boss Jim Duffy after the midfielder hobbled out of the warm-up in last weeks draw with Forfar Athletic.

The visitors started the brighter of the sides and came the crossbar’s width away from opening the scoring as Aaron Dunsmure’s header crashed off the woodwork.

Sons still hadn’t created a chance until the 19th minute when Barr had an effort deflected just wide of the post which resulted in a corner that was then put behind for another.

And it was to be second time lucky as Bobby Barr teed up his namesake, Craig, who showed terrific composure to side-foot the ball into the corner of the net in a packed penalty area.

Dumbarton’s tails were up with further chances falling to Gallagher and Thomas, but Gallagher headed over the bar and Thomas’ vicious strike from a tight angle flashed across goal.

Tame efforts from Anton Dowds and Pat Slattery were the most East Fife could muster before Gallagher had a strong effort turned away.

Read more: Clean sheet pleases Jim Duffy as Dumbarton see off East Fife

On 44 minutes, the Fifers may have felt they had Thomas in a fairly comfortable position when he was on the edge of the box, but just a few seconds later the Kilmarnock loanee was wheeling away in celebration after scoring his 14th goal of the season.

He drove into the box, nutmegged two onrushing defenders and curled the ball into the top corner with his right foot to put Sons in a commanding position.

In the second-half, Dumbarton were on the front foot again with Brian McLean having an effort collected by the goalkeeper and both Ross Forbes and Gallagher coming close to getting on the end of Cammy Ballantyne’s cross.

There were few attempts from promotion chasing East Fife, with Dowds powerful strike that cleared the goal being the most notable.

Gallagher got the all important third goal on 66 minutes when he chased down Carswell’s pass, forced Chris Higgins into a mistake and slotted the ball underneath the onrushing keeper.

That was the last meaningful action of the game, but as news filtered through that both Stenhousemuir and Brechin found themselves behind, Sons knew that their job was done.

There are still two games left in League One with Stranraer, who also confirmed safety on Saturday afternoon, visiting The C&G Systems Stadium this Saturday before Sons travel to champions Arbroath on the final day.

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