A SECOND-HALF strike from Grant Anderson was the difference between the sides at The C&G Systems Stadium on Saturday as visiting Raith Rovers left Dumbarton with all three points in a tight affair.

The Rovers enjoyed a lot of possession throughout the afternoon, but rarely created a clear cut chance against a Sons side who looked a lot more disciplined defensively.

There was, however, a chance for the visitors after just two minutes as Kieron Bowie found himself in behind the Dumbarton backline and bearing down on goal, but Conor Brennan stood up well to block with his feet.

Sons’ first chance of the game arrived on 12 minutes and fell to Stefan McCluskey - PJ Crossan had driven forward and passed the ball to his right for the onrushing former Morton man whose first time strike from an angle was pushed onto the side netting by the experienced David McGurn.

Ryan McGeever then pulled off a vital challenge at the other end after Stuart Carswell had tried to do a little too much on the edge of his own box and would have been grateful to see his teammate recover on his behalf.

Crossan did well to find space on the edge of the box and get a shot away, but it was a comfortable save for the goalkeeper before a game defining moment came 36 minutes in.

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McCluskey jinked past several Rovers challenges and burst into the box before going down under the challenge of former Dumbarton player Kieran MacDonald.

Eyes turned to referee Duncan Williams who penalised the Sons player for simulation and, after McCluskey received treatment for three minutes, showed him a yellow card to quite literally add insult to injury.

Dumbarton got themselves in a real mess at the back just a few minutes later as Brennan collided with Morgyn Neill, who had misjudged a long ball.

That presented Lewis Allan with a terrific opportunity to pass the ball into an empty net, but he hesitated and McGeever appeared to clear the danger.

Ross Matthews then flashed a shot wide just before the break, but the second-half would begin the way the first ended as Brennan had to rush off his line twice to prevent the Rovers from opening the scoring.

On 78 minutes the Kirkcaldy side found the opener with a smart pass from Brad Spencer finding Anderson who finished well into the far corner.

Dumbarton couldn’t be faulted for their application as they pushed for a late equaliser with Lewis Crawford’s teasing cross just missed by substitute Isaac Layne.

Raith could have added to their tally in the dying stages as Sons continued to push bodies forward leaving gaps at the back for Joao Vitoria, however his drilled shot was saved by the feet of Brennan.

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It doesn’t get any easier for Dumbarton as they next travel to title favourites Falkirk at the Falkirk Stadium this Saturday for the first of two difficult away games in a row with a trip up north to Peterhead at Balmoor Stadium the destination the following week.