Dumbarton’s frustrating start to 2020 continued at Bayview on Saturday as East Fife ran out 4-2 winners.

Scott Agnew and Chris Higgins looked to have the hosts in a comfortable position heading into the break, but Morgyn Neill headed in Sons first goal of the year on the stroke of half-time.

New arrival Robert Jones then fired in an equaliser on his Dumbarton debut, but a Stewart Murdoch goal and a second from Agnew was enough for the Fifers to take all three points.

After a busy end to the January transfer window for Sons boss Jim Duffy, new signings Jones and Ross Forbes were handed starts as Jai Quitongo had to settle for a space on the bench, with Kyle Hutton also reintroduced to the starting line-up after missing last week’s game away to Peterhead.

READ MORE: Dumbarton remain pointless in 2020 after late Peterhead winner

It wasn’t quite the start to the afternoon that Sons would have hoped for, however, with former Dumbarton man Agnew firing a shot from the edge of the area that took a couple of deflections to help it past Conor Brennan, spinning agonisingly into the corner of the net.

Further chances followed for the hosts as Higgins lashed a shot over before Ryan McGeever recovered well to ease Aaron Dunsmure off the ball as the winger closed in on goal.

Brennan was called into action again after 18 minutes, making a superb stop to dive across his goal and tip over Danny Denholm’s ferocious effort.

An effort that bobbled wide from Stefan McCluskey was the closest that Dumbarton had come to getting on the scoresheet but the hosts would soon double their lead.

If there was a touch of misfortune about the first, the second was Sons’ own doing as Joe McKee failed to clear a corner before Higgins nipped in and poked the ball into the corner.

Brennan again denied Denholm, this time with his legs from close range, before the away side got back into the game with the last touch of the half.

McKee secured assist number 12 of the season, the highest in the SPFL, with his free-kick met by Neill whose header bounced into the corner.

It didn’t seem to have much of an impression on the second-half, however, as the hosts started brightly again and Brennan was forced to keep out an Anton Dowds header before Ryan Wallace got through on goal only to hesitate and allow Sons to regroup at the back.

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Despite the home side’s bright start, Duffy’s side would find an equaliser just before the hour mark with superb work from McCluskey, who had chased down a lost cause, presenting the ball for Jones who powered it into the net from close range.

In a surprise turn around, Sons were on top now, but failed to convert their possession into chances and, crucially, another goal.

Duffy’s men came to rue not making their dominance count as East Fife regained their lead 10 minutes after the leveller before wrapping up the victory shortly after.

Murdoch looped a header into the far corner before Agnew fired in a trademark free-kick to secure the points for the Methil side with 11 minutes to go.

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