First published on Dumbarton FC's website as Sons beaten again, with Donald Fullarton. Slightly adapted.
It had been dubbed Dumbarton's 'must win' game, but in an intense tussle today with Peterhead at Balmoor, Sons lost 1-0, failing to secure the breakthrough they so badly needed. They now sit marooned at the foot of the Second Division table with October only half over.
A nervy start saw the home team's no. 9 Martin Bavidge miss an early chance after the Blue Toon broke through on just four minutes.
Peterhead looked more comfortable on the ball in the early exchanges, as Daniel Moore flashed a header past Stephen Grindlay's left post.
But Dumbarton held their 3-5-2 shape in spite of the pressure, and on 20 minutes, after beginning to take possession again, Iain Chislom almost broke through on the right-hand side for Sons.
When former Dumbarton striker Dennis Wyness gave way to Scott Ross on 26 minutes, Chisholm had another half chance before Keiron Brennan almost deceived Toon 'keeper John Bateman inches away from his goal.
Peterhead pinned back the visitors with three corners shortly after the half hour, but then Andy Geggan's free kick five yards from the home side's area signalled a fresh bout of energy from the Sons.
Towards the end of the first period, Dumbarton began to thread together a number of promising moves, but could not capitalise on them in the box - though Ross Campbell again went close.
Shortly into the second half, Peterhead substitute Ross dashed Sons' initial hopes with a sweetly struck goal high and to the right of the flying Grindlay.
The visitors immediately began to push back, but Toon had taken heart from their lead and made it difficult for Dumbarton to get back into the match.
After the hour Mark Gilhaney replaced Ryan McStay for Sons. Paul Maxwell came on for Tony Wallace six minutes later. However, Dumbarton struggled to regain momentum and confidence.
On 77 minutes Sons won a corner, and then rapidly found themselves tracking back in a see-saw final period of the game.
Ben Gordon had a shot deflected away as the whistle drew near, but Dumbarton's last throw of the dice with Ryan Metcalf replacing Iain Chisolm, a header from Martin McNiff and a shot blasted over the bar by Gilhaney came too late to thwart another disappointing defeat.