|McShane's free kick beats the Forfar wall to make it 1-1|
Forfar started determinedly, getting to the ball first, denying Dumbarton space and possession, and pinning the visitors back deep in their own half.
Darren Brady opened the scoring early on for the home side, with a deflected strike from the edge of the area on 5 minutes, just after Sons' 'keeper Stephen Grindlay had parried another shot away high to his right.
Dumbarton's first raid into Forfar territory came on 19 minutes, when Andy Geggan tested Loons' goalkeeper Scott Gallacher with a driving shot through a packed area. But in spite of occasional Sons forays, the initiative remained solidly with Forfar.
On 32 minutes Ben Gordon made an important clearance in front of goal after an attack from the flanks, where Sons were looking particularly vulnerable.
Then on 35 minutes Dumbarton won a free kick 21 yards out on the left, and Jon McShane angled the ball sharply over the Loons' wall and into the net off the post and upright, to make it 1-1.
Brian Deasley came close again for Forfar just before the break, but Sons held their ground and went straight onto the offensive in the second half, with Mark Gilhaney weaving through the home defence and shooting just wide.
A few minutes later Pat Walker picked up on a loose ball following a well-worked Sons move down the left wing, curling his shot just past Forfar's far post.
It was Walker again who provided a fine cross, which McShane was inches away from with his head, on 69 minutes. Sons continued to pressurise their opponents and looked like claiming a second goal, but then s stray pass from substitute Derek Carcary let in Forfar on the counter-attack.
Loons' Ross Campbell pounced on the ball and swept it past a stranded Stephen Grindlay on 78 minutes.
Dumbarton tried hard to find an equaliser in the closing stages of the game, but Forfar held on to their 2-1 lead, and will perhaps be regard as fortunate to have come away with three points instead of one.