In the end, the visitors' second-half performance was enough to give any top flight manager pause for thought.
There must have been something said - "just a few words and a tactical tweak," according to manager John McGlynn - during the break to turn Livingston's first-half, stifled Jekyll into the expansive, harassing Hyde of the second period. The injury to Callum Fordyce had also helped. Though he had not played badly, his withdrawal forced McGlynn to bring Keaghan Jacobs on early, and the substitute gave the visitors better control as he prowled across the centre circle, breaking up attacks and using the ball cleverly.
McGlynn's team-talk, too, surely injected a little fire into the visitors. "He gets his point across," said striker Marc McNulty, diplomatically. "Nothing was flying about. The boys took it on board, obviously, then we were a lot more confident; we started playing our game a lot more."
Livingston's away kit is modelled on the Barcelona home shirt - the club let fans vote on the design - and just after half-time they conjured a goal worthy of their choice. Mike Mampuya, who was sporting a magnificent beard, came out of the tunnel, abandoned all pretence of being a right-back and starting blasting up the wing. After attacking thrusts and forays, he would amble back towards his own half. A pina colada would have made him look more hurried. He was sent galloping down the touchline straight after the restart and a slick passing move which bypassed Dumbarton's midfield. A first time cross then found McNulty, who prodded it towards goal. "I got a touch on it, but it came off the defender and I'm hoping I get it," said the striker.
Stefan Scougall, who along with centre-back Coll Donaldson is one Livingston's unsold jewels, was calm in possession as he spidered across the pitch. Simon Mensing - sporting a less magnificent beard - was assured at the back, especially when closing the game out towards the end.
Despite the result, though, the game had started terribly for the visitors. In the very first minute, Donaldson slipped inside the box and allowed Colin Nish to wriggle free and cut the ball back towards the six-yard box. Shots were fired, bodies were in the way - at least, those not still lying on the floor - and the ball was eventually cleared.
Livingston grew into the game. Despite calls from some bewilderingly impatient visiting fans - "the goal's that way!" they shouted - their team were cleverly denying the home side the ball. It was, in truth, a little hard on the eyes, but Dumbarton's opening goal was anything but as Mitch Megginson half-volleyed Nish's knock-down into the net.
McNulty's winner, with 15 minutes remaining, was just as impressive. Barrowman was dogged in winning back possession before laying the ball off to the onrushing forward, who skelped it into the roof of the net. The striker's thoughts post-match, though, dwelled on a chance missed in the first half. "It should have been a hat trick," he said.
Would McCall have seen anything to worry him? "He would have seen that the spirit's good here," McGlynn said. "He would have taken it on board. I'll have a look at his team at Tannadice."