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League Cup Group

Sons have drawn Dundee, Peterhead, Forfar Athletic and East Fife.

Which will be the two away games is yet to be announced at time of writing.

Dumbarton in the North

I see from the club website that Sons have been included in the north area for the purposes of the new format of the League Cup (or Betfred Cup as it is officially known.)

Given that one of the major reasons for change was to have ties between sides more or less local to each other this decision seems utterly bizarre.

It is however a consequence of Sons relative success in that we have been included in the second layer of seeds due to finishing 8th in the second tier of the SPFL last season.

There is a possible nightmare scenario of trips to Dingwall or Inverness, Peterhead or Cove Rangers.

Alloa Athletic 1-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Recreation Park*, 1/5/16

So the season ends with a draw. At least we got an away goal in 2016 to show for it. Young Donald McCallum doesn’t have a bad scoring record for us and it’s not his first against Alloa.

The starting line-up may be reflective of Stevie Aitken’s thoughts for next year or on those who may not be with us.

It’s time now to put the Sons tops away for a couple of months. The end of July won’t be long in coming round though.

*Yes it is; don’t try to kid us.

Hibernian 4-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Easter Road Stadium, 26/4/16.

Not a surprising outcome given the balance of incentives.

I wonder if manager Stevie Aitken would have “rested” those he did had we needed a result. As it is our outside chance of finishing in 7th place has vanished. But 8th was the target and we’re there.

It’s even more annoying that we didn’t get anything from Rangers this season now that Livingston have beaten them. Unfortunately we played them when they had something to play for.

Party time for the away fans at Alloa on Sunday I should think. (Its traditional for Sons fans to turn up in fancy dress gear for the last away game.)

Dumbarton 2-1 St Mirren

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 23/4/16.

Job done!

I hadn’t looked at the scores till about 5.40, was most pleased to see Livingston down 3-1 and us ahead, then thought would we hold out? I didn’t know at the time we’d had a late kick-off so the wait was even more agonising. It sounds like Garry Fleming’s goal was a belter, though.

But we’re over the line. Scotland’s top part-time team for the fourth season in a row and the longest stay of a part-time club in a ten team second tier extended. Congratulations to manager Stevie Aitken, his staff and the lads. It’s been difficult watching at times but when we win a game at this level it means so much.

The past two seasons have seen our lowest points totals in this league (36 at present vs 34 last season and 51 and 43 for the two seasons prior) but 8th position was always the target and it’s been achieved.

And a season when we beat St Mirren three times and Hibs twice (and counting??) has to be memorable. It’s a shame we couldn’t prise even a single point from this season’s champions though.

I can relax now until the end of July.

Aberdeen’s Art Deco Heritage 3 (ii): The Beach Ballroom Again

I have mentioned the Beach Ballroom several times, but all of these refer back to my original post.

On the same day Sons played Aberdeen in the Cup quarter-final (over two years ago) I actually got round to taking photos of it myself.

Frontage:-

Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen

Entrance. Good glazing on the doors:-

Entrance to Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen

From entrance looking east:-

Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen

Frontage from east:-

Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen from East

East elevation from south:-

Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen, Looking north from east side

North portion (Star Ballroom) from east:-

Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen, North end from east

Star Ballroom entrance. Good detailing above door:-

Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen, Star Ballroom Entrance

Easst elevation from north:-

Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen, looking south down east side

West elevation from (south)west:-

Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen, from west

Entrance block from west:-

Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen, South side from West

Dumbarton 2-3 Raith Rovers

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 16/4/16.

It started well. It finished; well…..

Pity about the bit in between. And the injury to big Christian Nade is a blow as we’ve only looked a team this season after he joined us.

I watched this courtesy of BBC Alba of course and things were looking okay at half time. Tom Walsh had even hit a good cross!

What happened in the second half though? We totally fell out of it even before Nade’s injury. Jamie Ewings didn’t have much of a hope with any of the three goals; a poorish kick-out led to one of them but the defence should still not have let Raith through so easily. They seemed to just walk through for two of the three, the other coming from a not deep enough clearance by Fraser Wright.

Despite never having hit a decent cross before this game Tom Walsh ended this with two assists, and doesn’t Steven Saunders love a goal against Raith? Too little too late of course.

We really need something from Saturday now but a draw against St Mirren might not be good enough. We don’t want to be relying on Rangers and Raith even if Queen of the South do the needful.

I note that with Rangers and Hibs progressing to this year’s final East Fife’s record of being the only team outwith the top division to win the Scottish Cup has now been lost. And wouldn’t it be just the thing if Hibs finally win the thing again after totally horsing up the league? (Or Hibsing it as now seems to be the parlance.)

Mind you it’d be a laugh to see them navigating a European campaign from the second tier.

Then again maybe not.

Dumbarton 4-2 Queen of the South

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 12/4/16.

Football’s an odd game and this one was certainly an example. Hardly started when their keeper made an absolute hash of a kick-out, hitting it straight to Christian Nade who strode forward with the ball, shot while still well outside the penalty box and buried it.

A nice settler you’d think in such an important game but we promptly fell out of it allowing Queens too much space and time. But still Garry Fleming could have settled nerves further if he’d put away the chance that came to him but the keeper redeemed himself a little with a good save. Jamie Ewings performed the needful on a one-on-one but only delayed the inevitable. The atmosphere was strangely quiet, the crowd perhaps too nervous to make much noise – except when the stand-side linesman made a ludicrous decision to award a throw-in the wrong way after a ricochet.

Still, Queens’ pressure gradually built up then Ian Russell did what he has done against us ever since he left. Quite why he was given the space at the edge of the box to pick up a headed clearance is another thing entirely.

Then what should have been a body blow when they cut through us just before half-time to take the lead. I couldn’t see us getting anything from the game at that point.

But a few minutes into the second half the match had turned on its head. First Tom Walsh cut out a pass near their penalty area, beat the last defender and curled a beauty high past the keeper into the top corner. In our next foray upfield Christian Nade got his head to a Mark Docherty corner and scored. (It may have bounced off a defender’s back on the way in.)

That same stand-side linesman failed to make a decision at all after a Queens player had got a nick on a crossfield pass and a Queens player took it on himself to take the throw. The ref put his whistle to his lips as if to amend things but didn’t. What are these guys paid for?

It was all still a bit nervous with not much goalmouth action but with five minutes to go after another corner Greg Buchanan was attempting an overhead kick when he was bumped in mid-air and the ref gave the penalty. (It looked a bit six and half a dozen to me but I’ll take it.) Garry Fleming tucked the award away. 4-2. Breathless stuff.

That’s the first time this season we’ve scored more than three in a league game. Timely indeed.

Rangers 1-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Ibrox Stadium, 5/4/16.

I meant to post about this yesterday but for some reason it slipped my mind.

This could have been worse. Given the significance of the evening for Rangers we could have been in for a doing and I feared that. I also feared the outcome even more when Livi went one up on Hibs, but that went our way as well in the end.

But how can a team go from an abject surrender to Queen of the South to what seems to have been a resolute performance against the best team in the division? Unless, of course the players tried harder on a bigger stage: but that would be a form of cheating all the other times.

Queen of the South up next on Tuesday, but we could be a point behind Livi by then.

On a more cynical note: how long will it be after Hibs get back to the top tier once again before we in the lower leagues are cut off once more (as we were by the SPL)? That’s the subtext I read into this “good for Scottish football” spiel which has greeted Rangers Tier 2 win. The way things were was only good for two clubs, not Scottish football as a whole.

Dumbarton 0-0 Morton

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 2/4/16.

Well. It’s as you were in the league what with all five games being draws but the failure of Rangers to win means they have an even bigger incentive to beat us on Tuesday night as that will make them champions. They might not have to beta us if Hibs don’t win – but that’s a situation I wouldn’t like as then Livingston would have avoided defeat against them; on which point thanks to Alloa for getting the draw (which sadly wasn’t enough to prevent them being relegated.)

It’s all getting far too tense. It’s possible, if results go against us, that by the time we play Queen of the South on the 12th we could be four points behind Livi with a much worse goal difference; very much worse if our usual Ibrox thumping takes palce..

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