Scottish Cup, Round 6, Pittodrie Stadium, 8/3/14.
So, the dream lasted 53 minutes. It was good while it lasted.
Actually the dream was still on till the final whistle – but only of salvaging a draw.
A large contingent of Sons supporters travelled up to Pittodrie – for long stretches making more noise than the home fans, at least from the area where the away contingent was closeted. Several old favourites were trotted out along with the usual “Dumbarton,” clap, clap, clap, and “Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh. You’re shite, aaaaaah,” including, “We forgot that you were here,” “What a shitey home support,” “You only sing when you’re winning.” Special kudos to Aberdeen keeper Jamie Langfield for responding to the chant, “Jamie Langfield, you’re a wanker, you’re a wanker,” with a grin and thumbs up.
Aberdeen were undoubtedly the more accomplised team, they achieved more subtle angles and passes than we are used to but we matched them for just about the whole game. That their defenders had their arms around our two strikers every time the ball came up to them says a lot (one particular instance in the penalty box comes to mind.) So does the fact that the Aberdeen man of the match was centre half Russell Anderson. They looked vulnerable to the ball over the top (until Colin Rhyming Slang was substituted – he’d pulled up after an aerial challenge in their box and lasted only a few more minutes.) We resorted to that direct ball a little too often after they scored but our normal passing game was not as fluid as I’d hoped, Aberdeen not allowing us the space we’re used to. Aberdeen played with much more assurance after the goal but they still couldn’t produce the killer pass, tribute to our defence.
The goal was preventable, Scott Linton showed admirable confidence in trying to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick but he should have hoofed it. I just knew when the corner was awarded that the goal would come from it. And the corner could have been defended better.
(Poor Scotty’s day got worse when he got injured in a challenge and had to come off. Looked like a hamstring pull. We’ll miss his long throws.)
It wasn’t even our strongest team. Chris Turner was still out and loanee Mike Miller hasn’t started at centre half before.
Aberdeen got the benefit of 50/50 decisions from the referee – as you might expect for the “bigger” club.
One curiosity. The pitch was being watered, by pop-up sprinkler, before the game and at half time. Is this usual practice at Pittodrie or were they trying to make the pitch heavy because we’re a part time team?
Special mention to Andy Graham. He looked as if he was injured with about 25 minutes to go but kept on running and chasing and tackling even though he looked totally knackered.
It shows how far we’ve come in the past five years that the overriding emotion after we’ve lost 1-0 away to the second best team in the country is disappointment rather than relief.
I just hope that the efforts of this game and the injuries sustained don’t cost us in the league.
For those of you who know me see if you can spot me in this photo from the Dumbarton FC website.
For those of you who don’t, I’m somewhere above the D of the Dumbarton in the banner.