SFL Div 2, New Bayview Stadium, 27/8/11.
We don’t get days like this very often. Utter dreamland.
At half time it was 4-0 going on a basketball score. Dumbarton were totally dominant. I don’t know what the corner count was but we were in double figures. Whether East Fife were suffering from their exertions against Dunfermline in midweek is problematic (and they also lost a midfielder early on due to a reckless challenge on his part) but they were never at the races here.
The first came from the selfless Pat Walker chasing down a hopelessly lost cause and forcing a corner which was pushed out on the opposite side for another. The Fife defence switched off, Mark Gilhaney took it short to Martin McBride who curled it deliciously into the far corner of the net. The next followed a flick on by Pat Walker from another corner, the ball broke to Prunty. 2-0. The third (from another corner?) was another case of the ball falling to Prunty. The fourth was headered by Jamie Lyden from yet another corner – from the right this time. It squirmed under the keeper, the only one of the six he was at fault for.
I cannot remember when the last time was we were 4-0 up away from home at half time. Neither could the rest of the – actually rather disbelieving, though delirious – Sons fans around me. It may never have happened before.
Then came something else I’ve not seen before. Training apparatus was set out in the interval and the team came out early to do a session.
This was, I guessed, a response to the fact that in the previous two games we had lost early goals in the second half.
There was a small flurry by the Fife on the restart but it didn’t come to much. Apart from a little understandable looseness at times given the huge lead we had, normal service was resumed thereafter and again we carved the E Fife defence apart at will. Over elaboration, by Mark Gilhaney in particular, meant no more goals for a while. Then Jamie Lyden came into contact with an opponent in our box. It was soft – though I’d have screamed for it at the other end – and the ref may have felt sorry for the Fife. But so abject were they Jamie Ewings saved the penalty.
Prunty finally got his hat-trick before adding a fourth after a great pass from sub Kieran Brannan following a fine run.
This is probably the first time since the mid 1950s a Son has scored four in an away match. In that famous game – Arbroath 5 Dumbarton 4 – Hughie Gallacher scored all four of ours while Dave Easson got all of Arbroath’s.
It may seem strange that, despite his four goals, Bryan Prunty isn’t my man of the match. But Pat Walker deserves it for his tireless running and getting battered by the defence every time he challenged for a high ball. Prunty actually had quite a few more chances which he hit straight at the keeper.
But overall the whole team was a success – no exceptions. With better final balls and less elaboration we might have had a rugby score.
Jamie Lyden is enough to make you forget Nicky Devlin, plus Jamie has goals in him. Jamie Ewings had only one hairy moment when he played the ball just a little too far round the charging attacker on a back pass but he managed to get rid of it quickly enough.
After our somewhat shaky start the boys should not lack confidence now.