Archives » Dunfermline Athletic

Dumbarton 4-1 Airdrie Utd

SFL Div 1, The Rock, 20/4/13

Tantalising. Six points ahead two games to go.

I wasn’t there but it sounds like it was a comprehensive victory.

Unfortunately the result at East End Park today was the only one of the three possibilities which meant our win still didn’t mean we’d certainly avoid the play-offs.

A point from Cowdenbeath next week does the job and guarantees us seventh. Even a defeat will see us safe if Dunfermline fail to beat Partick Thistle. Heady days.

‘Mon the Sons.


I’ve been away (again.)

That’s why I didn’t mark the fact that on Tuesday night, due to Airdrie United’s defeat at Hamilton, we could not be automatically relegated this season. The worst that can now happen is that we will be involved in the play-offs.

This is what most Sons fans (in a spirit of realism) would have settled for before the season started. That we are in a position to stay in Div 2 without the benefit of the play-offs is testament to the remarkable efforts of the players (and the new manager since he was appointed.) This would be the case even without Dunfermline’s points deduction.

To be certain of survival a couple more wins might still be required, though.

Dunfermline Athletic 3-4 Dumbarton

SFL Div 1, East End Park, 23/3/13


The scale of this result can be measured by the fact that Dunfermline had won their last 12 games against us and we hadn’t won at East End Park since 1986.

1-0 down at halftime I couldn’t see it coming. We weren’t 2-0 down long enough for me to be too despondent but at 3-1….?

Fortunately Chris Turner hit an absolute belter to make it 3-2 almost straight afterward and that sowed seeds of doubt in the home team.

We actually had a good first ten minutes but fell out of it for the rest of the half apart from Chris Turner having an effort chalked off for offside. I was in line and he looked OK to me. Not the last time the linesman was to be derided.

Their first goal came from when Nick Phinn was pushed off the ball in our half and they ran up and scored. Stephen Grindlay seemed to be beaten very easily.

Their second was dreadful defending. Their forward went through about three half-arsed tackles before hitting it in the corner.

Two minutes later a great passing move saw the ball hit across goal by Paul McGinn and Steven McDougall was free just beyond the back post to score our first against Dunfermline this season.

This was immediately after Jim Lister had come on for Nick Phinn. He made a difference. The home centre backs knew they were in a game then.

Their third was a joke. The through ball that led to it saw two Dunfermline players offside both of whom subsequently touched it, one playing it forward to another while both were well beyond the defenders. The linesman’s flag stayed resolutely down. He made gestures to suggest a defender was playing them on on the far side. Utter rubbish. The rest of the match was filled with Dumbarton fans shouting at him and raising ironic cheers when he finally did flag someone offside. (It’s what we pay our money for.)

The equaliser came from a defender dwelling on the ball and Jim Lister chasing him down, he then picked out Scott Agnew with a cut back, not the more obvious ball across the box. Aggie finished cleverly back the way it had come. Dreamland.

It then got better.

Our fourth was another intricate passing move finished off by Steven McDougall, calmness personified in the box, beating his man before slotting it past Paul Gallacher.

Dunfermline pressed for the few minutes remaining but we always managed to get bodies in the way or tackles in.

Up to today we had only 4 points out of the last 21 and the Murray magic seemed to have gone. Now it’s 7 out of the last 24. Even with Dunfermline’s troubles this must give the lads great confidence.

Games come thick and fast now, starting at home on Wednesday, then two in a row at Hamilton.

Edited to add:- Chris Turner was lucky to stay on the field after his deliberate hack at Josh Falkingham. I know Falkingham’s an annoying wee so-and-so but serious foul play is serious foul play no matter who it’s committed against.

Dumbarton 2-0 Partick Thistle

SFL Div 1, The Rock, 12/1/13

Hurray! A home win in the league!

Boo! Dunfermline allowed Airdrie Utd to beat them.

You can’t rely on anyone these days.

Dumbarton 0-1 Dunfermline Athletic

SFL Div 1, The Rock, 5/1/13

Normal service resumed?

Well a one goal defeat where we’ve only lost that one goal isn’t normal for this season. It’s only the third time we’ve lost fewer than two in a league game. (The two others were won with a clean sheet.)

Onwards:- and upwards?

Dunfermline Athletic 4-0 Dumbarton

SFL Div 1, East End Park, 24/11/12

I was going to say no complaints, but…. see below.

I was going to say the better team won but… the faster, stronger, fitter team won. Does that make them better? I suppose it does. They were in the Premier last season after all and we were in Div 2.

We were okay for a while; even forcing their keeper to make more saves than Stephen Grindlay had up till their first goal. I was in line and thought Josh Falkingham was offside but he was also totally unmarked. The game was then effectively all over.

I shouldn’t have said to GordyBrow when the teams were announced that they hadn’t given Josh Falkingham’s full name. He replied, “I suppose that’s ‘diver’ followed by something rude.” I said, “Yes.”

The second goal was a joke. James Creaney failed to cut out a ball to the winger and then the cross wasn’t collected by Grindlay – he’s always been terrible for spilling low crosses – and came off Andy Graham’s leg to screw towards the line. He just failed to clear it before it crossed. Exactly the sort of thing that happens to you when you’re way adrift at the bottom of the league.

So here’s the complaint. In the second half I’d thought it was Falkingham who ran through one on one with Stephen Grindlay, pushed the ball past him and fell down. From where I was it certainly looked a dive. Falkingham is famous for it. It turns out it was Joe Cardle who couldn’t stay on his feet. Whoever, the ref gave the penalty and showed Grindlay a red card to boot. Down to ten men and a penalty to come…

I say again; when a penalty is given, in what sense has a goal scoring opportunity been prevented? A penalty and a red card and a goal is a triple punishment. Too many times does something like this spoil a game. It didn’t affect the outcome here, Dunfermline were always going to win, but often it can.

Jim Lister was withdrawn to allow Jamie Ewings to face the pen which he almost got to. 3-0 down with ten men against the joint league leaders was only going to end one way.

Curiously we played better after that. Onebrow opined Dunfermline had stopped playing. But we were left cruelly exposed whenever we sallied upfield.

Their fourth was a peach. Due to the man shortage Joe Cardle was one on one on Nicky Devlin with no extra cover, duly took it past him and curled a beauty behind Jamie Ewings into the corner.

It seems we don’t have the personnel to compete effectively against the better teams in this division. (And the not so good teams too?) There was a litany of weak challenges, hurried touches, misplaced passes and stretched interceptions. The players appear shorn of confidence, not wanting to take time on the ball. Chris Turner was an exception to this last, as was Steven McDougall when he came on (but like at Cowdenbeath he carried it too far and was crowded out.)

Ian Murray’s got a big job on.

Dumbarton 0-2 Dunfermline Athletic

SFL Div 1, The Rock, 15/9/12.

Again I wasn’t there but on the face of it this is an improvement. We didn’t lose our customary three goals.

But we’re still on course for a goal difference of -108. And very few goals scored.

I didn’t expect a result from this one though.

We can always hope for something to turn up. But if it doesn’t soon we’ll need to get used to being known as Dumbarton nil.

Administering Rangers

Whatever the temptations to paraphrase Oscar Wilde’s comment about the death of Little Nell in Charles Dickens’s The Old Curiosity Shop (“One would have to have a heart of stone….(not to)…dissolv(e)…into tears…of laughter.”) when thinking about the administration of Rangers FC I nevertheless do feel for the genuine fans of that club. Not the hangers-on, not the glory hunters who desert at the first sign of adversity on the field, but those who have a long and deep connection – perhaps going back generations in their family.

There does, however, have to be a tinge of schadenfreude. After all, this is a club that, along with its great rival, has parleyed their mutual financial muscle into an effectively unchallenged dual hegemony, ruthlessly bought promising players from their competitors in the SPL (and before that the Scottish League as was) and buried them in their reserves to prevent any threat to their domination, pushed through changes that ensured they would receive much more than the lion’s share of any monies coming into Scottish football, perenially exercised undue influence on the governing body and (without even a nod and a wink nor anything direct, merely by their outsized prominence) on the referees who supervise their games. That such a club has been brought low by financial problems (in a misguided attempt to match those whom they regarded as their peers but were in fact always their superiors) could be regarded as karma.

I have no sympathy whatever for those in charge of the club – now and in the past – who ought to have known better: none of whom I hope will derive any financial benefit from the present state of affairs. Compounding their failures in regard to their own club – what amounted to in effect cheating their opponents – £80,000 is said to be owing to Dunfermline Athletic for tickets sold by Rangers on their behalf for Saturday’s upcoming game with a similar amount due to Dundee United for a previous away match, with Inverness Caledonian Thistle also unpaid. Hearts are owed £700,000 for a transfer fee. These are moneys the Pars in particular and Hearts with their recent difficulties could well be doing with. (Not to mention us all by way of the taxman.)

That Scottish football as a whole would be better off (in a competitive sense) without the Old Firm is probably the case but it would be in an even direr state than now were only one of these giants to remain.

And yet…. I do not wish to see the demise of anyone’s football club – even such an overblown leviathan as Rangers; even if I cannot feel that followers of Rangers know what it truly means to be a supporter (of which they may have the merest inkling now.)

The best outcome would be for the club to survive, to live within its means, and for its management (at board level) and fans not to be so greedy (for money/honours respectively.)

That’s never going to happen.

PS. I was amused that Celtic took umbrage at First Minister Alex Salmond’s comment about them finding it difficult to prosper if Rangers were to go under. Chip on the shoulder or what? Without the rivalry to sustain them wouldn’t Celtic’s fans soon grow tired of an endless series of mismatches? They might well drift away. At least at the moment there are four domestic games every season where there may be the possibility of referees being biased against them. (That last sentence was sarcasm by the way.)

Prepare To Meet Thy Doom?

Take a look at these historical league tables (top four only) which show when Cowdenbeath FC has won the Scottish Second Division.

Scottish League Division Two 1913-14

1 Cowdenbeath P 22 pts 31
2 Albion Rovers P 22 pts 27
3 Dundee Hibernian P 22 pts 26
4 Dunfermline Ath P 22 pts 26

In those days promotion wasn’t automatic so Cowdenbeath were in Division Two the next year. Cowdenbeath were one of three teams on equal points at the top.

Scottish League Division Two 1914-15

1 Leith Athletic P 26 pts 37
2 St Bernards P 26 pts 37
3 Cowdenbeath P 26 pts 37
4 East Stirlingshire P 26 pts 31

A three-way play-off decided the league winners. Cowdenbeath defeated Leith Athletic at East End Park and St. Bernards at Easter Road to take the title.

Scottish League Division Two 1938-39

1 Cowdenbeath P 34 pts 60
2 Alloa Athletic P 34 pts 48
3 East Fife P 34 pts 48
4 Airdrieonians P 34 pts 47

Cowdenbeath’s only other Championship was in Div 3 in 2006. Their other promotions came as runners-up, through play-offs or as a result of another club’s financial problems leading to a readjustment in the leagues.

So does anyone spot something here?

Well, I notice that every time Cowdenbeath have been Champions of a Division 2 in Scotland the UK has been involved in a major (world) war the next September.

Now take a gander at the present position in the SFL Div 2 (as of 7/2/12) :-

1 Cowdenbeath P 20 pts 41
2 Arbroath P 20 pts 39
3 Stenhousemuir P 20 pts 31
4 Dumbarton P 19 pts 28


Come on Arbroath!!! (And the Sons, obviously.)

East Fife 0-6 Dumbarton

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.

Half-Time Training 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.

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