Dumbarton 3-2 East Stirlingshire

Challenge Cup,* The Rock, 24/7/11

And so it begins again. It seems like only yesterday last season finished.

Same old, same old, though; but for one thing. We won in the Chalenge Cup. Our record in this competition is worse than dire. (I don’t think that page has yet been updated to take account of this season’s results.)

We fielded a lot of players whom I didn’t recognise – I was too late to hear the announcements. First half was nothing to write about beyond Kieran Brannan blazing over after a good move down the left.

Up two-nil and cruising in the second half and looking like we could take the Shire to the cleaners, then we lose a goal out of nowhere (but maybe because Nugent got injured.) A substitution and a sending off later and it was 2-2 and things looked gloomy. We then contrived to miss a barrowlaod of chances before Pat Walker pulled it out of the fire really late.

As to the new guys, Brian Prunty isn’t a big striker but took his goal well, Scott Agnew ran like Wesley Schneijder (unfortunately there any resemblance ended) and Martin McBride misplaced too many passes. New centre half Alan Lithgow looked solid enough and even made an upfield foray in open play – which Ben Gordon never did. Jamie Lyden and Kevin Nicoll were okay at full back (Lyden’s sending off notwithstanding.) The defence in general though needs to tighten up.

Kieran Brannan looked good, but he was up against Chissie, breezing past him as if he wasn’t there.

A good team is going to thump us; especially as we lack height – a perennial complaint.

It was nice to see the Shire back in their traditional black and white hoops and that Chissie has got himself a gig for this season.

* I know it’s got a sponsor’s name but I’m not going to use it.

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