Dumbarton 3-4 Airdrie United

SFL Div 1, The Rock, 27/10/12.

That’s it.

There has been no “new” manager bounce. We’re doomed.

It was excruciating watching this on the videoprinter on Sportscene which I came in on just as we went ahead 3-2.

This was the game we really had to win if we were to have any hope of avoiding relegation. Failure to do so means we have in the last two minutes of both of the relevant games lost five points to the two teams directly above us – after being two goals up in both. Those two teams being the ones we ought to have had most hope of plundering points from ourselves.

I suppose it’s only natural that players will tend to try to protect what they have in situations like that, especially in our precarious position, but it so often backfires.

In retrospect, we have been relegated early before. In August the last time we were in Div 1 in fact. I remember an article in “The Absolute Game” saying a funny thing happened at half time in our first match (at Greenock, against Morton.) “We got relegated.”

This season it came in August again – at the very scene of our play-off final triumph a mere few months earlier – when we collapsed to a 4-1 defeat against today’s opponents in the opening league game.

The main reason for our plight is that we cannot defend. This was always likely to be a problem given that we finished last season on a goal difference of precisely zero. The players brought in over the close season haven’t improved that any. The midfield can’t seem to protect them either. And the attackers don’t get enough of the ball.

At this rate we may be in danger of not beating East Stirlingshire, a team two Divisions below us, in the Cup next week.

History may be about to repeat itself. Confidence will surely take too many knocks between now and May and carry over into Div 2 next season with the prospect of relegation twice in a row looming again. (With the season after that finishing complete bottom of the pile?)

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