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Dumbarton 1-1 Falkirk

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 16/11/19.

It seems we wuz robbed.

I wasn’t at the game but switched the radio on about 4.15 for Sportsound on Radio Scotland. I was informed that we were 1-0 up with ten minutes to go and thought – Falkirk will score. A bit later the programme went over to the Rock for “developments.” Even the reporter at the ground thought Falkirk’s penalty was controversial.

Of course their taker banged it in.

I commented to the rest in the car (none of whom care about football) that if we’d been playing Forfar the penalty would most likely not have been given. C’est la vie.

Seeing as how they thumped us 6-0 at their place earlier this season and our home record against them is poor lately I’d have taken a draw before the game though.

All in all it wasn’t a bad day even if it’s always disappointing to lose a goal so late.

It’s the Cup next week. I’d like to go through of course but a Cup run might be a luxury we could do without.

Dumbarton 2-4 East Fife

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 9/11/2019.

Oh dear. Those clean sheets seem a long way away now.

That’s us now down to sixth. Still, I suppose East Fife have gone up to second, so no disgrace – but they had been stuttering recently.

And it’s another tough one against Falkirk next Saturday, even if they too lost today. They’ll be looking to make up for that – especially since they thumped us at their place earlier in the season.

Airdrieonians 3-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, New Broomfield,* 2/11/19.

Not so good. Our clean sheet run ended after less than a minute of this one. It’s a bit uphill from then on but we got an equaliser and then lost two quick goals before half-time.

And three of the teams below us won, unfortunately.

Our next two games are against teams above us. Even if they are both at home that’s likely to be tough.

They’re followed by another home game, this time in the Cup. Busy times at the Rock.

*You can call it the Penny Cars Stadium if you like.

Dumbarton 1-0 Peterhead

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 26/10/19

A win – never to be sneezed at – another clean sheet (two in a row now.)

Odd that last time out we didn’t win and went up one place in the league but this time, when we did win, we went down one.

Football can be a funny game.

It’ll now be a big game next week against the team (Airdrieonians) we swapped those places with. A chance to get revenge for defeat to them earlier in the season.

Or not.

Scottish Cup Draw

Sons have been drawn at home in the third round of this season’s Scottish Cup – facing Forfar Athletic on the 23rd Noveember.

At least it’s not someone in a higher division and not a potential embarrassment against a lower league side. It might only have been the once but we’ve had enough of those this decade.

Stranraer 0-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Stair Park, 19/10/19.

Well, it’s a welcome clean sheet – our first in the league this season – and I didn’t expect us not to win but yet still go up one place in the league. The only disappointment is we didn’t score. But you can’t have everything.

So we’re now in a promotion play-off place, again. On goals scored ironically.

Early days still, though.

Dumbarton 3-1 Forfar Athletic

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 5/10/19.

Well. That’s more like it.

We’ve still only beaten teams that are below us but we’ve done that to four of them now. But I note we still haven’t kept a clean sheet.

It was good to see that new loan signing Adam Frizell got on the score sheet straight away.

Before the season started I’d have taken four wins and a draw out of the first nine games. I’d not have thought we’d only be three points off third spot, though. (Only six off first spot too.)

There’s a long way to go yet, however. We’re only one point more than that away from the bottom.

East Fife 2-2 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, New Bayview, 21/9/19.

I’d have taken a draw before the game but having been 2-0 up (albeit against the run of most of the play) it definitely feels like two points dropped and an opportunity missed.

Then again we haven’t exactly been defensively sound at any point this season (the game at Annan apart) so I’m not at all surprised we couldn’t hold out.

After a brief flurry from Sons at the start East Fife had most of the play in the first half and had several efforts come close. Then in one of our occasional forays up front we got a corner on the right. Joe McKee’s delivery was well met by Morgyn Neill but the keeper made a smart stop down to his left. He had no chance with the header resulting from the subsequent corner, Ryan McGeever powering his header (almost identically flighted by McKee) into the top corner.

They had what looked from our end a stonewall penalty appeal but the ref booked the forward (who didn’t complain) for a dive.

Three minutes into the second half Ruaridh Langan took the ball for a walk in their area and was fouled. Isaac Layne stepped up and despatched the pen. It was too long a time left for any Sons fan to feel comfortable though and East Fife began to throw the kitchen sink at us.

Sure enough they got a man over after a free kick and though Conor Brennan got both hands on the ball somehow it slithered over the line.

East Fife now had their tails up and came at us even more strongly but were leaving gaps at the back as a result.

Still they it was who scored next after McGeever’s clumsy challenge in the box. Again Brennan got both hands to it but it squirmed under him. I merely note that another keeper might have saved both these efforts.

There were several more scares and also a few opportunities for us to score before the end (notably when Matthew Shiels was through one-on-one but he telegraphed his finish which was in any case too weak.) When it came the final whistle was something of a relief.

East Fife looked a good side, spreading it about well, looking like they knew what they were doing and well worth their position at the top of the table so this was a good point in that regard.

We looked good in patches but gave the ball away too often and frequently failed to get a pass away quickly enough and far too often resorting to a punt up to Layne.

Two home games coming up to finish the first quarter. We’ll see where we are by then.

Dumbarton 0-1 Airdrieonians

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 14/9/19.

I wasn’t at this game – I was away in fact, on a trip down south, but it sounds like we ought to have scored at least once and many folks were convinced we had the ball over the line just before half-time.

From the SonsTV footage it looks as if the ball might have crossed the line but from the angle it’s impossible to tell for sure. The still photo on the club’s match report makes it look not in but the keeper had possibly clawed it back by the time the shutter released.

Otherwise the game looked pretty even. At their goal Conor Brennan again seemed to flap at the ball from a corner kick and got nowhere near it. Such is life.

Montrose 1-2 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Links Park, 31/8/19.

Well. Who foresaw this three games ago when we were bototm of the league with no points, no goals and seven against?

Three wins in a row – two of them away – and only goal difference (those six at Falkirk are sore looking now) keeping us off the top spot.

We flurried a bit early doors and Montrose had most of the play but they only threatened our goal when we had given the ball away too cheaply in our own half.

We had fallen even more out of the game by the twenty-first minute without really looking like conceding and then suddenly scored. The keeper could only parry a Joe McKee shot and Isaac Layne was on hand to tap in from a slight angle.

It was Isaac again just after the half hour, heading in a McKee free-kick. He’s become a goal machine!

At half-time Montrose made two substitutions – as their fans had been demanding. It livened them up a bit but we still looked threatening when we pushed up. New loanee right back Reghan Tumilty ought to have made it safe at three when a deflected shot stranded their keeper but his nonchalant flick went the wrong side of the post.

Montrose were now throwing the kitchen sink at us but mostly to no effect. They did, though, have a header hit the top of the post/crossbar junction before going out.

It was a quick turn over when we lost the ball that led to their goal. It left us short on the right and the cross was poked in at the near post.

Connor Brennan had flapped at the ball twice in the first half without being punished – and Morgyn Neill also had his usual two bomb-scare moments when under no pressure whatsoever – but Brennan saved us in the last minute with a point-blank save from a powerfully volleyed effort. He’d also made another good save a bit earlier.

Perhaps it was inevitable, teams do send to sit back when defending a lead, but we yielded control too much in the later stages which made them more encouraged – especially after their goal. But we held out for the win.

It seems this is not the worst Dumbarton side in living memory after all. (It wasn’t even as bad as the one that played at the same venue in Manager Jim Duffy’s first game in charge.)

No comparisons with the Jim George or Jim Fallon eras required.

It’s the hope that kills.

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