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Dumbarton 3-2 Peterhead

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 4/5/21.

Never underestimate the ability of a football club to put its fans through the wringer. 1-0 up, drawn back level, then 2-1 down and into despair, before 2-2 and then an injury time winner. The lead in this changed hands twice. That doesn’t happen often.

But where did this effort come from? We looked good early on, scored when we were on top, Jaime Wilson on the shoulder of the last defender (but in our own half!) running onto the through ball and putting it past the keeper with an early shot.

Then we fell out of it. Perhaps there was thought of holding onto the lead but the way we had been playing up to then we could and should have scored again.

Instead we were our own worst enemies failing to clear the ball properly before losing it and our defensive organisation. Admittedly Sam Ramsbottom had anotehr very good save just before that.)

The second half was mostly woeful, though, the tin lid being put on it when we lost the ball at our penalty area level and a looped hanging cross lured out Ramsbottom who couldn’t claim it and it was headed in.

There then seemed to be a grinding inevitablity to things and a limp surrender to relegation (okay, to the play-offs,) was unfolding. Then a Ross Forbes corner was hammered into the net by Morgyn Neill’s head (why had Forbes played all those short free-kicks earlier?) and the unlikeliest of comebacks was on.

Urgency had become the order of the day. As in the Forfar game last week the manager threw the kitchen sink at it with two late substitutions.

Fulfilled in fairy-tale fashion in the first minute of injury time when Ross Forbes hooked the ball into the area almost without looking. Jaime Wilson did not look favourite but he threw his head at the ball and buried it.

That’s the first time in the league this season we’ve scored more than twice and also the first time we’ve come from behind to score. It’s the first time we’ve gone behind and not lost.

I suppose that supplies some reason for hope if we do end up in the play-offs.

But that fate depends on how Clyde get on on Thursday.

Clyde 2-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Broadwood Stadium, 1/5/21.

Expletive deleted.

This was the very definition of a “must not lose” game – and we lost it. And also allowed the goal difference margin to collapse to only one in our favour.

Clyde will now know what they have to do to avoid the relegation play-off spot when they play East Fife on Thursday.

I would not be at all surprised though if we won on Tuesday against Peterhead. It’s the sort of thing we do.

Also, and I may be doing them a disservice here, but Peterhead, being safe, may have downed tools. (After all, they did lose to Forfar today.)

It would only prolong the agony.

If we don’t win that one of course then we’ll be in that relegation play-off ourselves – and I do not fancy our chances.

Dumbarton 1-0 Forfar Athletic

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 27/4/21.

Who would be a football fan?

This was excruciating.

We had a couple of bright moments in the first half but their keeper was never really troubled by them. And we had Sam Ramsbottom to thank for keeping it level with a very good save from a header from a corner.

The second half was totally forgettable till the last two minutes. Over the piece it’s up there with so many others this season as being the worst football match I’ve ever seen. Misplaced passes, miscontrols – I know the pitch is bumpy and needs a lot of rain to improve it but still.

We created nothing.

The subs didn’t help as we ended up with almost no midfield and five or six front men. This felt like a recipe for Forfar breaking upfield to score and indeed they could have tested Ramsbottom a few times but their final touch was missing.

It was easy to see why both teams were in trouble at the bottom of the table.

The game had 0-0 written all over it and was a dispiriting watch.

Ninety seconds of the ninety minutes were left when P J Crossan neatly got past his full back and crossed the ball. It ran behind a despairing lunge by a defender and fell to fellow-sub Conner Duthie who buried it. This was totally at odds with the rest of the game. A “get out of jail free” card.

The agony is now prolonged to Saturday and Tuesday.*

Why do they do it to us?

Why do we fans do it to ourselves?

*(Covid permitting, Clyde’s postponement tonight for one of their squad having a positive test puts the cat among the pigeons.

East Fife 2-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, New Bayview, 24/4/21.

Well, not Dumbarton nil, but still no points.

At least Clyde also lost, which keeps us in touch with them.

Tuesday’s home game against Forfar really is a must win, though.

Dumbarton 0-2 Partick Thistle

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 20/4/21.

Dumbarton nil again.

But we looked fairly lively in the first half.

Unfortunately we lost Nat Wedderburn and Sam Wardrop* to injury before half time and the team’s balance was upset.

Couple that with Thistle upping the tempo in the second half and we were under the cosh for most of it.

We had Sam Ramsbottom to thank for not losing by more. He had two very good saves and another where Thistle claimed the ball had gone over the line but he scrambled it clear.

Their first came immediately after our best chance of the game when Adam Frizzell wriggled past three of their players on the edge of the box, shot hard but their keeper was very well positioned. From his clearance they scored and it was game over.

I thought Ross Forbes was poor on the set pieces tonight.

Four games to save the season.

Unless we can score that won’t happen.

*Sam took an elbow to the face but their guy only got a yellow card. If he’d been sent off we’d have had a man advantage for the second half. (Water; bridge.)

Clyde 0-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Broadwood Stadium, 15/4/21.

Well, I didn’t watch it (I had something else on last night) but this is a welcome win. A Nat Wedderburn header from a Ross Forbes free-kick was enough to give us the three points.

It takes us above Clyde before the last of the 18 home and away games on Tuesday.

Ours is a daunting prospect against Partick Thistle (who thumped Montrose 5-0 yesterday) while Clyde play bottom team Forfar.

Then it’s into the four games of the split. I suppose there’s more likelihood of us gaining some points from those since they will be versus the other teams in the bottom five but this is Dumbarton nil we’re talking about. One goal is usually enough to beat us.

Cove Rangers 1-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Balmoral Stadium, 10/4/21.

Back to business as usual then. Dumbarton nil.

I wasn’t expecting anything from this game though.

Tuesday’s a big day for us even though we’re not playing as both Forfar and Clyde have a game then.

Then the big one on Thursday night, when we play Clyde at their place.

(But we could be four points behind them by then.)

Edited to add: It seems from a photo on Twitter (click to enlarge picture) that the ball didn’t cross the line for their goal.

Also from Pie and Bovril that we were as woeful as usual so we didn’t deserve to take anything from the game anyway.

Dumbarton 2-1 East Fife

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 8/4/21.

Well. Two goals.

Count them.

Two goals – and we had a penalty saved. Who’d have thought it?

In one game we have increased our goals tally in the league by 33.33%.

It helped that we scored early; a Ryan McGeever header from a Ross Forbes corner. Typical that my live-streaming feed froze momentarily and I didn’t see it, just heard the commentators go tonto. (I did wind back the feed after the game and saw how thumping a header it was.) McGeever had another close effort – with his foot! – a few minutes later which crashed off the bar and a second free header in the second half where he was way off with his direction.

Thereafter it was not quite like Groundhog Day. We did look to be more on the front foot than in recent games even if East Fife had more possession. They didn’t do a lot with it though – except for Scott Agnew’s delivery at corners which I knew would catch us out in the end, and did. Thankfully that came too late.

Our second goal was a neat through ball from Ross Forbes and a shimmy past the defender by Adam Frizell before he buried it emphatically.

I was still figuratively biting my nails. We’ve cocked up so many games since the restart.

Pity that Clyde also got a win.

On to Cove on Saturday now.

Dumbarton 0-0 Montrose

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 6/4/21.

Groundhog Day (minus one.)

The one being the goal that Montrose didn’t score. We had a very good save by Sam Ramsbottom to thank for that (so getting us back one of the four points swung between us and Forfar from that mistake. He’s our only keeper now that Chris Smith has left to spend more time with his job.) He does seem to be a good enough shot stopper but while his kicking can be long he had another dreadful kick out during the first half which luckily didn’t fall to a Montrose player.

But yet again we didn’t score ourselves.

We did have a shot on target though. It was a very weak effort from sub Robert Jones after good approach work from fellow sub James Wallace.

We have six goals from fourteen league games. It doesn’t take a genius to work out where we’re going wrong.

Onwards to the East Fife game on Thursday evening.

Dumbarton nil, anyone?

Dumbarton 0-1 Aberdeen

Scottish Cup, Round 3, The Rock, 3/4/21.

We should change our name officially to Dumbarton Nil.

Fair enough they are two leagues above us but they didn’t look great shakes. You might say they were there for the taking.

Admittedly they ought to have won by more then one goal since they created quite a few chances. We were indebted to Sam Ramsbottom and the defence for keeping the score down but on the other hand, that is their job.

But we could have played all week and not scored. (If only that Ryan McGeever chance had fallen instead to Jaime Wilson.)

In fact we have played all week and not scored (except for a deflected shot against Falkirk.) If you’re looking for a reason for our league position it’s right there.

So now we’re likely to be knackered and playing a very good Montrose team on Tuesday night and a not too bad East Fife on Thursday.

The three teams we’ve lost against since the restart are arguably the ones we stood most chance of gaining something from and those games are gone, with zero points to show for them.

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