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Airdrieonians 3-2 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Excelsior Stadium, 23/10/21.

This seems to have been a bit farcical. We had three players sent off, plus the manager. This speaks of a card happy ref at the very least, if not one that lost control of the game. But it seems from comments on Pie and Bovril there were few bad challenges.

But if the ref has been issuing yellow cards willy-nilly then it’s daft to commit any more fouls, or mouth off at him.

At least we managed to score – twice. And one of them was when we only had eight men left on the pitch – after 6 minutes of added time. Pity we couldn’t hold out for the remaining two.

The next four games are against teams below or around us. We need to pick up points from them but I’m afraid the suspensions accrued today won’t help with that.

Dumbarton 0-3 Queen’s Park

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 16/10/21.

Well, I settled down in time to access the live stream – and all I got was an error message. ( “internal server error” Even going direct to the univtec page there was no way to connect as a season ticket holder.

It looks as if I didn’t miss much of a pleasing nature though.

That’s two games in a row without scoring – added to a combined loss of eight goals. From +5 our goal difference has gone to -3.

That mid-first quarter optimism has waned considerably.

We’ll need to get things sorted soon or we’ll be looking nervously over our shoulders.

Tough one away next week too, at Airdrieonians, whom I thought looked decent in the 2-2 draw at the Rock in August.

Billy Lamont

I see from the club website that former manager Billy Lamont has died.

He joined us as manager in 1981 after achieving the feat of getting East Stirlingshire promoted from the bottom flight in 1980 (something they’d only achieved four times before then and never since.) He left us in 1984 to join Falkirk but the team he had put together for us went into the top division at the end of that season, the last time we graced the highest echelon of Scottish football.

He left to go to manage Falkirk and gained promotion with them too.

In 1990 he came back and took us to promotion from the Second Division as champions in 1992. That team was good to watch.

His is a record that makes him one of the most successful managers we have ever had and a fondly remembered club legend.

Billy Lamont: 12/5/1936 – 8/10/2021. So it goes.

Peterhead 5-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Balmoor Stadium, 2/10/21.

Ouch!

I wouldn’t normally have watched this but my younger son invited myself and the good lady over for the afternoon and dinner. Not a good afternoon as it turned out but the dinner he cooked was lovely.

I kind of knew it wasn’t going to be our day when they scored flukily early on. Their player’s shot was mishit well wide but another stuck his foot out to deflect it in. Thereafter we dominated the first half but couldn’t find the net. The wind was playing havoc and our players couldn’t seem to judge it well. Still, 1-0 down at half-time was recoverable.

Two nil down three minutes later wasn’t, a cross swung into the box met at the back post. Then Ryan McGeever tied himself in knots at another cross and only succeded in letting it hit off him into the path of the attacker.

The wind was so bad that at one point a Sam Ramsbottom goal kick reached halfway to the halfway line and then blew out for a corner kick! It looked like our players suggested to the ref that the conditions were such that the game should be abandoned but at 3-0 I doubt he was going to do that.

Their fourth wouldn’t have happened at 1-0 or 2-0, their player just swung at the ball from a tight angle and it screamed in off the post.

The fifth was a penalty where I thought their player had just fallen down rather than being fouled but the Pixellot camera angle and distance from the action make it difficult to tell.

Bizarrely I thought we actually played quite well – even the Peterhead stream’s commentators admitted this was not a 5-0 game – and I was impressed by the players’ commitment even at 5-0 down. The wind took away our best weapon as our crosses into the box didn’t find their targets.

So, nine games in, we’ve played everyone else and we’re fifth – possibly sixth if Montrose beat Queen’s Park tomorrow.* And our goal difference is back down to 0.

We’re equal points on third but only three points above eighth. It’s a ludicrously tight league.

*Perhaps not likely since Queen’s haven’t lost yet.

Dumbarton 1-1 Alloa Athletic

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock,* 25/9/21.

This was a strange, scrappy game. I thought we played too many long balls first half, which their defence tended to gobble up. Alloa on the other hand looked more purposeful going forward without really threatening at all, though Sam Ramsbottam had to make a save from a well hit effort. It all livened up just before half-time. Conner Duthie scuffed an effort straight at the keeper and in Alloa’s next attack Gregor Buchanan’s back headed clearance fell to one of theirs on the edge of the box and it was despatched behind Ramsbottam.

We’re quite easy on the eye going forward, young Callum Wilson looking very assured in possession. They tended to sit back and soak up our pressure though, and I lost count of the times they broke up play with niggly fouls so we didn’t really create many chances but Gregor Buchanan miscued a header from a set piece when he would usually score.

The equaliser came from a set piece, Callum Wilson’s corner well met by Paddy Boyle and put away.

There were chances at both ends after that, Sam Ramsbottam got down well to thwart Niang after his mazy run and sub Ross MacLean had two efforts which weren’t clinical enough – one screwed horribly over the bar.

An opportunity for three points not taken, then. However at half-time I’d have taken the draw.

On this evidence Callum Wilson is definitely a talent and Edin Lynch is evolving into a fine attacking force from right back.

First quarter ends next Saturday with ua away at Peterhead. More of a chance to assess where we are after that.

*I’m not calling it the Moreroom.com Stadium.

Falkirk 1-2 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, The Falkirk Stadium, 18/9/21.

Gosh. This is getting to be like the old days when we were good (and beat Falkirk regularly.)

Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would be joint top of the table seven games in.

We would have been top on goals scored had we not lost one in the eigth minute of injury time!

Amazingly we are comfortably top scorers in the division. (Mind you, on goals against we would be fourth bottom.)

We’ve also won more times than anyone else.

Long may it continue.

I wasn’t at the game but from the stats Falkirk seemed to have the bulk of the possession. Gratifying we only conceded the once then. Kalvin Orsi and Callum Wilson (his first for the club) got the goals. Maybe Orsi is a striker after all.

Dumbarton 5-0 East Fife

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 11/9/21.

Wow!

What a contrast to the last few seasons.

This was our biggest league win for ten years. (Curiously that one was also against East Fife, 6-0 at their place in our last promotion season.)

Mind you there wasn’t much sign of it in the early stages where both teams didn’t threaten much. But then we got a free-kick which was flighted in by Connor Duthie and headed towards goal by Ryan McGeever. It looked to be going wide but ex-Son Scott Gallacher in the Fife goal palmed it out straight to Ross MacLean who gleefully stuck it away.

For a spell towards the end of the half East Fife had a lot of possession but their best – their only – chance came from a free-kick. Sam Ramsbottam looked beaten but the ball crashed off the bar and out.

Just before half-time a Callum Wilson corner saw Gregor Buchanan get a free header yards out. 2-0.

Things meandered round for a bit second half but we put the game to bed when another Callum Wilson delivery was met by Buchanan again despite the attentions of the defence.

Two more goals from set-pieces gave the result a welcome gloss, Ryan McGeever was left all alone in the box to put away Kalvin Orsi’s knock-back from a long corner before Eoghan Stokes headed in from a beautiful delivery from fellow sub Joe McKee following a short corner to him.

If you can be churlish about a five-nil victory here comes the churl. We didn’t score from open play. Indeed we didn’t create a chance from open play except for Ross MacLean’s dribble and shot from a narrow angle which hit the post.

That’s curmudgeonly though. It was such a delight to watch a Sons second half performance with absolutely no trepidation.

They won’t all be like this though.

Falkirk away next week. I never thought we’d be heading there next Saturday above them in the table. (Even if it is only on goal difference.)

Montrose 1-2 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Links Park, 28/8/21.

This is turning into an interesting season.

I had mentally written this one off. An away game against the (previously unbeaten) league leaders at a ground we’ve not done well at in recent times?

But we went two up (one of them from Kalvin Orsi – maybe he is a centre forward after all) and eventually held out for the win despite a late penalty for them.

I can’t remember when we last beat the league leaders on their own patch.

At the minute there’s not much between the teams in mid table and those at the top and bottom.

There’s a fortnight to wait for the next game though. That ought to allow time for injured players to get back to fitness but today’s picks did well enough. It’s against East Fife though and they picked up their first three points today so will be confident.

The Rock

The picture below, Dumbarton FC’s stadium in the shadow of Dumbarton Rock, appeared on an email I received from the club. (I get them as a result of signing up for club news.)

The stadium really has a wonderful situation.

The Rock

Dumbarton 1-3 Cove Rangers

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

Well, we didn’t get away with this one.

We started slowly and Cove had most of the early possession without really threatening. Our forays up the park were even less so.

Their goal seemed to come out of nothing but there was no pressure on their attackers in the build-up and Mitch Megginson (exercising the iron law of the returning ex-Son) was given far too much time to turn at the edge of the box and hit it. It was their first effort on target and it went in.

Their second effort on target came 22 seconds later. Yes, 22 seconds. Keeper Sam Ramsbottom was caught out by a looping header eerily similar to Airdrie’s second a fortnight ago. Too much room in the box again. The guy possibly didn’t head it properly as it had a weird trajectory but that doesn’t excuse poor marking and poor positioning.

We then stepped it up a bit but only made their keeper field the ball once.

In our first atack in the second half Kalvin Orsi turned and took it for a run. He was only stopped at the edge of the box where the ref gave a foul. Carsy, yes Carsy, hit a glorious shot into the postage stamp. Does he ever score ordinary goals?

We dominated the rest of the half, winning corner after corner but didn’t make any of them pay.

My live stream then started buffering and when I got it back on they were just about to take a penalty. It was apparently a dodgy one, which is beginning to look like it will be our luck this season.

My impressions from this game. Cove were the better team. We lacked menace. Young Callum Wilson in midfield looks a player but he’s still raw. Kalvin Orsi isn’t a centre forward. Sam Ramsbottom’s kicking is a disaster waiting to happen. Happen again, I should say.

That good start seems a long time ago now.

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