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Dumbarton 2-1 Brechin City

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 16/9/2017.

A welcome first three points. Even this early in the season this had the feel of a must win game. (Certainly mustn’t lose.) We have to look to be taking points away from the only other part-time team in the division.

Mind you when I turned on the TV to look at the latest score at 4.30 we were losing. At least we turned it round with two late goals but from the looks of it them going down to ten men might have aided us (though I have to say it doesn’t usually.)

So it seems there is a point to Mark Stewart after all and our Dimitris came up with the winner again.

Draw for Next Round

The highly unusual occurence of a third round Challenge Cup tie has given us a home game against Stranraer on the first full weekend of October. This sees manager Stevie Aitken come up against his former assistant Stephen Farrell.

Stranraer have always been something of a bogey team for us – usually at their place but our home record against them is a bit iffy too.

Dundee United 1-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Tannadice Park, 9/9/17.

I wasn’t at the game as I was otherwise engaged but caught the half-time score and wondered if we’d hold out.

Checked again thinking it was full time but it wasn’t and the first thnhg that popped up on the videoprinter was their equaliser.

Ah well.

I’d have taken a point before the game – our record at Tannadice (in Dundee!) isn’t great – but it was a bit galling to lose the goal so late. Still if it had been earlier they might have got another one.

The league table is looking rather odd at the moment but I still reckon we’ll be doing well to make ninth come season’s end.

Dumbarton 1-1 Connah’s Quay Nomads

aet 2-1.

Scottish Challenge Cup*, Round 2, The Rock, 2/9/17

What a novelty. When was the last time we won two Challenge Cup ties in a row?

Though it seems like it wasn’t a good performance – even if they parked the bus after they scored.

Still we managed to score a goal through David Wilson late on in the ninety minutes to take it to extra time.

And then new signing Dimitris Froxylias stepped up to bang in a free kick with what sounds like the last kick of the ball to spare us penalties.

I keep thinking of how Lord Charles would pronounce the last part of our Dimitris’s surname. (Below at 2.21 and 5.16 and 6.07 minutes in.)

What will Round 3 bring?

*OK, the Irn Bru Cup.

Dumbarton 0-4 Dunfermline Athletic

SPFL Tie 2, The Rock, 26/8/17.

A doing. What I feared before the game. They’ve been cruising and are now top of the table.

Going down to ten men for the last fifteen minutes doesn’t help when you’re a part-time team up against full-timers. Those two late goals might be crucial at the end of the season. But then again unless we can score ourselves they won’t mean a thing.

In that context, it’s beginning to look as if those two points we’ve got so far weren’t as good as they might have been.

Queen of the South 1-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Palmerston Park, 19/8/17.

Ah well. That’s the unbeaten record in the league gone then.

I had always thought we would struggle for a result here since we played a game only 65 hours beforehand. And they had a few of our ex-players in their ranks – which usually means they’d score. The damage was only one goal though.

And amazingly, due to results elsewhere we actually moved up a place in the table.

Football’s a funny old game.

Looks like a tough one next week against the team that’s now second.

Dumbarton 2-1 Rangers Under 20s

Scottish Challenge Cup*, The Rock, 16/8/17.

The good news is that we actually won a Challenge Cup game (and a first “proper” game this season.) The bad news is it was against a team that shouldn’t be in the competition in the first place.

I am of the opinion (shared with many fans of smaller clubs) that the inclusion of “Colts” teams in this cup is a stalking horse for introducing them to the league system, an innovation which would the destroy the SPFL lower leagues as a meaningful competition.

If the “big” clubs want their younger players to develop why not play them in the first team, or bring back their reserve league, or loan them out to other clubs as happens at the moment? I know in Spain, for example, “reserve” teams are allowed in the league at a lower level but in Scotland there is only the short-lived and quickly scrapped C Division in the late 1940s and early 1950s in which such participation was allowed. It is simply not part of our footballing culture and would only contribute to the further disregarding of the smaller clubs – whose interests are routinely not taken into account by the authorities, swayed as they are by the influence of the most supported clubs. In any case there is no way in which Scotland could ever in the future resemble Spain in footballing terms.

In the next round Sons have the unusual prospect of a game against a Welsh club, Connah’s Quay Nomads. I don’t know if we’ve ever played a Welsh club before, certainly not in a competitive match.

*Officially the Irn Bru Cup

Falkirk 1-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Falkirk Stadium, 12/8/17.

Now this was a good point.

Falkirk may be below us at the moment but will undoubtedly finish much higher than we do. Plus they were astonishingly profligate in front of goal in the last few minutes. And given Morton’s result today it looks as if last week’s was a good point too.

Falkirk had most of the ball early on but didn’t do much with it. When we got it we weren’t particularly threatening either but all that changed when Craig Barr muscled onto a ball in midfield and fed David Wilson who played a great ball behind the middle last defender which Alistair Roy collected and proceeded to thump past the goalkeeper.

We do score some belters at this ground, Lewis Vaughan and Andy Stirling last season, Mitch Megginson in one of Ian Murray’s seasons. (And a few scramblers, Chris Kane and Archie Campbell among those.)

The eqauliser came when Sam Wardrop* got done out wide. The ensuing cross wasn’t picked up by our defence and Nathan Austin was trying to make space in the area when Mark Stewart made contact with his back. Silly. It gives the forward the chance to go over and the ref the chance to make the decision. Miles Hippolyte put it away.

Dougie Hill hit the bar from a corner but we spent the rest of the first half and most of the second standing off and allowing them the ball. A few close shaves and a couple of saves from Scott Gallacher – one with his face – meant we were still in with the chance of a point, though. The biggest cheer of the second half was ironic, when the referee finally gave a foul for Christian Nade who had been getting clambered over all afternoon without reward – at one point clattered into with malice aforethought but the challenge was deemed legal.

One point almost became three when a Nade flick-on fell to Stewart in the area but his shot was tipped over by the keeper.

There was still time for Falkirk to waste two good opportunities by screwing the ball wide, though.

My main thought during and after this game was what is the point of Mark Stewart? For the most part his positioning is decidedly odd. He huffs and puffs but that’s about all. His use of the ball was woeful at times.

We didn’t help ourselves at times with some poor passing but that may have been tired legs. We’ve got a midweek game in the Cup we never win in during the week. I hope the manager puts out a team composed of players who haven’t been getting a game; especially as its against a Colts team – who should never be near a senior competition.

*Edited to add. I see from SonsTV it was David Wilson who got done.

Dumbarton 0-0 Morton

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 5/8/17.

It’s a point. Not one I’d really been expecting after the League Cup games so I’m grateful for it.

No way yet of course to tell how good a point it is.

Two of the teams below us you would think will challenge at the top of the table and one of them, Falkirk, we play at their place next week – and they’ll be looking to make up for their loss today.

This football supporting lark doesn’t get any more comfortable.

Kilmarnock 3-0 Dumbarton

Scottish League Cup, Rugby Park, 29/7/17.

So that’s our League Cup participation over for another year.

Played four, won none, drawn one, lost three, for two, against eight.

Inspiring.

Can’t wait for August 15th when we get pumped out of the Challenge Cup.

Hope our league form is better.

Just at the minute I’m not holding my breath, though.

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