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Dumbarton 4-1 Airdrie Utd

SFL Div 1, The Rock, 20/4/13

Tantalising. Six points ahead two games to go.

I wasn’t there but it sounds like it was a comprehensive victory.

Unfortunately the result at East End Park today was the only one of the three possibilities which meant our win still didn’t mean we’d certainly avoid the play-offs.

A point from Cowdenbeath next week does the job and guarantees us seventh. Even a defeat will see us safe if Dunfermline fail to beat Partick Thistle. Heady days.

‘Mon the Sons.

Newco or Not Newco?

With over five SPL clubs now having said they’ll vote against a team bearing the word Rangers at least somewhere in its new name being in their division next season it now seems that the Newco will have to apply to the SFL for a place.

The thought that they might be in Division 1 next season fills me with foreboding. If Dundee take their place in the SPL it would mean that Dumbarton’s first league game in Div 1 for 16 years will not then be at Dens Park (thus incidentally depriving me of the opportunity to walk to the game from my son’s flat) and may be at Ibrox – in which case I’ll not be going.

Any precedent here is surely Gretna, who when they were relegated from the SPL while in administration were immediately demoted to Div 3. But the Newco will not quite have been relegated, they will have been expelled.

Moreover they are a NEW club and ought to apply for the vacancy which will (due to shuffling within the leagues as before – Airdrie Utd you win again!) be in Div 3, not Div 1.

I fear though that some SFL clubs may vote for short term financial gain over sporting integrity despite the fact that the original Rangers were part of the process of shafting the rest of Scottish football (probably hoping it would wither on the vine) when the SPL was set up. The SFL clubs, though, have not withered but rather have managed to keep themselves alive and financially viable – certainly in Divs 2 and 3 – unlike their supposed betters.

This open letter
to the SFL was written by a Raith Rovers fan and puts the case very well.

My feeling is that the misdemeanours of Rangers have been so grievous that a mere one division demotion is no sanction at all: any other club could then play fast and loose financially and expect to get away with it with as little to pay. I am even coming round to the notion that Newco Rangers ought not to be admitted even to Div 3 (they do not meet the entry criterion of having three years’ accounts for a start.) Scottish football will find its level without them – and become steadily more competitive as Celtic will not have a partner with which to bully the rest. If this means fans of Rangers are lost to the Scottish game so be it. The smaller clubs don’t depend on them anyway.

Albion Rovers 1-1 Dumbarton

SFL, Cliftonhill Stadium, 7/4/12.

I had mixed feelings about this one. I have a bit of a soft spot for the “Wee Rovers” and about half their team is composed of former Sons players.

Yet once the game started the atavism kicked in, I was as partisan as usual and I wanted us to win.

We had the better of the first part of the game but the bobbly pitch did us no favours and led to a few mistakes. Mark Gilhaney had a great chance to score – though Craig Dargo was actually offside in a previous phase and not given – but the keeper made a good save. A few minutes later Dargo was put through clearly onside but the flag went up. James Creaney also stung the keeper’s hands with a fierce shot.

An unstoppable drive from ex-Son Danny Ferry then put Rovers ahead. The ball was in the net from the moment it left his boot – I don’t remember him ever hitting a shot like that when he was with us.

A corner for us was wasted when it was taken short and on the next I was about to moan, “Don’t try that again,” but it was given quickly to Scott Agnew whose cross was turned into his own net by a defender.

I felt we lost a lot of our forward momentum when Ryan Finnie went off injured.

The second half was pretty scrappy. I think we only had two shots on target, one of them Gilhaney again. The keeper saved again. Craig Dargo couldn’t even let the ball bounce off him into the net, it skied over. He tried to place another but it was just wide. I can’t see what Dargo gives us that Pat Walker doesn’t. Yes, he’s a clever player, but he’s not a natural goal scorer. And I like Pat Walker’s industry.

James Creaney had a good game and saved the jerseys twice late on, putting off an attacker who looked likely to head in a cross and making an incredible block in the last minute.

Four points ahead of fifth with four to play and Airdrie Utd and East Fife still have to play each other the week after we have Airdrie Utd at home. There will be no easy games though. Everyone we still have to play has something to play for themselves.

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