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Art Deco/Moderne Architecture in Arbroath

This lies opposite Gayfield football ground.

Moderne House, Arbroath

Entranceway. The balcony and canopy above the door, the windows in and beside the door, plus the rounded corner to the left – and the flat roof – are deco features. The glazing has been mucked about with though:-

Art Deco/Moderne House, Arbroath

Showing rounded corner, balconies, strong horizontals and verticals:-

Arbroath Art Deco/Moderne House

View of side and rear:-

Rear view, Art Deco/Moderne House, Arbroath

Old Woolworths Building, Arbroath

Typical Art Deco style Woolworths building, now an estate agents:-

Old Woolworths, Arbroath

Ridged roofline, pillaring. Plus buddleia!!

Old Woolworths Building, Arbroath

Reverse entrance is a Nickel and Dime:-

Old Woolworths Building, Arbroath

Dumbarton 0-1 Alloa Athletic

(aet 0-2.)

SPFL Tier 2 Play-off Final, Second Leg, The Rock, 13/5/18.

Well; we all knew that the good times wouldn’t last forever.

Yet for 93 minutes of this we were still a Tier 2 team.

Then all of a sudden no longer. That it was such a scruffy goal only put the knife in even more.

But after that I knew it was hopeless. Our defensive substitutions meant that there was no way we would be conjuring a goal in extra time. Our only hope was hanging on for penalties and that was unlikely given the momentum was against us and Alloa would be lifted and us deflated.

And the final nail in the coffin was driven in by an ex-Son in Jordan Kirkpatrick. Cracking goal though.

If only….

Kevin Nisbet had directed his header downwards more – or even to the near post rather than back across the keeper….

Andy Stirling had kept that rebound chance down instead of skying it….

Liam Burt had taken the ball for a walk to the corner flag instead of trying to score in injury time….

Alloa had scored from that double chance in the first, not the last minute. We’d have had to come out a bit and at least try to score. Froxy might even have been given a run-out….

We’d made the most of our breaks up the park in the second half last Wednesday….

Craig Barr hadn’t been suspended again. Dougie Hill looked much less comfortable than he did against Arbroath and Andy Dowie seemed affected too….

We actually had a striker….

Manager Stevie Aitken was not so wedded to defensive tactics….

It was a game too far really. We looked leggy and inhibited. All those catch-up games and the Challenge Cup run had taken their toll.

And so the great adventure comes to an end after six years.

Back to proper football grounds again next season. Ones where you can stand, not sit, that you can walk round to the other end at half-time, where you’re not stuck in a wee corner of the main stand. (New Broomfield, Stark’s Park and possibly Ochilview excepted.*)

We’ve had seven promotions in my lifetime. And now eight relegations.

I wonder how long it will be before we get promoted again.

And from which division.

*Edited to add:- and New Bayview. I’d forgotten it’s a one stand effort like ours at the Rock. Only the Angus grounds for the old-style experience, then. I can’t see me making it down to Stranraer.

What a Difference Two Years Makes

Just two seasons ago Dumbarton finished third in Division 2 of the SFL. Arbroath ended five points and one place better off.

Despite that apparently greater pedigree it was Dumbarton that prevailed in the play-off semi-final between the two, consigning Arbroath to another season in Div 2, while the Sons climbed, via their play-off win, onwards and upwards to SFL Div 1 (now the SPFL Championship.)

That mere two years later Sons have ended the season fifth in Tier 2 while Arbroath finished bottom in the next league down and so the clubs will play two divisions apart next season.

Morton were runners-up in Tier 2 last season. This year (despite beating Sons twice!) they were more or less dreadful and finished a poor last.

Things can change so quickly in football.

Colin McAdam

I’ve just seen on the club website the announcement of the death of Colin McAdam.

“Hoof,” as he was known, was one of the first of Sons then youth players to break through during that golden period when we were promoted from Div 2 in 1972 and the few glorious years afterwards. (Glorious in Sons terms.) His brother Tom also played for the Sons.

Colin scored one of the most remarkable goals I’ve ever seen awarded. In a game where we were two down to Arbroath one of their players was given offside three yards inside our half. Colin hoofed the ball up into the box and it skited rather than bounced – straight into the net without anyone touching it. The goal was given. As an offside free-kick it ought to have been indirect. We won the game 5-2.

Colin McAdam: 28/08/1951 – 1/08/2013. So it goes.

Hughie Gallacher

So sad to hear of the death of a true Sons legend, Hughie Gallacher.

Despite his relative lack of height – only 5′ 7″ – his goal scoring record for Dumbarton is outstanding, 205 goals in 231 games. That 205 is the club record for goals scored.

He was part of that late 1950s team over whom grown men drooled in nostalgia in later years and I actually saw him play – maybe in his first spell with the club but certainly in his second. (I was very young then.)

Hughie scored all four of Dumbarton’s goals in an amazing game at Gayfield in season 1958-9 when Dave Easson got all five for Arbroath.

One of my earliest Sons memories is of Hughie taking over in goal one game against Cowdenbeath – no substitutes at all, never mind goalies, in those days. He was pretty good at stopping them as I recall, but we still lost that game.

Hughie Gallacher: 26/11/1930-14/06/2013. So it goes.

Arbroath 0-0 Dumbarton

SFL Div 1 play-off, second leg, Gayfield Stadium, 12/5/12. (Aggregate 1-2.)

Why do we do this to ourselves?

This was torture. As Onebrow said to me at the end, “That was the best and the worst 0-0 draw I’ve ever seen.”

Arbroath are the best footballing side I’ve seen this season (in the game at Gayfield on 10thMar; Cowdenbeath, though, were the most effective.) In the first half here however they abandoned their measured approach and were much more direct.

The omens were clear inside five minutes. Alan Lithgow made a mistake allowing an attacker in on Stephen Grindlay, who forced him wide, but he still got his shot in. Lithgow had recovered to head it off the line. A goal then might have sunk us.

We were barely in it for twenty minutes, Arbroath having several shots/headers on goal – a one-on-one save by Stephen Grindlay and other efforts put wide, but gradually we managed to foray upfield. Craig Dargo was through on their keeper but took it just too far past him and had to turn it back from the bye-line but his cross in was poor. Prunty was then right through but the keeper deflected it for a corner.

Arbroath came out for the second half much more settled and started to stroke the ball about. There followed a succession of chances for them. It didn’t feel like backs to the wall stuff, though, we just couldn’t seem to pass the ball to our own players. Stephen Grindlay had a very good save from a free kick and then an unbelievable one from a close range header. He without doubt saved the jerseys, Dumbarton’s man of the match, no question. He rode his luck a few times, though, when coming for the ball.

The second half was excruciating, with us mostly not able to get out of our own half and unable to keep it for long when we did.

Edited to add:- I forgot to say Lithgow had one magnificent tackle when an Arbroath forward seemed right through.

Late on, in one of our few flurries, sub Pat Walker nutmegged a defender by the bye-line, crossed it in and Mark Gilhaney forced the keeper into a save.

There was still time after that for Arbroath to force a couple of corners. The final whistle was a relief and a release.

Given our defensive record this season it’s a minor miracle we managed to keep a clean sheet. This was a magnificent and remarkably disciplined effort (Kevin Nicoll’s booking apart) by the lads.

We have to do it all again on Wednesday and Sunday, though.

Edited to add:- I was drained at the end of this. I hope I’ll be as drained (in a good way) next Sunday!

Sons players celebrate:-

End of Play-off game

Sons fans celebrate.

Celebrations at end of Play-off Semi.

Just to show what an unusual day it was here’s a man in his shirt sleeves at Gayfield. The sun was out for most of the game. Normally you have to be well wrapped up. The wind got up as usual, naturally. It’s a vintage Palermo shirt apparently.

Sunny Day at Gayfield

Atletico Madrid 3-0 Athletic Bilbao

Europa League* Final, Arena Națională, Bucharest, 9/5/12.

The difference here was in a striker who could fashion goals for himself from very unpromising situations (Madrid’s Falcao) and one who may have been carrying an injury (Bilbao’s Llorente) though Madrid’s defending contributed to the latter’s ineffectiveness. Bilbao laboured in the first half and, apart from Falcao, so did Madrid.

In the second, Bilbao had to chase the game and swarmed all over the Madrid half but weren’t able to create a clear cut opportunity – except once when Courtois made a great block. Bilbao also seemed unable to get enough width into their play.

Vulnerable to the break, Bilbao fell to the sucker punch from Madrid’s Diego, another goal created from an unpromising situation. It might have been better defended just the same.

Bilbao’s players are mostly young so may come again. Muniain, with his scurrying run and combative attitude, reminded me of ex-Son Andy Geggan (but an Andy Geggan who can play.)

Speaking of the Sons, a narrow 2-1 win over Arbroath last night makes Saturday’s second leg (with our rank record up there) very iffy.

*So-called.

Trepidation

Nerves are beginning to jangle as our play-off semi-final looms.

I’ll not be at the Rock tonight – the logistics were against me – but I hope that, at the very least, we haven’t already lost it before Saturday.

It’s 12-9 to Arbroath in our games so far this season (6-6 at the Rock) so a 0-0 draw is unlikely.

I’ll have the Europa League* final on the TV to take my mind off things, though.

*So-called.

Stirling Albion 2-1 Dumbarton

SFL Div 2, Forthbank Stadium, 28/4/12.

So for the second year in a row our post-season destiny is settled with a game to spare. And we’re in the play-offs!

This is an outstanding end to a campaign where I’m sure most Sons fans would have been happy with survival in the Division. Very well done to Manager Alan Adamson, the backroom staff and the players.

The game itself wasn’t a classic. There was perhaps too much riding on it with Stirling hoping to avoid relegation. We had the better of the first half with Pat Walker coming close twice early on, Brian Prunty almost converting a Scott Agnew cross-come-shot and Stirling only the one really threatening effort on goal.

Their goal was well taken if a little out of the blue. Stirling hadn’t really looked threatening with too many wrong decisions on the ball and misplaced passes or shots.

Arlan Mptata came on and looked skillful, if perhaps too inclined to elaborate a bit – at this level players sometimes get in the way by accident rather than design – but he glided past his defender with ease a couple of times.

Our equaliser was bizarre. It’s the sort of goal you lose when you’re bottom of the Division, nothing is going for you and you’re doomed to relegation. A cross was headed into the air by Stirling’s no 2, it looped up and the keeper grabbed it as it came down but it had carried over. The lino flagged straight away. The keeper was maybe hampered by the injury he’d sustained earlier in the half but both should have dealt with it better.

After that Stirling threw the kitchen sink at it, playing men up. They had a four on two at one point where the attacker still managed to let one of the two get in a tackle. They also had what looked a penalty from where I was sitting up the other end but the ref blew for a dive and booked the attacker. A let-off I thought, but seeing the footage on Sons Player the ref got it spot on.

Then in stoppage time, at a corner, sub Craig Dargo was left totally unmarked to head the winner. Third in the Division sewn up – our highest finish in the SFL since 2004.

So there’s a nothing game next week against Brechin but the boys need to keep focused.

Then the play-off with Arbroath. Not a team we have an especially good record against.

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