Archives » Ben Gordon

Alloa Athletic 1-2 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Recreation Park, 14/9/13.

A first away win. Excellent.

We dominated the early proceedings, forcing corners early on and only fell out of it a little towards the latter part of the half. Their goalie was troubled just the once though – by a slightly deflected Chris Turner shot – and Jamie Ewings not at all.

The goal had a touch of flukery about it, the ball came back to Mark Gilhaney after a corner, his shot struck Andy Graham who was still up in the box. He pivoted and slotted it in. The ball was only in play for two more seconds before half-time!

Second half they tried to keep the ball and suck us out but we resisted until we could flow forward. Nevertheless Jamie Ewings had to make a good save. Their equaliser had a similar touch of flukery to our goal, the ball rebounding to their player after the corner came over, with much the same result.

That gave them a bit of confidence and they started to press a bit more. Jamie Ewings had another good save (after an unbelievable point blank one from an offside player) but we continued to look menacing in attack. One great cross from Paul McGinn in particular.

The winner came when Andy Graham was demolished in the box. Scott Agnew buried the penalty.

Alloa ended up running out of ideas and resorted to humping the ball upfield, moving ex-Son Ben Gordon up front from centre half towards the end but really never creating anything.

2-1 but not many clear-cut chances. I’ll take it though.

Pass marks for everybody but Chris Turner wasn’t as effective as usual and could have talked himself into a sending-off. He was subbed, possibly as a precaution. Garry Fleming put himself about to good effect when he came on.

6th! Not bad, and only one point off 2nd.

Dumbarton 3-2 East Stirlingshire

Challenge Cup,* The Rock, 24/7/11

And so it begins again. It seems like only yesterday last season finished.

Same old, same old, though; but for one thing. We won in the Chalenge Cup. Our record in this competition is worse than dire. (I don’t think that page has yet been updated to take account of this season’s results.)

We fielded a lot of players whom I didn’t recognise – I was too late to hear the announcements. First half was nothing to write about beyond Kieran Brannan blazing over after a good move down the left.

Up two-nil and cruising in the second half and looking like we could take the Shire to the cleaners, then we lose a goal out of nowhere (but maybe because Nugent got injured.) A substitution and a sending off later and it was 2-2 and things looked gloomy. We then contrived to miss a barrowlaod of chances before Pat Walker pulled it out of the fire really late.

As to the new guys, Brian Prunty isn’t a big striker but took his goal well, Scott Agnew ran like Wesley Schneijder (unfortunately there any resemblance ended) and Martin McBride misplaced too many passes. New centre half Alan Lithgow looked solid enough and even made an upfield foray in open play – which Ben Gordon never did. Jamie Lyden and Kevin Nicoll were okay at full back (Lyden’s sending off notwithstanding.) The defence in general though needs to tighten up.

Kieran Brannan looked good, but he was up against Chissie, breezing past him as if he wasn’t there.

A good team is going to thump us; especially as we lack height – a perennial complaint.

It was nice to see the Shire back in their traditional black and white hoops and that Chissie has got himself a gig for this season.

* I know it’s got a sponsor’s name but I’m not going to use it.

Alloa Athletic 2-3 Dumbarton

League goals against predictor:- 80

SFL Div 2, Recreation Park, 05/02/11

I witnessed a few minor miracles yesterday.

I saw Dumbarton score three goals in an away game. We doubled our away goals tally in the one game (for the second time in a row – though last game at Airdrie we actually tripled it, from one to three – only six now required in the next to keep that sequence up,) we won two games in a row for the first time this season, moved up two places in the league table…….. and Stephen Grindlay caught a cross under some pressure. To be fair to Stephen he kept us level with a very good save when it was 0-0.

Alloa had the better of the first half hour or so, though we had one half chance which Pat Walker could only snatch at, then we scored a breakaway goal from one of their corners, all our players that were involved made correct decisions in the build up; a rare occurence.

Mark Gilhaney played well on the right wing, curbing his tendency to stray up blind alleys, and it was his cross that Jon McShane swept in for the second with a good finish. I then remarked to onebrow, “we’d got our two.” We always concede. I didn’t think then that we’d be pegged back so quickly.

Their first was a consequence of Andy Geggan, who had a good game overall, trying to be too clever in midfield and giving the ball away. It was played up and Ben Gordon unnecessarily put his hand on the forward challenging for the ball to give away the free kick. Straight in the back of the net. I don’t think Grindlay could have done much to prevent it. Their second was the result of a good cross and a very well placed header. I was too far away to say whether Grindlay ought to have come for the cross or not.

Earlier in the season we would not have been two up and if we had been we would certainly have crumbled at the equaliser.

Yesterday we didn’t. Ryan McStay, who more or less ran the midfield all game, took a great free kick into the bottom corner. It was a case of holding out for the win then, taking the ball to the corner flag and so on.

I was impressed with McShane and Walker up front, they can hold on to the ball and play others in. They even tried to make space for themselves at throw-ins. (Don’t the know this activity is against the decades honoured Dumbarton players’ code of conduct?)

Obviously away wins are also like buses. You wait all season for one then two come along at once.

So we reach the heady heights of eighth.

Don’t get too excited. Both Stenny and East Fife have games in hand.

[Edited to add: About a minute before the final whistle one of Alloa’s defenders swore directly at the ref’s assistant after a decision had gone against him. Despite the fact that said assistant was between the player and me, and I heard it, no action was taken – even though I went on to remind the linesman (it was a man) that foul and abusive language to an official is a sending off offence.

OK, I was winding him up a bit but I do think that officials ought not to be sworn at by players (I know it’s not an ideal world.) Acceptance of such abuse from players is, however, the beginning of a slippery slope.]

Ayr United 2-0 Dumbarton

League goals against predictor:- 130

SFL Div 2, Somerset Park, 2/02/11

League goals for predictor:- 18.

Well. Not an auspicious start to the year.

According to Pie and Bovril it was never a penalty and we ought to have got something from the game.

But Ben Gordon was missing and so there was a makeshift defence.

No clean sheet but Stephen Grindlay was in goal so no surprise there.

Up and onwards to the Forfar game on Saturday.

Dumbarton 3-2 Ayr United

League goals against predictor:- 130

SFL Div 2, The Rock, 6/11/10

League goals for predictor:- 18.

Way-Hay! Into double figures for points.

I hope we haven’t used up all our season’s luck in two games. That’s the second home fixture in a row we’ve had opponents sent off.

From the accounts on Pie and Bovril it seems Grindlay had a good few saves. Well he always used to make some of those; it’s the bread and butter stuff and the crosses he messes up. And he still didn’t keep a clean sheet.

But we were missing Ben Gordon – not that he’s been outstanding this season.

A welcome three points though. Being in contact with those above us is always a good thing.

Next weekend is free of worry. It’s not a league game.

We’ll be able to concentrate on the league after it, though.

Stenhousemuir 4-0 Dumbarton

League goals against predictor:- 140

SFL Div 2, Ochilview, 23/10/10

League goals for predictor:- 15.

Two must win games in succession both lost.

Now every game will be a must win until relegation is confirmed. (At this rate that will be sometime in January.)

This is the penance we must suffer for the good times.

Onebrow opined during the game that he’d always thought that the way we won promotion two seasons ago was too good to be true. And so it proves.

This was 4-0 going on a complete embarassment. And to the team merely one place above us in the division.

It was over as a contest as early as the third minute when we lost the sort of scruffy goal you concede when you are going to be relegated.

A routine ball into the box wasn’t hoofed away by Devlin as it should have been – Chissie would have got rid of it no bother – Grindlay flapped at it, knocking it onto the Stenny player, off whom it trundled into the net.

I don’t think Michael White would have fumbled that ball. He was in goal, as Onebrow pointed out, in the only two games where we’ve managed to get any points this season.

Grindlay doesn’t come for crosses – the defence is clearly unsettled; three of them had a go at him for staying on his line a few minutes after the goal, when we could easily have lost another – and his kicking from back passes is appalling.

Next up, the obligatory penalty against us at Ochilview. I thought Ben Gordon got there first, the ref didn’t. That all started when Andy Geggan had, I think Devlin, free in space on his right in a good position in their half but hit the ball too short, straight to a Stenny player. Promptly up the park, whistle.

Up steps Ross Clark. Remember him, Chappie?

Stenhousemuir could have gone home then. We still wouldn’t have scored.

The next one you could see coming from halfway through the move. The defence was posted missing from the crossball and Ross Clark (remember him, Chappie?) drilled it home. Grindlay stood still.

We played a bit better in the second half but Stenny had taken their foot off the gas.

We keep finding ever more bizarre ways of conceding goals. The fourth was a complete joke. Nugent had the ball covered. All he had to do was play it, back to Grindlay (OK, maybe not) or out the park, or pass to Ben Gordon, or even turn and go upfield. Instead he just stops running and a Stenny player breezes past him – the report on the club website says as if out of nowhere but he was clearly visible all the way – rounds Grindlay and pops it in.

The Stenny announcer gave the man of the match to Ross Clark. (Remember him, Chappie?) He did score twice, I suppose, but (a much slimmed down in appearance – Ed) Stevie Murray had a good game for them, too. Remember him, Chappie?

Stenny won’t have an easier three points all season.

Until they play us again of course.

It’s past time for Jim Chapman to consider his position. The players either aren’t playing for him or just aren’t good enough. He’s got rid of, or let go, the more robust characters. There was nobody on the field inspiring the team to get into the game. A complete lack of fight, competitiveness and effort. Where’s Chissie when you need him?

During the week Gordon Strachan was noble enough to fall on his sword. Sadly, I don’t expect Chappie to have it in him do the same.

Oh; and Grindlay must go.

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