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Glebe Park, Brechin, Addendum

From the path to the park which contains Brechin’s War Memorial there is a good view of the reverse of the beech hedge which forms the western boundary of Glebe Park. You can also see the David Will Stand in this photo:-

Beech Hedge, Glebe Park, Brechin

The following two photos were taken of Sons new strip for 2018-19 (now superseded again) at the game on 25/8/18, a game we should have won.

Sons New Strip for Season 2018-19

Sons New Strip 2018-19 Close Up

Brechin War Memorial

After all those visits to Brechin to see the mighty Sons of the Rock play away against Brechin City last year in August in preparation for yet another visit I finally looked up where Brechin’s War Memorial is located. It turned out it’s very near the football ground in a pleasant park area.

It’s an impressive sandstone column:-

Brechin War Memorial

Side view:-

Brechin War Memorial From Side

World War 2 Dedication. “To the glory of God and in grateful remembrance of those who gave their lives in the Second World War 1939 – 1945.” Below the names, “Greater love hath no man than this.”

World War 2 Dedication, Brechin War Memorial

Great War Dedication, “To the undying memory of the men of the City and Parish of Brechin who gave their lives in the Great War 1914 – 1919. Their name liveth for evermore,” and names Ada – Cla:-

Brechin War Memorial Great War Dedication

Great War names Cob – Hod:-

WW1 Names, Brechin War Memorial 8

Great War names Hoo-Pai:-

Great War Names Brechin War Memorial

Great War names Pet – You:-

Brechin War Memorial Great War Names

Other Conflicts; Kenya, Northern Ireland, Korea, Malaya. Plus additional names for France 1916, Burma 1945, and Mediterranean 1942:-

Brechin War Memorial, Other Conflicts

Carmyllie War Memorial

For years on my way up to Brechin to see the mighty Sons of the Rock play at Glebe Park against Brechin City I have been passing this War Memorial – a granite pillar by the side of the B961 seemingly in the middle of nowhere at a junction with an unnumbered minor road (to the left in the first photo below.) There’s not really a place to park but on making that same trip in August 2018 I made sure to stop.

Carmyllie War Memorial

As you can see it’s beautifully kept.

The inscription reads, “In proud and loving memory of men from Carmyllie District who fell in the Great Wars 1914 – 1918. 1939 – 1945.” Great War names are below, plus one for World War 2.

Carmyllie War Memorial Pillar

A memorial bench is set behind the pillar:-

Carmyllie War Memorial Bench

Great War names, plus one for World War 2:-

Carmyllie War Memorial Names

Again Great War names, plus one for World War 2:-

Names Carmyllie War Memorial

The lack of Second World War names on these rural memorials may be due a combination of the loss of men in the Great War and the decline in numbers of men involved in farming which occurred between the two wars as a result of mechanisation.

Dumbarton 3-1 Stranraer

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 24/8/19.

Well. Not counting chickens or anything but the mood around the Rock and with the players must be a lot better after the last two games. We don’t have a great record against Stranraer either so it was a fine result.

New loan signing Reghan Tumilty seems to have made a good impression on the fans. Long may that continue.

And Brechin’s low points record is safe (from us anyway.)

Some odd results today. Maybe this division will be a lot tighter this year than people thought.

Peterhead 2-3 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Balmoor Stadium, 17/8/19.

I saw this* but I’m still not quite sure I believe it.

After a 6-0 hounding last Saturday and our failure to beat a boys’ team on Tuesday night I doubt there was a single Sons fan who travelled to this match in any hope at all, far less expectation.

And it started out that way *(though I missed the first twenty minutes or so due to being held up on the way.) Peterhead were one up before I got into the ground. Our general play at this point seemed to be littered with misplaced passes and lack of control.

Their second came after they were awarded a free-kick for their forward falling over. Connor Brennan saved the effort well but only at the expense of a corner which they converted to a headed goal.

Cue much discussion among the Sons fans round me about whether this was the worst Dumbarton team they’d ever seen and if we’d even manage to secure any points at all in the league.

Then almost out of the blue we scored. PJ Crossan waltzed down the left and his cross found Ruaridh Langan directly in front of goal and he banged it in. There was strange lack of celebration by those on the pitch though. None of the usual gathering round the scorer.

It did though begin to engender confidence in the team. Half time may have helped here as we came out and started to take the game more towards the home side. We hadn’t really forced their keeper into any saves though but then Crossan took the ball up on the edge of their area and instead of skipping outside as he’d done so often before – there were three defenders lined up waiting for that – he shimmied inside to get a yard of space and belted it past the keeper. Celebrations this time; on the terracing, east stand, and pitch.

Isaac Layne had been lumbering about to little effect and generally being muscled out of things but had livened up by this time starting to win balls played up to him. Apart from a flurry after the equaliser we were dominating possession by now and won a free kick on the main stand side. Layne got in front of his defender to head it in. Delirium among the fans – we were just about pinching ourselves – and plenty of celebration on the pitch.

In trying to get back into the game Peterhead resorted to long balls most of which were pretty aimless. We held out reasonably comfortably. Manager Jim Duffy made late substitutions (to waste time I suppose) and among them was Ryan Tierney who impressed me again with his hold up play. He was unlucky with a late Crossan pull back which he hit first time and the keeper made a good save.

So a win, three points, a journey home much happier than had seemed likely earlier and a season now looking much less daunting than it had. Fans and players indulged in much mutual applause after the final whistle blew.

This might have been a one-off, football is a strange game, but the players at least should take heart from it.

At least we now only need a draw from somewhere in order to equal Brechin’s low points record. One more win would surpass it.

It’s the hope that kills.

Relief

Well. It’s been a season.

Not the one we’d hoped for, but also not the one that for a long time I feared.

Today’s 3-0 win at home to East Fife, combined with Brechin’s loss at Stranraer and Stenhousemuir’s at home to Forfar means we can not be relegated. There is even an outside possibility we could finish as high as fifth if we win our last two games, but I’d suggest that’s an unlikely scenario.

Where we would have ended up without our four wins against East Fife I dread to think. It’s a seriously odd statistic that we beat them four times this season when we lost to Brechin twice at their place and also twice to Stenhousemuir. Still, that’s what a league is all about.

A stress-free last two games of the season await but memories of Dom Thomas apart, this has been one to forget, really.

I don’t suppose it’ll be long before I get to worrying again, though. July is only three months away.

Dumbarton 3-3 Airdrieonians

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 2/4/19.

Well, we scored first, and then did our best to throw the game away.

We looked bright at the start finding joy on the left with Bobby Barr one of whose crosses was headed just past the post by Calum Gallagher. They seemed to be able to get through our midfield too easily, however, without really threatening further forward.

The goal came from a piece of quick thinking by Ross Forbes, playing a free-kick early to Dom Thomas on the edge of the box. Dom cut in and hit a shot which looked as if it was likely to be blocked but it hit the back of the net.

The equaliser came from a flicked on throw in, a header which Grant Adam got a hand to but not enough to keep it out. (He had also conceded the throw by palming a ball away which he might have been better not going for – or preferably catching.)

Not long after they were ahead. The lad who got on the end of the pass through looked a head offside to me when the ball was played to him. Our defending in the middle was a shambles though, the scorer standing all alone to tap it in.

They were breaking well and giving me the fear every time they got beyond the halfway line but the half ended at 1-2.

The second half more or less repeated the first to begin with except our pressure was stronger and they continued to look lively moving into our half. We had several corners in a row without much result. Grant Adam made a good stop on a one-on-one and the rebound was also blocked.

Manager Jim Duffy started to go for broke, taking off David Ferguson and putting on Boris Melingui. This shunted Stuart Carswell to right back. Boris it was who headed a Ross Forbes free-kick back across goal for an unchallenged Calum Gallagher to head in at the far post.

We continued to press – and that was our undoing. In a quick break they had a four on two and eventually scored but from where I was there looked to be a handball in the build-up.

By this time I was resigned to the defeat but Ross Forbes pinged one just inside the near post from the far edge of the area to cue delirium in the home end.

It’s a draw I’ll take – the fourth between these two sides in the league this season, a unique statistic for us since ten-team leagues were introduced in Scotland – but we really needed a win. It makes Saturday’s game against Brechin an absolute must-not-lose (guess what will happen) but a win would be even more desirable. It’s tighter than a gnat’s chuff at the bottom, only four points separating four teams. I don’t know if my nerves will stand it.

Raith Rovers 4-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Stark’s Park, 23/3/19.

We just weren’t at it for this game.

Mind you, the line up was odd with Carsy playing at centre back and Michael Paton in midfield. Neither Ross Perry nor Brian McLean could have been available at centre half despite no mention on the club website of them having problems.

We had a fair bit of possession in the first few minutes without making anything of it. Then the doors fell off. A quick movement up our right led to a good first time strike hitting the back of our net. But we had been carved open far too easily.

They began to look faster and sharper than us, getting to second balls quicker.

Their second followed a misjudgement by Craig Barr who failed to cut out a through ball. David Ferguson’s last ditch challenge only fed the ball to the scorer.

Grant Adam had no chance with either shot. His kicking had started off OK but soon started to become atrocious. It’s a liability.

Hope blossomed when a great ball inside the full back allowed Bobby Barr to the bye-line and his cut-back was netted by Calum Gallagher.

If we’d held out to half-time we might perhaps have made a game of it but Grant Adam came out for a ball he’d no hope of ever getting, letting ex-Son Kevin Nisbet head into an empty net. Last effort of the half. That was game over.

I wondered at the restart if our goal would survive more than the ten minutes it had in the first. It didn’t. Nine minutes in they got past the defence too easily again. Grant Adam parried the shot – but only to Nisbet’s head. Game really over.

We looked utterly disjointed, loads of hoofed balls to nowhere, misplaced passes galore, Dom Thomas reverting to ‘hit it at the earliest opportunity’ even when playing a pass was the much better option. Even so I was surprised when he was hooked off in favour of Iain Russell but Beany almost scored with his first touch, the ball crashing off the bar. It looked easier to score. That’s the sort of day we had.

Four of the teams around or below us picked up points as well. We could be back in eighth place on Tuesday when Stranraer play Brechin.

This looks like going down to the wire.

Spartans 0-0 Dumbarton

Scottish League Cup (Betfred Cup) Group H, Ainslie Park, 14/7/18.

And so it begins again. It only seems yesterday that we lost the play-off final yet here we are again, playing competitive football.

Well, I say competitive, but this had all the feel of a pre-season game. Given it’s mid-July and the World Cup hasn’t even finished yet that’s not so surprising.

We never looked in danger of losing a goal, though. But nor did we look much like scoring in the first half. Things improved in the second when we looked to raise the pace a bit and especially when Andy Little and Calum Callagher came on for Iain Russell and Ryan Thomson, both looking much livelier than the pair they replaced.

It was an odd sort of game not helped by the sunshine (football in Scotland isn’t meant to be played in such temperatures) and a clash between our new away strip’s red shorts and those of Spartans meaning we came out wearing the new black home shorts with the new away red shirts. We looked like a Brechin City tribute act.

And so to award the bonus point to separate drawn teams we went to a penalty shoot-out. We won. Only the second time I’ve seen us win one.

Another Sons fan gaily remarked afterwards that the last time we won a shootout (the one I saw) we went on to win the league. Early days, son. Steady on.

Still there were signs the new players were beginning to gel. I liked the fact that former (and new again) Son Ross Forbes kept demanding the ball in midfield. We also seemed to change formation a couple of times throughout the game. That’s a potentially good innovation.

And so my first visit to Ainslie Park passed off relatively quietly.

Dumbarton 3-2 Dundee United

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 7/4/18

Whatever happened to Dumbarton nil?

This was a very welcome, if somewhat unexpected, three points.

We hadn’t scored against anyone bar Brechin in the league since Boxing Day and only eight at home all season (including against Brechin.) And again apart from Brechin – and Peterhead in the Scottish Cup – it’s the first time we’ve scored more than two for over a year. (The victims then were Raith Rovers on Mar 11th 2017.)

Dundee United must be pretty poor.

Seriously though, I hope the lads take encouragement into Tuesday night’s game at Cappielow. Getting at teams must be the way to go.

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