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East Fife 0-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 4, New Bayview, 11/11/23.

This is only the second time this season I have watched the mighty Sons of the Rock in action. But East Fife’s ground is only 7 or so miles away from where I live so it seemed only right to turn up.

We survived an early scare when Tony Wallace headed the ball but straight to an East Fife attacker for a one-on-one only for Brett Long in our goal to bail him out.

A minute or so later we took the lead a ball into the box reached Kalvin Orsi who poked it home for his first goal in 784 days.

Thereafter we kind of fell out of it for a while with East Fife knocking the ball about quite well but never really threatening. Then we had a spell where we had four great chances in about three minutes but East Fife’s keeper made one good and one magnificent save and there was a great last minute block to prevent us scoring again. We did get the ball in the net once more but it was chalked off for offside.

The second half was fairly uneventful. Our final balls were just a bit off. East Fife barely looked like scoring except for when Brett Long misjudged a situation, coming for a ball he was never going to get, and was left stranded. Enough defenders got back though to prevent a goal.

The fact that their keeper got their man of the match award kind of sums things up.

I must say Michael Ruth’s centre forward play was superb. He held up the ball and played others in. Sadly he didn’t get enough of the ball in the box to be able to score.We also had players actually showing for the ball at throw-ins. That is not the Dumbarton way.

The ref made some odd decisions. Par for the course these days.

Up front for East Fife Nathan Austin was a shadow of the player he used to be.


Dumbarton 1-0 East Fife

SPFL Tier 4, The Rock, 22/04/23.

A win and another clean sheet – thanks to Brett Long for a penalty save and Martin McNiff for the goal, though Carsy missed a penalty for us. That’s a club record of clean sheets in one season for a single goalkeeper.

Combined with Annan’s defeat to Stirling this result means we will finish second.

Not that that matters much as we will be playing whoever finishes third, which might well be East Fife, or Annan.

The first leg is away on 9 or 10/6/23, with the second leg at home on 13/6/23.

Two games till to go before then though. Let’s hope for no more injuries.

Dumbarton 2-0 Stranraer

SPFL Tier 4, The Rock, 5/11/22.

Well. Another win. Another clean sheet. And, since Stirling Albion only drew, top of the league again.

The goals came at the end of each half – Gregor Buchanan and Michael Garrity on target – but we apparently hit the post twice and goalie Brett Long made a great contribution to the clean sheet. (What a contrast to Sam Ramsbottom.) The second half must have been a bit nervy, though.

Onwards we go to Elgin on Saturday.

Dumbarton 1-1 Albion Rovers

SPFL Tier 4, The Rock, 15/10/22.

Perhaps I am a jinx after all. We haven’t scored a goal in open play since the one I saw at New Bayview. And we’re no longer top of the league. (Okay it’s by goal difference but that’s a ten point lead gone inside four games.)

Whatever, this was a hard watch. Albion Rovers were worth a point and but for three goal-line clearances in nearly as many seconds could have had all three.

We were more or less not in the game for the first ten minutes and Rovers had already hit the post before another misplaced clearance resulted in an opportunity for their player to belt the ball home.

We did come into it and the penalty was an absolute stone-waller. Carsy stepped up to convert. A few minutes later Ally Love had a great chance to put us in the lead but pulled his shot wide. It looked easier to score.

In the second half any promising moves came to nothing due to poor final balls. There was a similar stramash to the one we got away with in the first half but we couldn’t get the ball past their defenders. In the end we were grateful to Brett Long’s fine one handed save late on to salvage a point from this.

If we are as poor as this against Cumnock on Friday I suspect we won’t be in the Cup for the next round draw.

East Fife 0-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Bayview Stadium, 3/9/22.

Well. I’m not a jinx. And the club record number of wins at the start of a season was broken again. We’re eight points clear. I keep thinking sometime I will wake up.

This was my first time seeing this Sons side and it was a strange experience. The difference between last season and this is night and day. Indeed I do not recall ever seeing a Dumbarton team have so much ‘dig’ in it. Every ball was contested, the press was coordinated, the determination impressive.

Not that it was a very good game. It didn’t contain much flowing football. But a win is a win.

My impression was that East Fife had more of the ball in the first half but the half-time possession statistics (according to the BBC website) suggested the opposite. Our goal came form a quick turnover in midfield when Ryan Blair sent Declan Byrne through with an arrowed pass and he ran on to dispatch it past the keeper into the far corner. A minute later Declan nearly repeated the feat but this time his shot from a slightly narrower angle hit the post and bounced out. Byrne was a terrier up front, putting himself about but also able to hold the ball up distribute it.

We had a few half-chances in the second half but mostly put the ball over the bar. There was one lovely corner routine which ought perhaps to have led to a goal but the final shot was scuffed and subsequently hacked away.

There very few moments of concern in our box. Brett Long in goal didn’t have to make a save. One East Fife effort did hit the bar but Brett may have had the scoring trajectory covered.

There was also a good amount of game management going on in the second half. Nice to see.

Next up is Stranraer away. They are our bogey team. A good test then.

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