Archives » Brian Prunty

Dumbarton 1-1 Alloa Athletic

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 4/12/13.

I feared the worst when I tuned in to the club’s website for the twitter feed and saw we were a goal down. But we’ve come back in a few games recently so not all hope was lost.

In the end I saved it for teletext after the game.

It seems Brian Prunty did his overhead kick thing again. Against one of his old clubs too! I can’t remember too many of our players finding the net against previous employers; it usually happens the other way. (Iain Russell’s a shoo-in to score against us today.)

A draw’s not too shabby out of this. I’d like to see us start picking up points at home but it seems we just play better away.

Berwick Rangers 1-3 Dumbarton

Scottish Cup Round 4, Shielfield Park, 30/11/13

Well, that’s my Shielfield duck broken. The only other time I’d been there was in a late September, we’d just been relegated to the bottom division – then designated 2 (out of three) – the season before, had started poorly but Berwick were worse and had not yet won. It blew a howling gale and they beat us 1-0.

I had previously seen us beat Berwick away though, but not at Shielfield. There was some dispute over the terms Berwick had for using the ground so they were temporarily playing home games at Cliftonhill. We won that easily and also promotion that season as I recall.

Anyway, to the game. I picked up Eric Brown on the way down in order for him to experience his first taste of Scottish football. He lives in Dunbar now (or close to it.)

The first half produced only one chance but three goals.

For the third game in a row now I’ve seen us lose a goal to a belting strike. This was an exquisitely struck and placed free-kick but Jamie Ewings’s positioning seemed off from before the ball was hit. He was too far over to get to a well-taken shot and every team nowadays has a player that can do those.

We hadn’t managed to create anything either when a cross was handled by a defender in the box. Brian Prunty hit the penalty low and hard enough to beat Berwick’s tall keeper. Shortly before half-time came the chance and beautifully worked it was too, Mitch Megginson despatching the end of a fine move.

Berwick had been trying to knock us off our stride and first half it worked. We had lots of possession but couldn’t get space in their half. Second half we were on top again and another great passing move (Eric was impressed) was finished off by Scott Linton for what I think is his first for the club.

Berwick had two more efforts on goal, one that was scuffed and one bender from way out that Jamie Ewings got a good hand on. They looked spent and devoid of ideas after our third went in, resorting to the long range stuff.

Kevin Smith hit the post with a header, I actually saw Colin Nish – on as sub for Brian Prunty – get the ball in the net but there was a hand ball in there somewhere, he later got a header on target but also on the keeper and Jordan Kirkpatrick forced a fine save very late on.

Comfortable enough in the end, I suppose.

Now. When was the last time we were in the last 16 of the Cup? Heady days.

Livingston 1-3 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Almondvale Stadium,* 16/11/13

Well; after half an hour I couldn’t see this coming. We had looked sprightly enough early on but never threatened their keeper and then about twenty minutes in they scored when there appeared to be no danger. Sometimes you just have to say it was briiliant. The ball came on from the wing and Mark McNulty hit it exquisitely first time. Jamie Ewings was never stopping it. That’s two wonder strikes against us in the last two games I’ve been to. Jamie did make a great tackle in a one-on-one a few minutes later and had another good save in the second half. Plus he had had to look lively at their first corner to stop the wind taking the ball in, and they hit the bar at 1-0.

Mitch Megginson’s leveller was a thumper. Andy Graham then Colin Nish held it up in the box. Mitch fair belted the lay-off, Sons fans perfectly placed to see it was in the moment he hit it.

Second half we came out much more aggressively and had more attempts on goal in the first minute than in the whole of the first half. Mark Gilhaney’s shot then Jordan Kirkpatrick’s parried effort which Colin Nish ought to have converted rather than poking it over.

Looked like Ian Murray had told them during the interval to press much higher. Whatever, it worked. We started to exploit them on the break. Paul McGinn’s great run up the wing saw him cleverly step inside, the defender took him over inside the box. After some dealy Chris Turner converted. Some turn round.

We began to defend a little too deeply for a bit but a swift counter attack took the ball from our box to theirs via a fine upfield ball to Jordan Kirkpatrick who switched it all the way across to Mark Gilhaney who eveded his man to get clear in the box and looke dset to score but cleverly tuned tha ball across for sub Brian Prunty (on for the mostly ineffectual Colin Nish) to tap it in.

The rest of the game was spent waiting for the final whistle – only a couple of near-close things.

This was a win we needed though. Had we lost things would be looking a bit glum.

*Edited to add:- They’ve changed the stadium’s name again. It’s now the Energy Assets Arena. Oh tempora!

Cowdenbeath 3-2 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Central Park, 31/8/13.

Three points lost.

I didn’t see it coming at half time but we had this game won and were cruising midway through the second. Then it all fell apart.

The first half was formless, not helped by a blustery wind which got worse as the game went on.

Despite not threatening at all Cowdenbeath won two corners in the first quarter. In the conditions our passing game cried out for the shout, “Too much football, Dumbarton!” It’s obviously the way Ian Murray wants us to play though.

Their goal came after Andy Graham was pushed for pace as he chased a forward out right, failing to prevent the pass to the wing. When the ball came in a Cowden player was in space for the shot.

We eventually won three corners right at the end of the half but took no advantage.

Our two goals were belters, fine strikes from Chris Turner, one with each foot. The first the keeper seemed to have covered but it went through his hands. The second was even better; hit the net like a rocket.

Then came the fall. Last man Aaron Barry tried to be too clever and was robbed of the ball. The attacker was straight in on Jamie Ewings who had no chance with the shot.

We began to push for the win then and alarming gaps appeared at the back. This wasn’t helped by the substitution of Scott Agnew by Brian Prunty denuding the midfield.

I thought we’d dodged that bullet when Jamie Ewings saved a penalty late on but the lesson wasn’t learned, we were equally open in the next Cowden attack when they got the winner.

Three points lost but we hadn’t been creative enough. Apart from an early Scott Agnew free kick, which may have been creeping past, their keeper really only had the two goals to (fail to) save. And those were from long range strikes.

Had we actually won this we’d have been equal second on points.

As it is we’re only three points off bottom.

The game at Alloa on Sep 13th now becomes a mustn’t lose.

Edited to add: This was my first look at both Colin Nish and Hugh Murray. The fact they’re not mentioned in the above post might tell you something.

Goal of the Season

I see from Big Rab that Sons’ Brian Prunty has won goal of the season for his superb overhead kick at Livingston.

Congratulations, Brian.

In case you missed it….

I remember ex-Son Tom McAdam* was always trying to score one like this.

Eat you heart out, Tom.

*The Wiki article has him as a defender. When he played for us he was a striker.

Cowdenbeath 2-3 Dumbarton

SFL Div 1, Central Park, 27/4/13

Firstly, congratulations to all the players and staff at the club. This result means we have finished in a higher position in Scottish Football than at any time since 1987. It is a magnificent achievement for the club. Special thanks to the manager Ian Murray who has dragged us from certain relegation to safety with a game to spare.

Arguably we have overachieved this season. Most Dumbarton fans hoped to finish eighth but expected to be no higher than ninth and in the play-off spot.

I ought to have taken my camera. I’d forgotten last away game was dress-up day. The zombies were good; and the two women with t-shirts that said “Murray’s Angels.”

We had the best of the eary play and Stephen Grindlay had nothing to do beyond goal kicks. He hadn’t had a save to make before they scored – and we donated that one with a loose pass in their half allowing a break with three men on two. They had a brief spell in charge after that as they took confidence from the goal but then the game swung in the space of five minutes.

Or was it five seconds? For the equaliser was an absolute belter, Scott Agnew nipping the ball off an opponent’s toe in the centre circle, striding forward into space and chipping the goalkeeper from at least 35 yards. Not quite as good as Paddy Flannery’s along-the-ground strike from a little further out at the same end at the same stadium (too many years ago now) but getting on for it.

The second came from a floated in cross that was on Jim Lister’s head from the moment it left Garry Fleming’s boot and then rapidly into the net.

When the penalty was awarded – right at the extreme corner of the box, a penalty for a foul there is a bit ridiculous really but those are the rules – when Steven McDougall beat his man almost on the bye-line and fell over the trailing leg (he didn’t dive, he couldn’t avoid the outstretched leg and fell as a result) I remarked to Simon Barrow, “We don’t have a good penalty record here.” (I’ve seen too many games.) Simon predicted where it would go though, Scott Agnew unerring from the spot.

The second half was ridiculous.

We must have had about 7 chances to add to the score, Agnew, twice, Garry Fleming, Steven McDougall, substitute Brian Prunty twice – he may have been trying too hard as he didn’t start the game – and Mark Gilhaney all not scoring from good opportunities. To be fair their keeper had three good saves in that lot.

As is the way (as is the Dumbarton way) the last minute or two – where did the added time come from? – were made more nervous for the fans by their second, which came just after the substitution of Alan Lithgow by James Creaney meant a reshuffle in the defence.

The final whistle saw mutual congratulations between the players and fans. A remarkable season will end happily.

I’ll bask in it for now, knowing that I don’t have to face next Saturday with trepidation. Crucial last day games are always the worst.

But next season may be harder. There is likely to be one fewer part-time team in Div 1.

Hamilton Academical 2-1 Dumbarton

SFL Div 1, New Douglas Park, 2/4/13

So. Honours even over the two games.

This was a game we could have won though. After some Hamilton pressure (and Paul McGinn going off with a hamstring injury) we scored with our first effort on goal. Their keeper came out for Scott Agnew’s cross, stopped, and Jim Lister’s header looped up, taking an age to drop into the net.

Thereafter Hamilton had most of the first half but we also played some neat stuff and should have extended the lead. Brian Prunty – strangely out of sorts (possibly carrying an injury?) – scuffed one right in front of goal then Scott Agnew put it wide when it looked easier to hit the target. Despite Hamilton’s possession Stephen Grindlay had only to make one save in the first half.

Second half we had two earlyish chances, Prunty’s header saved by the keeper and Mark Gilhaney’s shot beating him but striking a defender. Those missed chances were crucial as Hamilton’s heads might have gone down.

We looked shattered for the the last third, four games in ten days taking their toll. Hamilton dominated. You can’t surrender possession as easily as we did and hope to hold out forever. Stout defending was eventually undone.Shay had two very good saves before the inevitable equaliser which he got a hand to but it diverted only on to the post and in. Their subsequent winner was hotly disputed by the Sons players who claimed it hadn’t crossed the line.

Even then we had a chance to salvage a point. Someone – I don’t know who, the area was crowded – put in a great header and their keeper incredibly clawed it up and over the bar.

The game in hand over Cowdenbeath is now gone. But when was the last time we were as high as 19th in Scottish football – as we were before the game? (1986-87, as it happens.)

This must also be the first time a manager has lost his job just after his team has beaten us.

When Is a Foul Not a Foul?

Manchester Utd 1-2 Real Madrid (aggregate 2-3)

UEFA Champions League*, Old Trafford, 5/3/13

This game, of course, hinged on the sending off. Up to that point United had been marginally the better, certainly David De Gea in United’s goal had fewer saves to make. Actually, even afterwards Diego Lopez in Real’s goal made more saves but Real were in the lead by then and not pushing forward so much. They could even have afforded to lose a goal.

It looked to me like Nani had tried to get the ball, there was no intent to foul – but intent does not come into the law. As Roy Keane argued in the post match discussion Nani’s foot was raised, ergo it was dangerous, worthy of a red card.

This immediately invites a question.

Why, then, when a player takes down any high ball (or indeed executes a bicycle kick) is it not dangerous play? His foot is at least at chest height, as Nani’s was. Are such instances of control of a high ball now all to be banished? In which case Brian Prunty’s much You-Tubed (and sublime) opener for Dumbarton against Livingston a few weeks ago would have been chalked off as dangerous. Should it also have been accorded a red card?

The only difference is the possible nearby presence of another player. But Nani wasn’t aware (till too late) there was a player coming in, he was looking at the flight of the ball. Roy Keane suggested he should be alive to such a possibility, he must expect a challenge. This, though, would also apply to any attempt to play a high ball as above.

Surely, equally, a player is entitled to attempt to control, or pass, the ball in the most effective way?

Nani’s control of the ball arguably wasn’t dangerous or reckless in itself. What may have made it so was the incoming player.

The thing is; it also looked to me like the Real player was never likely to get to the ball first. He was aware of what Nani might attempt to do and yet still came in to make contact with Nani’s foot after Nani had played the ball. In other words the Real player came in late. If Nani had played the ball on the ground and then been impacted the foul would have gone the other way for a late challenge. So who was in the wrong? From one point of view the Real player deliberately ran into a foot he knew was going to be high in order to make it look like dangerous play. In other words he bought the red card. Which is a form of cheating.

The ref and assistants have only real time to make decisions. They do not have the benefit of replays. But even in real time Nani’s high foot did not seem to me to be a sending off offence. But can anyone else be entirely sure what went into the ref’s decision making processes?

Whatever the rights and wrongs of this we will never know what would have happened if the red card had not been issued. Real might have scored twice anyway. But United might also have scored again, they made chances even with ten men.

Given the stories floating around about match-fixing there is now an element of doubt about such high profile matches. (And possibly low profile ones as well.) It is unfortunate that a refereeing decision appeared to be central to the outcome of this game.

In an unrelated point I thought that Ronaldo might have been just offside when the cross was hit in for Real’s second goal in that a scoring part of his body was beyond the last defender. None of the replays focused on this and it was given no analysis. Strange that.

* so-called

Raith Rovers 3-2 Dumbarton

SFL Div 1, Stark’s Park, 16/2/13

An opportunity missed here, as we really should have got something from this game. Still, we were fielding a makeshift defence, including a 17-year old loanee at centre back.

The pitch was in a dreadful state, being heavily sanded, which affected the play at times but that was the same for both teams.

This was my first look at the Ian Murray galvanised team and we played some good stuff, knocked the ball about well – notwithstanding the pitch – and created good opportunities.

We were the better side in the first half and ought to have gone one up when debutant Nick Phinn delayed too long over a rebound and allowed the keeper to get into position to block his effort. Brian Prunty also blazed one over when he hurried his shot.

They scored when a man down as their defender had to go off to get a head wound bandaged up – bizarrely Jim Lister, also injured in the same incident, was not allowed by the referee to come back onto the pitch long after he was able to do so – our defence was drawn towards the ball and the back post was unguarded. Apart from that they had only one effort on target well saved by Stephen Grindlay.

Big Jim might have had a penalty if he’d gone down after the keeper caught him but he stayed on his feet, at the same time being forced wide, and the chance evaporated.

Prunty’s next effort was more measured. After receiving a great pass from Jim Lister he rifled it in off the post with almost the last kick of the half.

The second half was evens for a while. They scored again with a drive from the edge of the box, before Prunty equalised once more with a fine conversion after an assist from the bandaged centre back.

Raith had more of the last quarter but the killer goal was so late there was no coming back.

17 year old debutant Stuart Urquhart was not as raw as he might have been. Nick Phinn also had a reasonable debut (but should have scored.)

Earlier in the season with a makeshift team we’d have been pummelled. This felt like – it was – a point dropped.

Goal of the Season?

Sons first goal on Saturday at Livingston was a belter. Scored by Brian Prunty it probably won’t be bettered by a Sons player this season. (At least not unless in a crucial game we score in a vital game from a kick-off just after the opposition has equalised in a move that passes the ball all over the ground before being planted in the net without an opposing player having touched it since they scored, as was the case with John McQuade’s goal against Cowdenbeath in the old Div 2 all those years ago.)

You can see Saturday’s goal on Sons TV here – Livingston A, Sat 9th Feb.

Punters on the Pie Shop, aka the website Pie and Bovril, have been claiming that LiviTV’s coverage of Brian’s effort has attracted so many hits it caused their website to crash.

Hope Sons TV can take the rush.

free hit counter script