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Falkirk 6-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Falkirk Stadium, 10/8/19.

Two games in, two defeats, no goals scored, seven conceded.

That’s a good start isn’t it?

Looks like Sons’ fans fears for the league season were well founded.

Tuesday night’s game at the Rock against St Mirren under 21s in the Challenge Cup* could be another humiliation.

What Peterhead will do to us at their place next Saturday also doesn’t bear thinking about.

Right now I’m even wondering if we will outdo (underdo?) Brechin’s record low points total of two seasons ago.

It’s the hope that kills you.

*Now the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup

Challenge Cup 2019-2020

Sons’ opponents in the new season’s Challenge Cup* will be either St Mirren Colts or East Kilbride, who play against each other the previous week for the privilege of meeting us.

At least it’s a home game for us, but given our record in this competition under its various names – season 2017-2018 notwithstanding – it will most likely be the only one.

*Now apparently sponsored by Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer.

McDiarmid Park, Perth

McDiarmid Park is the home of St Johnstone FC, and was the scene of the Challenge Cup* Final, 24/3/18.

My posts on the final are here, here and here.

Ormond Stand from access road:-

Ormond Stand, McDiarmid Park, Perth

Ormond and Main Stands:-

Ormond and Main Stands, McDiarmid Park

Main Stand (stitch of two photos):-

Main Stand, McDiarmid Park, Perth

View of North Stand:-

View of North Stand, McDiarmid Park, Perth

North Stand from Main Stand:-

North Stand from Main Stand, McDiarmid Park, Perth

East Stand:-

East Stand, McDiarmid Park, Perth

Ormond Stand from Main Stand:-

Ormond Stand from Main Stand, McDiarmid Park, Perth

*Irn Bru Cup

Challenge Cup Comes Round Again

June 26th and the draw for the new season’s Challenge Cup (Irn Bru Cup) has been made.

It almost seems like yesterday we travelled to McDiarmid Park for last season’s final.

I doubt we’ll be making a similar trip this season since it looks like our usual performance in this competition (a first round knockout) is on the cards again.

We’ve got Morton at home: a team against whom our record is miserable.

Diddy Team Dreams, of Diddy Cups

In celebration of the mighty Sons’ forthcoming appearance in the Challenge Cup final (oh, all right then; the Irn Bru Cup final) this is a poem by Dumbarton FC’s poet in residence Stephen Watt.

The accompanying video has some goood views of Dumbarton Rock, the town and the stadium plus footage from the semi-final win down in Oswestry.

The words as posted on the club’s website are here.

I’ll Be in That Number

When the Sons go up…. I’ll be there.

(Even though tickets are not yet available at time of posting.)

In That Number

The New Saints 1-2 Dumbarton

Scottish Challenge Cup*, Semi-final, Park Hall Stadium, 17/2/18

I was at Oswestry!

This is a boast that may be overtaken in a month or so’s time. Or not as the case may be.

Whatever, I was there when the mighty Sons played their first national cup semi-final in 44 years and reached their first national final for 106 years. It’s historic stuff.

Mind you I couldn’t see us achieving that heady goal at any time during the first half. We started poorly and allowed them to play from the outset. They were neat and tidy, passed the ball well, hit the bar with their first attack and continued to look threatening without managing to test Scott Gallacher in goal. I don’t know what the first half possession stats were but we didn’t have much of it that’s for sure. We barely crossed the halfway line and when we did failed to muster any sort of threat on their goal.

I thought it was all over when they scored early on in the second half. Their winger got past stop-gap left back David Smith (a midfielder turned into a makeshift right-back last season) and put in a low cross which from where I was sitting Scottt Gallacher seemed to spill and it fell to the scorer.

The game changed after around the hour mark when Calum Gallagher and Iain Russell were replaced by Mark Stewart and Liam Burt and we started to play.

Still the equaliser was a surprise as we had looked toothless even when we got the ball in their area. It was beautifully worked though with Kyle Hutton winning the ball in midfield before strolling forward and feeding Danny Handling who made space for himself and fairly thumped it past the keeper.

In a hairy moment Scott Gallacher made a one-handed stop for a header after a corner just before the ref whistled for an infringement.

Then. Froxy.

He replaced scorer Danny Handling and slotted into right midfield. I’d watched him at the half-time kick-about and he didn’t look fit to me, but sometimes he doesn’t have to be fit.

It was a free kick given for a foul against Christian Nade (his legs have gone; I don’t know how he lasted the full 94 minutes) – the first he’d got all game despite their centre half being all over him at times. I thought it was too central but Froxy is Froxy, that left foot is something else. Bang. Top left corner. Cue delirium.

It felt like very late on but there were still about ten minutes to get through before the final whistle and I nearly had heart failure when Scott Gallacher had to juggle a shot that must have swerved in the air.

Considering that due to injuries we also had to play a centre half at right back and our midfield wasn’t at its strongest this was an amazing result.

We had only two shots on target in the whole game but they both hit the back of the net. That’s football.

Here’s a video of the scenes after the final whistle. Click on the picture to get to video:-

Sons' Victory Celebrations At Park Hall Stadium Oswestry

*Irn Bru Cup

Morton 3-0 Dumbarton

Scottish Cup, Round Five, Cappielow Park, 10/2/18.

So that’s us out of the cup then. Doesn’t look like it was a good day for us at all. We seem to be really toiling.

Six points behind 8th place in the league now too almost certainly means we’ll be in the relegation play-offs. I can’t see us making up the gap especially with all the postponed games we need to catch up on.

Next up is the Challenge Cup sem-final against The New Saints in Oswestry on Saturday 17th. Catch it live on S4C if you can’t get to the game. Kick-off is 7.35 I think.

It’ll be a change and new experience for the fans. A bit of pressure off for the players too, though arguably today was too. And they’ve got to go again in the league the Tuesday after.

I had some optimism about this game when the draw was made but that’s just about evaporated now what with recent results.

Still, you never know.

Dumbarton 2-0 Raith Rovers

Scottish Challenge Cup*, Fourth Round, The Rock, 11/11/17.

A historic moment. Certainly the first time we’ve won four games in this tournament in the one season and also the first time we’ve reached its semi-final.

This will be our first national cup semi-final since we lost to Hearts after a replay in nineteen hundred and long time ago.

Plus it’s our first ever international cup semi-final given that Irish and Welsh teams are now allowed in it.

Heady stuff. Congratulations to the lads and manager.

*I suppose I’ll have to mention the sponsors now. It’s officially the Irn Bru Cup.

Draw for Next Round

The highly unusual occurence of a third round Challenge Cup tie has given us a home game against Stranraer on the first full weekend of October. This sees manager Stevie Aitken come up against his former assistant Stephen Farrell.

Stranraer have always been something of a bogey team for us – usually at their place but our home record against them is a bit iffy too.

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