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Clyde 0-3 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Broadwood Stadium, 31/7/21.

Wow. I didn’t see this coming. It’s welcome all the same.

But it remains to be seen whether we’re actually any good (though comments on Pie and Bovril suggest we are managing to look like a football team) or whether Clyde were just gash.

The home game against Airdrie next Saturday will give me more of an idea about that.

It All Starts Again

Today Sons’ new league season begins. It doesn’t seem any time at all since the aggregate play-off win against Edinburgh City and of course we have had three games in the League Cup* already but this is the big one.

We kick our SPFL Tier 3** campaign off away from home against Clyde. What with the usual churn of players in the close season I have no idea what to expect.

At least with luck we’ll go the full 36 games this time unlike in the past two seasons.

Sometime during it I might even get to see us play in person rather than on a screen.

* Premier Sports Cup

** You can call it cinch League One if you wish.

New Season’s League Fixtures

Sons’ fixture list for next league season is on the club website. Oddly we begin and end against the same team, Clyde.

Apparently our division is to be known as cinch League One.

I’ll be sticking with SPFL Tier 3.

Dumbarton 3-2 Peterhead

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 4/5/21.

Never underestimate the ability of a football club to put its fans through the wringer. 1-0 up, drawn back level, then 2-1 down and into despair, before 2-2 and then an injury time winner. The lead in this changed hands twice. That doesn’t happen often.

But where did this effort come from? We looked good early on, scored when we were on top, Jaime Wilson on the shoulder of the last defender (but in our own half!) running onto the through ball and putting it past the keeper with an early shot.

Then we fell out of it. Perhaps there was thought of holding onto the lead but the way we had been playing up to then we could and should have scored again.

Instead we were our own worst enemies failing to clear the ball properly before losing it and our defensive organisation. Admittedly Sam Ramsbottom had anotehr very good save just before that.)

The second half was mostly woeful, though, the tin lid being put on it when we lost the ball at our penalty area level and a looped hanging cross lured out Ramsbottom who couldn’t claim it and it was headed in.

There then seemed to be a grinding inevitablity to things and a limp surrender to relegation (okay, to the play-offs,) was unfolding. Then a Ross Forbes corner was hammered into the net by Morgyn Neill’s head (why had Forbes played all those short free-kicks earlier?) and the unlikeliest of comebacks was on.

Urgency had become the order of the day. As in the Forfar game last week the manager threw the kitchen sink at it with two late substitutions.

Fulfilled in fairy-tale fashion in the first minute of injury time when Ross Forbes hooked the ball into the area almost without looking. Jaime Wilson did not look favourite but he threw his head at the ball and buried it.

That’s the first time in the league this season we’ve scored more than twice and also the first time we’ve come from behind to score. It’s the first time we’ve gone behind and not lost.

I suppose that supplies some reason for hope if we do end up in the play-offs.

But that fate depends on how Clyde get on on Thursday.

Clyde 2-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Broadwood Stadium, 1/5/21.

Expletive deleted.

This was the very definition of a “must not lose” game – and we lost it. And also allowed the goal difference margin to collapse to only one in our favour.

Clyde will now know what they have to do to avoid the relegation play-off spot when they play East Fife on Thursday.

I would not be at all surprised though if we won on Tuesday against Peterhead. It’s the sort of thing we do.

Also, and I may be doing them a disservice here, but Peterhead, being safe, may have downed tools. (After all, they did lose to Forfar today.)

It would only prolong the agony.

If we don’t win that one of course then we’ll be in that relegation play-off ourselves – and I do not fancy our chances.

Dumbarton 1-0 Forfar Athletic

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 27/4/21.

Who would be a football fan?

This was excruciating.

We had a couple of bright moments in the first half but their keeper was never really troubled by them. And we had Sam Ramsbottom to thank for keeping it level with a very good save from a header from a corner.

The second half was totally forgettable till the last two minutes. Over the piece it’s up there with so many others this season as being the worst football match I’ve ever seen. Misplaced passes, miscontrols – I know the pitch is bumpy and needs a lot of rain to improve it but still.

We created nothing.

The subs didn’t help as we ended up with almost no midfield and five or six front men. This felt like a recipe for Forfar breaking upfield to score and indeed they could have tested Ramsbottom a few times but their final touch was missing.

It was easy to see why both teams were in trouble at the bottom of the table.

The game had 0-0 written all over it and was a dispiriting watch.

Ninety seconds of the ninety minutes were left when P J Crossan neatly got past his full back and crossed the ball. It ran behind a despairing lunge by a defender and fell to fellow-sub Conner Duthie who buried it. This was totally at odds with the rest of the game. A “get out of jail free” card.

The agony is now prolonged to Saturday and Tuesday.*

Why do they do it to us?

Why do we fans do it to ourselves?

*(Covid permitting, Clyde’s postponement tonight for one of their squad having a positive test puts the cat among the pigeons.

East Fife 2-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, New Bayview, 24/4/21.

Well, not Dumbarton nil, but still no points.

At least Clyde also lost, which keeps us in touch with them.

Tuesday’s home game against Forfar really is a must win, though.

Cove Rangers 1-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Balmoral Stadium, 10/4/21.

Back to business as usual then. Dumbarton nil.

I wasn’t expecting anything from this game though.

Tuesday’s a big day for us even though we’re not playing as both Forfar and Clyde have a game then.

Then the big one on Thursday night, when we play Clyde at their place.

(But we could be four points behind them by then.)

Edited to add: It seems from a photo on Twitter (click to enlarge picture) that the ball didn’t cross the line for their goal.

Also from Pie and Bovril that we were as woeful as usual so we didn’t deserve to take anything from the game anyway.

Dumbarton 2-1 East Fife

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 8/4/21.

Well. Two goals.

Count them.

Two goals – and we had a penalty saved. Who’d have thought it?

In one game we have increased our goals tally in the league by 33.33%.

It helped that we scored early; a Ryan McGeever header from a Ross Forbes corner. Typical that my live-streaming feed froze momentarily and I didn’t see it, just heard the commentators go tonto. (I did wind back the feed after the game and saw how thumping a header it was.) McGeever had another close effort – with his foot! – a few minutes later which crashed off the bar and a second free header in the second half where he was way off with his direction.

Thereafter it was not quite like Groundhog Day. We did look to be more on the front foot than in recent games even if East Fife had more possession. They didn’t do a lot with it though – except for Scott Agnew’s delivery at corners which I knew would catch us out in the end, and did. Thankfully that came too late.

Our second goal was a neat through ball from Ross Forbes and a shimmy past the defender by Adam Frizell before he buried it emphatically.

I was still figuratively biting my nails. We’ve cocked up so many games since the restart.

Pity that Clyde also got a win.

On to Cove on Saturday now.

Falkirk 1-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Falkirk Stadium, 30/3/21.

Well I didn’t see this coming. I didn’t see it at all. After Saturday I just wanted to crawl away into a darkened room so didn’t avail myself of Falkirk’s live stream. (It was £13.99 a pop too, A bit steep.)

From the comments on Pie and Bovril the Falkirk fans seem to think it’s their managers’ fault. (Yes they have two.)

They also said Sam Ramsbottom was man of the match. He apparently made four good saves. (Though one Falkirk fan disagrees, saying he only had one.)

The other surprising thing is that we scored. New boy Rabin Omar after a route one kick up the park according to the club website.

An unexpected and welcome point but we need three in every game at the minute.

Unfortunately Clyde won away at Peterhead so we’ve gone down a place, and they’ve got a game in hand on us too. Forfar got themselves a similarly unexpected point to ourselves at Partick.

Those losses at home in the past two league games are really hurting now.

Airdrieonians tomorrow night at home is the latest must win.

If we did it would put serious pressure on them.

So we most likely won’t.

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