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Dumbarton 1-0 Brechin City

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 13/3/18.

As the club’s Twitter feed (accessible on the club website, I don’t do Twitter) put it, “Goal Sons! An actual goal!”

Our first goal in the league since Boxing Day (but barring Cowdenbeath we’re still comfortably the lowest scorers in Scottish football) and our first league win since 2nd December, which makes it five in total now, whoop-de-do.

We’re up against the same opponents on Saturday, this time at their place. Doubtless we’ll make it difficult for ourselves again.

Porto

Porto is a stunning city. I suppose it helped that the sun was shining – after all, even Cowdenbeath looks good in the sunshine – but the buildings were interesting. Not just São Bento Railway Station and the tiled churches but even generally “ordinary” buildings.

This was just down from the Great War Memorial. That tiled church is just to right of centre here:-

A Street in Porto

“Ordinary” building:-

Buildings in Porto

Some of the streets were narrow though:-

A Street in Porto

And like all great cities, Porto has a river, The Douro:-

River Douro at Porto

That way kind of led us out of town so we doubled back and found this way down to the river:-

Street leading to River Douro, Porto

Looking back up to city from bank of River Douro:

Porto Buildings from Bank of River Douro

Former Cinema Cowdenbeath

Once the Picture House Cinema, now a Premier Bingo Hall.
On the High Street. Not quite Art Deco. It was built in 1912. Rebuilt in 1935 so some deco touches.

Former Cinema Cowdenbeath

From left:-

Former Cinema, Cowdenbeath, Side View

Former Cinema Cowdenbeath, Other Side

Cowdenbeath World War 2 Memorial

This is on the High Street outside a local government office. The plaque is divided into Navy, Army, RAF and civilian deaths. The lower plaque is heade Armed Forces and records a death in Iraq 2007.

Cowdenbeath’s Great War Memorial is on top of a hill overlooking the High Street but is not as easily accessible as this one.

Cowdenbeath World War 2 Memorial

Alloa Athletic 3-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Recreation Park*, 11/4/15.

Well it was only fair. We rolled over to Cowdenbeath last week so to give Alloa the same courtesy this, seems equitable.

So many things pointed to this result. They had a new manager. They hadn’t beaten us for fifteen games. They needed the points and we didn’t.

Yet the only difference in the first half was that their shots were on target and ours went just past the post – though our best was screwed well wide by Archie Campbell. We had more attempts in the first half than they did, their second goal wasn’t even a chance really but their two goals were both wonder strikes, one from a free-kick (the ref did not give us one in a similar incident and realtive position later in the half) but the other ought to have been closed down.

The second half was a bit meh. Their goal came after one of their players seemed to handle the ball on the halfway line but Danny Rogers ought to have made sure to get the ball when coming out for it rather than let the attacker lift it over him to leave an empty net.

As last week there weren’t many positives to take from this.

Our season now looks in danger of petering out but I suppose the players will be up for next week’s game against Rangers.

Despite us losing here, Cowdenbeath’s failure to win against Livingston means we cannot be caught for 7th place. Scotland’s best part-time team again!

*I will never think of it as the Indodrill Stadium.

Cowdenbeath 3-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Central Park, 4/4/15

Well this was dire. We started brightly enough but Mark Duggan flicked out at a cross instead of meeting it and could only just get his head to a rebound but was unable to turn it in. We then fell out of it.

Three at the back just didn’t work for us even though Andy Graham did a good impression of an attacking left back for a while.

They scored just before half time when the ball came back up after they had pushed three men up on our back three while we had the ball but lost it and others broke too. When Danny Rogers parried the first effort about three of theirs were on hand to tap in.

The second just after the break was almost a carbon copy. Again Rogers parried the ball but their player was again first to it.

We had lost all cohesion by the third but it has to be said the cross onto Colin Rhyming Slang’s head was a peach.

Given the relative incentives for the two teams this was always likely to be a win for Cowden but I had hoped that our safety might have produced a carefree performance rather than an error strewn one. (Though the pitch didn’t help with the errors: but the pitch was the same for both sides.) Maybe if we had scored first….

Job Done!

And without a ball being kicked. (Not by us anyway.) Plus with six games to go.

Congratulations to manager Ian Murray and the squad.

Tonight’s 1-0 win by Falkirk over Cowdenbeath means that Sons will play SPFL Tier 2 football again next season. Survival in this league has to be our first aim every season we’re in it. Anything beyond that is a bonus.

While it is true that either Cowdenbeath or Alloa can outdo our current points tally of 33 the arithmetic means it is not possible for both of them to do so since they play each other in the last game of the normal season. (What a tasty encounter that may be: though I think the last time they had a crucial last day game against each other – in 1991, for promotion in that case – I believe it was a 0-0 draw.) The lowest we can now finish is in eighth place, one above the play-off spot. Our present seventh position is way more likely, though.

We’re 9 points behind Raith Rovers with 18 to play for. Catching them would be a tall order but still worth striving for.

To emphasise what an achievement this is for the club it is worth pointing out that no part-time team has stayed at this level for so long since league re-organisation in 1994. (Cowdenbeath may yet equal us in this regard but are 1 point behind Alloa at the moment with the possibility of having to negotiate the play-offs to do so.)

Livingston 1-2 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Almondvale Stadium, 21/3/15

What an odd game.

We started brightly and had two efforts on goal from Garry Fleming neither of which were on target. Then Chris Turner dangled his leg out to stop a Livi player getting past and was booked. An unneeded foul which I said to Onebrow would be even more unnneeded if they scored from it. So what happened? 1-0 Livi. Danny Rogers seemed a bit immobile as it went in.

There followed a succession of fouls by Livi layers on ours all of which went unpunished – even the one that resulted in Darren Petrie having to be substituted. Dylan Easton came on but this wasn’t really the sort of game where he could shine as Livi were very physical. Despite that it was two more of our players who got booked. In Mark Wilson’s case it looked to me as if he played the ball onto their player. I thought it wasn’t till late in the game that the ref saw fit to book any of their players but the BBC says one was yellow carded after 45 mins. The worst refereeing decision came in the second half when Garry Fleming was given offside despite the fact that he had run on to a pass misplaced by one of their players.

From five minutes into the second half Livi were time-wasting. That was an irritating spectacle. I was thinking we’ve beaten way better Livi teams than this.

The time-wasting came back to bite them late on when Scott Agnew drove a free-kick into the net. Is that Aggie’s first goal from a free-kick since we got promoted to this division?* It wasn’t even in the corner, hit on the goalie’s side of the wall, but I wasn’t caring.

No time-wasting by Livi now. But it was us who scored again, Garry Fleming latching on to a ball after a set piece wasn’t fully cleared and fairly belting it into the net. He simply wanted it more than the defender.

So a win that sees us 11 points clear of 8th place with 7 games left (with Alloa only having 18 points to play for and Cowdenbeath 24.) Livi are 17 points behind us with only 21 to play for. I think we won’t finish last, then.

*Edited to add:- Apparently not. I seems he got one in the 4-1 demolition of Hamilton Accies last spring. I wasn’t at that game.

Hibernian 3-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Easter Road, 21/2/15.

Painful. That’s the word I would have used at half-time to describe our performance. Nothing that happened in the second half changed it.

We looked utterly toothless. Our set-up was strange (what’s new this season?) – the absence of Darren Petrie from midfield, as last week, was baffling considering his debut at Falkirk. Also not starting was new loanee Chris Duggan.

Hibs dominated throughout. While the two first-half goals came from poor defending and the third was a deflection we also had Danny Rogers to thank for good goalkeeping and that Hibs clearly relaxed and didn’t force things once the game was won.

The substitutions were odd too. Fair enough Dylan Easton being replaced by Chris Turner but why take off Mark Gilhaney rather than Archie Campbell? Gils could have taken up his usual position on the right where he is generally effective. And perhaps they ought to have been made at half-time rather than after Hibs had scored again. And Darren Petrie for Scott Linton with nine minutes to go?

It is painfully obvious that Chris Turner isn’t half the player he was in his first two half-seasons. Since his injury he’s lost pace (and that was never his strong suit) and his confidence looks shot.

This was 3-0 going on a total doing.

Before the game, considering we had lost our last two home games to Livi and Cowden, I was looking at the fixture list and wondering where the points are going to come from. After it I’m deeper in gloom than ever.

Cowdenbeath 1-3 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Central Park, 27/12/14.

A good and well deserved three points. We pretty much dominated this game and ought to have had it put to bed in the first half but all we had to show at the interval was a wonderful finish from Colin Rhyming Slang. Yes, you read that correctly. He had earlier blistered a shot just wide. He was having a good game.

Our line-up was a bit odd seeming with Archie Campball in for Mitch Megginson on the right and Garry Fleming playing wide left.

I thought our failure to put more than one away would come back to haunt us when we allowed them more possession in the second half and they duly scored. Danny Rogers saved their only other chance soon after but then we scored – from a corner! – Lee Mair heading in Scott Agnew’s delivery, though Sons fans were so far away in the corner of the old stand that no-one was really sure who the scorer had been until the internet was checked!

Then the clincher. Chris Kane (who had a poor game by his standards) was put in behind the defence by Colin Rhyming Slang’s pass, tripped by the defender and even though he was heading away from goal the ref gave a red card. Sons fans had the perfect angle to see Garry Fleming’s bullet head for the net. Unstoppable. It was almost a carbon copy of Gylfi Sigurdsson’s goal for Swansea on Boxing Day except the keeper didn’t take a step to his right first.

There were two more notable Colin Nish efforts, one hitting the post, and we had chances beyond that as the ten men struggled a bit to contain us but the ball wouldn’t go in.

Sixth at the New Year. That’s more than acceptable.

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