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Dumbarton, River Leven and River Clyde from Dumbarton Rock

These are the good lady’s photographs. She took them while I was at one of the play-off games at The Rock, in May last year.

River Leven and Dumbarton from Dumbarton Rock:-

River Leven and Dumbarton from Dumbarton Rock

River Leven and Dumbarton with Ben Lomond in background:-

River Leven at Dumbarton, Ben Lomond in Background

Rivers Leven and Clyde at Dumbarton:-

Rivers Leven and Clyde at Dumbarton

River Leven and Dumbarton From Dumbarton Rock. As a child the good lady used to play on the rocks on the riverside below where this was taken from:-

View of River Leven and Dumbarton From Dumbarton Rock

Somewhere else she used to play was in this burn by the Swing Park. Well, that’s what it was always called when I was young. It’s apparently known officially as the East End Park:-

Burn by the Swing Park, Dumbarton

Dumbarton 0-1 Falkirk

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 6/5/17.

Well; it’s done now.

Next season Sons will still be playing in Scottish football’s second tier. That will be six years in a row – a magnificent achievement for a part-time club.

But it was close this time. Never before has it gone down to the last day, never before have we survived only on goal difference. It’s an indication of how difficult the task is year on year. And once again we have finished above at least one full-time club. We are punching above our weight.

Making it all the more sweet is that we have been the beneficiaries of what the Scotsman inquired might have been the worst transfer of the season. It was in fact the best. Lewis Vaughan’s goals contributed directly to six points in our efforts to stay up.

But survive we have and congratulations to the management team and players.
It’s a roller-coaster ride following Sons at the best of times. In this division wins are hard to come by and few enough per season. When they do occur the joy is that much more delicious.

It will all end one day but while trips to big grounds like Ibrox, Tynecastle or Easter Road are not on the agenda for next season there is still (maybe) Tannadice and the likes of St Mirren and East End Parks to go to and the possible prospect of rare games for us in Inverness.

But football doesn’t stand still. The worrying starts again in a couple of months time. Less if you fret about the manager’s future and summer signings.

Dumbarton 4-1 Airdrie Utd

SFL Div 1, The Rock, 20/4/13

Tantalising. Six points ahead two games to go.

I wasn’t there but it sounds like it was a comprehensive victory.

Unfortunately the result at East End Park today was the only one of the three possibilities which meant our win still didn’t mean we’d certainly avoid the play-offs.

A point from Cowdenbeath next week does the job and guarantees us seventh. Even a defeat will see us safe if Dunfermline fail to beat Partick Thistle. Heady days.

‘Mon the Sons.

Dunfermline Athletic 3-4 Dumbarton

SFL Div 1, East End Park, 23/3/13

Astonishing!

The scale of this result can be measured by the fact that Dunfermline had won their last 12 games against us and we hadn’t won at East End Park since 1986.

1-0 down at halftime I couldn’t see it coming. We weren’t 2-0 down long enough for me to be too despondent but at 3-1….?

Fortunately Chris Turner hit an absolute belter to make it 3-2 almost straight afterward and that sowed seeds of doubt in the home team.

We actually had a good first ten minutes but fell out of it for the rest of the half apart from Chris Turner having an effort chalked off for offside. I was in line and he looked OK to me. Not the last time the linesman was to be derided.

Their first goal came from when Nick Phinn was pushed off the ball in our half and they ran up and scored. Stephen Grindlay seemed to be beaten very easily.

Their second was dreadful defending. Their forward went through about three half-arsed tackles before hitting it in the corner.

Two minutes later a great passing move saw the ball hit across goal by Paul McGinn and Steven McDougall was free just beyond the back post to score our first against Dunfermline this season.

This was immediately after Jim Lister had come on for Nick Phinn. He made a difference. The home centre backs knew they were in a game then.

Their third was a joke. The through ball that led to it saw two Dunfermline players offside both of whom subsequently touched it, one playing it forward to another while both were well beyond the defenders. The linesman’s flag stayed resolutely down. He made gestures to suggest a defender was playing them on on the far side. Utter rubbish. The rest of the match was filled with Dumbarton fans shouting at him and raising ironic cheers when he finally did flag someone offside. (It’s what we pay our money for.)

The equaliser came from a defender dwelling on the ball and Jim Lister chasing him down, he then picked out Scott Agnew with a cut back, not the more obvious ball across the box. Aggie finished cleverly back the way it had come. Dreamland.

It then got better.

Our fourth was another intricate passing move finished off by Steven McDougall, calmness personified in the box, beating his man before slotting it past Paul Gallacher.

Dunfermline pressed for the few minutes remaining but we always managed to get bodies in the way or tackles in.

Up to today we had only 4 points out of the last 21 and the Murray magic seemed to have gone. Now it’s 7 out of the last 24. Even with Dunfermline’s troubles this must give the lads great confidence.

Games come thick and fast now, starting at home on Wednesday, then two in a row at Hamilton.

Edited to add:- Chris Turner was lucky to stay on the field after his deliberate hack at Josh Falkingham. I know Falkingham’s an annoying wee so-and-so but serious foul play is serious foul play no matter who it’s committed against.

East End Park, Dunfermline

Dumbarton are due to play at East End Park, home of Dunfermline Athletic Football Club, on the 23rd, a week today. We last played there on Jan 5th when I took these photos.

The Pars, as they are known, are in financial trouble; so take a good look at these as they may become historical curios.

East End Park, Dunfermline, From North

Yes, there’s a cemetery over the wall from the ground. This is a stitch of two photos to get the whole ground in.

East End Park from Halbeath Road
From Halbeath Road.

East Stand, East End Park, Dunfermline.

East Stand. Not used, except for big matches. (Celtic and Rangers, then, or when the Pars play a decider against Raith Rovers. So not often.)

West (Norrie McCathie) Stand, East End Park, Dunfermline
Norrie McCathie Stand (West Stand; at far end.) Named for a former player. Home support.

North Stand, East End Park, Dunfermline
North Stand. Home support here too. (The cemetery is behind it.)

Main Stand, East End Park, Dunfermline, from away section
Main Stand. Away support in foreground, home support in bulk of stand.

Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy (i)

I’ve not done one of these for a while – and I’ve just realised I haven’t included East End Park, Dunfermline, in this series yet.

Stark’s Park, the home of Raith Rovers FC, is of course the Scottish Football Ground nearest to where I live. Since I started blogging though the Sons have only played there twice (and the last time, Oct 2012, I was between cameras.)

This is from the lower end of Pratt Street. From this angle you can’t see how unusual the older stand is.

Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy

This is from the upper end, nearer to my house. The McDermid Stand is nearest in this view. The bit further away, to the left, is the peculiar corner stand.

Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy, from Pratt Street

And this is the away stand, the McDermid Stand, from Pratt Street, showing how close the road is to the ground.

Stark' s Park, McDermid Stand

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