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East Fife 0-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 4, New Bayview, 11/11/23.

This is only the second time this season I have watched the mighty Sons of the Rock in action. But East Fife’s ground is only 7 or so miles away from where I live so it seemed only right to turn up.

We survived an early scare when Tony Wallace headed the ball but straight to an East Fife attacker for a one-on-one only for Brett Long in our goal to bail him out.

A minute or so later we took the lead a ball into the box reached Kalvin Orsi who poked it home for his first goal in 784 days.

Thereafter we kind of fell out of it for a while with East Fife knocking the ball about quite well but never really threatening. Then we had a spell where we had four great chances in about three minutes but East Fife’s keeper made one good and one magnificent save and there was a great last minute block to prevent us scoring again. We did get the ball in the net once more but it was chalked off for offside.

The second half was fairly uneventful. Our final balls were just a bit off. East Fife barely looked like scoring except for when Brett Long misjudged a situation, coming for a ball he was never going to get, and was left stranded. Enough defenders got back though to prevent a goal.

The fact that their keeper got their man of the match award kind of sums things up.

I must say Michael Ruth’s centre forward play was superb. He held up the ball and played others in. Sadly he didn’t get enough of the ball in the box to be able to score.We also had players actually showing for the ball at throw-ins. That is not the Dumbarton way.

The ref made some odd decisions. Par for the course these days.

Up front for East Fife Nathan Austin was a shadow of the player he used to be.


Dumbarton 1-0 East Fife

SPFL Tier 4, The Rock, 22/04/23.

A win and another clean sheet – thanks to Brett Long for a penalty save and Martin McNiff for the goal, though Carsy missed a penalty for us. That’s a club record of clean sheets in one season for a single goalkeeper.

Combined with Annan’s defeat to Stirling this result means we will finish second.

Not that that matters much as we will be playing whoever finishes third, which might well be East Fife, or Annan.

The first leg is away on 9 or 10/6/23, with the second leg at home on 13/6/23.

Two games till to go before then though. Let’s hope for no more injuries.

Bonnyrigg Rose 0-2 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 4, New Dundas Park, 15/4/23.

A win?

And a clean sheet?

We’ve not seen either of those for six weeks.

I’m glad we’ve stopped the rot. I was beginning to wonder where a point was going to come from.

And results elsewhere mean we’ve clinched a promotion play-off spot. (I’d have taken that before a ball was kicked but after being top of the pile for so long it’s a touch disappointing we didn’t manage to push that over the line. And the other teams in the play-offs will be in a better psychological place for not having that disappointment.)

We have Declan Byrne and Russell McLean to thank for today’s goals. I must confess that second scorer is a surprise as when I saw him – at East Fife and Stirling – he looked like he couldn’t hit the proverbial barn door. Still, we’ll take small comforts.

Next up is Stirling Albion at home on Tuesday where they’ll be hoping to clinch the league title (that’s if the game goes on; it’s been postponed four times already.) Then it’s East Fife at home on Saturday and they’ll be on a high after putting eight past Stranraer today.

Dumbarton 2-0 East Fife

SPFL Tier 4, The Rock, 24/12/22.

A very good way indeed to celebrate the club’s 150th anniversary.

From the reports I’ve read it sounds like we fully deserved the win. Goals from Gregor Buchanan and David Wilson did the job.

I can’t remember ever being top of the league at Christmas before. Ditto at New Year. (Our four point lead means we wil achieve that accolade too.) Mind you our next game – on Hogmanay – will be tough. We’ve found Albion Rovers to be difficult opponents this season.

Sons Are 150 Years Old

Today is the 150th anniversary of the founding of Dumbarton FC, first football Champions of Scotland and one of only seven teams whose names can be found on the Scottish Cup (as opposed to plinths below it.)

I obviously haven’t supported the Sons for that length of time. (It just feels like it.)

I wasn’t around for the glory days of those two League Championships in 1891 and 1892, nor the Scottish Cup (1883) and Festival of Britain St Mungo Quaich (1951) wins but I have witnessed seven promotions including three divisional championships, a Scottish Cup semi-final and a Challenge Cup final. Not bad for a diddy team.

Tomorrow’s home game against East Fife will be a special celebration day.

Congratulations to DFC on its anniversary.

Game Off

Unsurprisingly given the temperatures we’ve been having today’s game at the Rock against Stenhousemuir was postponed.

That means our next game – versus East Fife on the 24th – is the one where the club is marking its 150th anniversary.

Celebrations are planned at the Rock.

We must hope that the result will also be one to celebrate.

But we know how these things go.

East Fife 0-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Bayview Stadium, 3/9/22.

Well. I’m not a jinx. And the club record number of wins at the start of a season was broken again. We’re eight points clear. I keep thinking sometime I will wake up.

This was my first time seeing this Sons side and it was a strange experience. The difference between last season and this is night and day. Indeed I do not recall ever seeing a Dumbarton team have so much ‘dig’ in it. Every ball was contested, the press was coordinated, the determination impressive.

Not that it was a very good game. It didn’t contain much flowing football. But a win is a win.

My impression was that East Fife had more of the ball in the first half but the half-time possession statistics (according to the BBC website) suggested the opposite. Our goal came form a quick turnover in midfield when Ryan Blair sent Declan Byrne through with an arrowed pass and he ran on to dispatch it past the keeper into the far corner. A minute later Declan nearly repeated the feat but this time his shot from a slightly narrower angle hit the post and bounced out. Byrne was a terrier up front, putting himself about but also able to hold the ball up distribute it.

We had a few half-chances in the second half but mostly put the ball over the bar. There was one lovely corner routine which ought perhaps to have led to a goal but the final shot was scuffed and subsequently hacked away.

There very few moments of concern in our box. Brett Long in goal didn’t have to make a save. One East Fife effort did hit the bar but Brett may have had the scoring trajectory covered.

There was also a good amount of game management going on in the second half. Nice to see.

Next up is Stranraer away. They are our bogey team. A good test then.

Dumbarton 2-1 Elgin City

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 27/8/22.

Club history!

Never before have we won our first five league games in a row.

Being a Dumbarton supporter of long-standing this is a very unusual circumstance to behold. We have won five games in a row mid-season but I still wonder if I’m dreaming.

We’ve yet to play three of the top five though.

I just don’t know what to think about it.

It’s almost incidental who actually scored but it was Ally Love with two penalties within minutes of each other. (Not Carsy on penalty duty I note.)

It’s East Fife away next week in what, since I live in Fife, amounts to a home game for me.

But since I’ve not seen us live this season I have a quandary. Do I keep doing the same thing as I’ve done every Saturday so far or go to the game and risk being a jinx?

Dumbarton 4-0 Annan Athletic

SPFL Tier 4, The Rock, 13/8/22.

I didn’t see this coming. Annan did well last season. And this is the first time since 1959 we’ve won our first three league games. (Mind you, we finished sixth that season.)

A brace from Declan Byrne, one from Finlay Gray and the icing on the cake provided by Gregor Buchanan – with an assist from a trialist – John Gemmell of misty memory if Pie and Bovril is to be believed.

I’m not letting myself get carried away by this.

After all we beat East Fife 5-0 at home last September and look how the season ended.

But it is an encourgaging start.

Dumbarton 2-1 Clyde

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 30/4/22,

Too little too late.

Except for when we played East Fife this was our only home win in the league this season – and it came in the last regular game. Add to that that we have had only had three clean sheets all season and you can see where the problems lie.

Our team featured nine changes from last week’s starters – no doubt the manager trying to preserve players for the more important play-off games coming up.

We started brightly enough though I thought Clyde looked less than interested and in ten minutes Kristoffer Syvertsen executed a lovely turn in the box and shot past their keeper.

Thereafter we more or less dominated the half and ought to have scored when Ross Maclean had a one-on-one but he lost his footing just as he shot. Anothe rlovely move saw Kris Syvertsen set up by Gregg Wylde but his shot was either blocked by a defender or tipped over the bar by the keeper; it was hard to see which on the stream.

Then with half-time looming we lost centre-back Adam Hutchinson to a shoulder injury. No sub came on. Of course they came up the park and scored – albeit at the second attempt. Being a man short may have cost us that. Carsy came on as sub for the kick-off. Typical.

So far so like the last home game against Peterhead.

The second half was pretty much nothing but Conner Duthie and Josh Oyinsan on for the half looke dlively at times. It was due to Josh we got the winner. He rolled his defender on the halfway line and passed to Duthie who mishit his pass but Gregg Wylde got enough power to beat the keeper.

In the last seconds Josh took a sore one from former Son Kevin Nicoll who was immediately red-carded. What a ridiculous challenge to perpetrate in the last knockings of the season. I hope Josh will be fit to take part in the play-offs.

So a win at last. But is it enough to instil confidence for Tuesday night?

For myself, the nerves are shredded already.

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