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Dumbarton 2-0 Forfar Athletic

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 3/3/20.

That should do it. Forfar can still reach 54 points and we’re on 38 but they’ve averaged less than a point a game up to now so if they kept that up they’d only get to 35. We’re now 22 points ahead of Stranraer so they’re definitely out of sight. We’ll be in Tier 3 again next season I should think. (I can’t see us reaching the promotion play-off places.)

We dominated the first half and played some pretty stuff at times but never really threatend their goal until a cross reached Stefan McCluskey whose close effort from near the bye-line was saved by the keeper and went for what all the Sons fans near me thought was a corner – as did the linesman – but the ref gave a goal-kick. I suppose it could have rebounded back off McCluskey but it didn’t look like it.

The goal wasn’t long delayed, a neat move leading to a header into the path of Ross Forbes who finished it well.

Ir was much the same in the second half with Forfar having a bit more of the ball but mostly being woeful with it. Conor Brennan only had one save to make, from a long-range effort.

The clincher was again a good move with Jai Quitongo hammering home after a neat P J Crossan pass following a Forbes through ball.

Stefan McCluskey had the best game I’ve seen from him but he still doesn’t have much end-product and too often takes a negative option. Rico Quitongo continues to make strides at left-back; he’s a much improved player from the one of the beginning of the season. His brother Jai can clearly play a bit, with a good touch, but he has a tendency to go up blind alleys or overdo things. And Stuart Carswell looks to be coming back to his best. He’s been off the boil for a long time. I wonder if he’s been carrying an injury.

Clyde again on Saturday at their place. (Weather permitting.)

Dumbarton 1-0 Raith Rovers

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 29/2/20.

A collector’s piece, this one. Carsy scored. Only the fifth time for us I believe. Possibly only his fifth ever. The last time was I think was also against Raith, in the home game one year ago on 26/2/19.

So that’s two wins in a row – last achieved in December, again against Raith.

That the winner came in injury time means the home fans must have left the Rock buzzing.

Another win on Tuesday night against Forfar would go a long way towards making sure we avoid relegation – indeed all but make that a certainty.

No doubt that means it won’t happen.

Dumbarton P-P Forfar Athletic

I wasn’t surprised at the postponement given the weather, even if the park had looked OK a couple of days ago.

Had it been on it might have been the best opportunity to put a win on the board for the first time this year but at least the teams below us didn’t gain anything on us.

If the pitch is truly soaked Tuesday’s rearranged game against Clyde might be off too.

Montrose 2-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Links Park, 15/2/20.

I was about to report that we’d failed to score – again – but then PJ Crossan got one back in injury time. So that’s three for this year so far – and two of those were in the one game.

At least nobody below us won.

Our next two games, at home to Forfar and Clyde, are real must-not-lose affairs if we’re not to be drawn into the relegation equation.

Game Off

I was spared the torture of watching today’s game on Sportscene Results for two reasons.

One: Sportscene Results wasn’t on because the Scottish Premiership is having a midwinter break. (This is another example of BBC Scotland’s contempt for lower league football which they tend to ignore as much as possible. Having said that I do though have to commend them on the TV show A View From the Terrace which does give the smaller clubs and their players most of its attention.)

Two: The game was off due to a waterlogged pitch. Not surprising given the weather we’ve been having.

In one sense the postponement was welcome. We’re down below the bare bones in terms of player numbers and a week off yields more time to get injured players fit.

Whether it was a good thing depends on how the game goes on the rearranged date.

As it is, not too much damage was done in terms of the teams below us as Forfar drew and Peterhead lost.

It’s the Cup game against Aberdeen up next. A free hit – except if we get utterly gubbed.

Forfar Athletic 3-4 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Station Park, 14/12/19.

At least this shows we can score goals.

We certainly need to.

I said it was a mustn’t lose but losing this we were – three times.

I suppose their third, from a penalty, just before half-time, might have been a big downer but we’ve come back from a half-time deficit away already this season – most notably at Peterhead.

Credit to the lads, then, for coming out of it with the win.

Still sixth, but now with a nine point cushion to ninth.

And (amazingly) only four points shy off fourth place – and five away from third.

Will we burst the league leaders’ (somewhat underinflated I grant you) bubble next week?

Nah.

Dumbarton 0-2 Montrose

What the football gods give, the football gods take away.

We won 2-1 at their place earlier and were hanging on a bit towards the end. Since then they have really hit form so I wasn’t really surprised by this result which means they have leapfrogged us so we’re back down to sixth.

That makes next week at Forfar a must not lose.

Dumbarton 3-1 Forfar Athletic

Scottish Cup,* Third Round, The Rock, 23/11/19.

Well, we’re through. This was an odd game though.

After a fairly even start we scored after a neat move culminated in Isaac Layne passing to Adam Frizzell who still had a lot to do, beating a man before shooting. It appeared to deflect a little but still it seemed the keeper might have done better.

We immediately fell out of it, surrendering the midfield and allowing Forfar to flood forward. Consequently it wasn’t a surprise that they equalised but it was a shocking goal to lose, as nobody seemed to put in a challenge before the cross which was headed out to a Forfar player totally unmarked on the edge of the box. His curled shot was just watched into the net by everybody.

Despite Forfar having most of the game they didn’t actually force Connor Brennan in goal into any saves after that except for dealing with crosses and the like. (I use ‘dealing with’ in the widest sense as in one case he palmed the ball out almost straight to a Forfar player who thankfully didn’t make the most of it.)

In what seemed like our first foray up the field in a long time we won a corner. Stefan McCluskey swept in the corner for Ryan McGeever to power a header into the bottom corner.

It was soon all over as the most Route One goal you’ll ever see came when their centre half misjudged a Connor Brennan kick-out and Isaac Layne latched onto the ball to drive it past the advancing keeper.

At 1-1 I was dreading them scoring as we could really do with them not getting the confidence boost a win could have brought. The way we played today I doubt we’d have got back in the game. Unfortunately Stranraer achieved just that likely boost against Dunfermline today. Let’s hope that it’s short-lived.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be too harsh as we were missing the influential Joe McKee today. His general play and delivery from crosses and set-pieces is a big asset. Also out was Rhegan Tumilty, I assume because his parent club doesn’t want him cup-tied.

*William Hill Scottish Cup

Scottish Cup Draw

Sons have been drawn at home in the third round of this season’s Scottish Cup – facing Forfar Athletic on the 23rd Noveember.

At least it’s not someone in a higher division and not a potential embarrassment against a lower league side. It might only have been the once but we’ve had enough of those this decade.

Dumbarton 3-1 Forfar Athletic

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 5/10/19.

Well. That’s more like it.

We’ve still only beaten teams that are below us but we’ve done that to four of them now. But I note we still haven’t kept a clean sheet.

It was good to see that new loan signing Adam Frizell got on the score sheet straight away.

Before the season started I’d have taken four wins and a draw out of the first nine games. I’d not have thought we’d only be three points off third spot, though. (Only six off first spot too.)

There’s a long way to go yet, however. We’re only one point more than that away from the bottom.

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