Archives » Garry Fleming

Dunfermline Athletic 5-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, East End Park, 4/3/17.

What can I say about a shambles like this? We were awful from the start. Apart from a Robert Thomson effort from very long range in the first few minutes – well saved by the keeper – we didn’t worry them at all till late in the first half by which time we were two down and Stuart Carswell had walked off the pitch with a bloody nose after a “disagreement” with Mark Docherty on losing the second goal.

Misplaced passes, failed interceptions, overcommitting, lack of communication: had we trained together at all at any time before today?

Andy Stirling did manage an effort on target and then the keeper made another save from a Robert Thomson header and the David Smith follow up just before half time. A goal for us then might have improved things – but then again it might not.

Dunfermline’s pressing had pretty well smothered us and ours was ineffective at best.

The second half was even worse, only a Christian Nade header well over the bar to show until our goal near the end – and all the while our defence was parting like the Red Sea. Marking was non-existent and three of their goals were very similar close range headers.

I hadn’t believed it would be possible for us to give a worse defensive performance than our last one at this venue in the first league game this season but I was wrong.

Daniel Harvie’s late goal after a brilliant back-heel from Garry Fleming was no consolation though Harvie enjoyed it.

Christian Nade looks very lacking in pace and fitness and seems mostly to want to procure fouls – which refs are unwilling to give.

I hope the wheels haven’t come off the bus but we looked totally lost in this game.

That contretemps between Docherty and Carswell needs resolving quickly and boots up several backsides are in order.

We were sprightly and incisive last week at Falkirk but didn’t look anything like the same team in this one.

Next week’s game is now huge.

Bonnyrigg Rose* 0-0 Dumbarton

Scottish Cup** Third Round, New Saunders Park, 26/11/16.

It was great to be at an old-fashioned football ground, crowd tight to the pitch, free standing, ability to walk round the ground, no segregation – and never a hint of trouble despite that. A great occasion for Bonnyrigg; as the size of the crowd testified.

But for us this was dreadful. Against a team not even in the same football system as us and therefore technically at least five levels below ours we looked as if all we intended was to avoid defeat.

Too many passes went astray, too many players were off it. Okay we were missing a few but we should still be able to go to a Junior ground and look to attack.

They had the better of the play apart from a minor flurry at the beginning of the second half. They might only have had one threatening attempt in the first half – well saved by Alan Martin but routine enough – to our three (Garry Fleming’s effort from their mistake followed by Donald McCallum’s shot on the rebound, both well saved by their keeper, then Don’s attempt to dig out the ball after the keeper spilled a cross) but they had most of the play.

We looked comfortable enough defending – except for corners and free-kicks and a wonderful Alan Martin reflex save from one of those – but we ourselves only had a looping header on target in the second half.

Quite why Don was on from the start when they had two big central defenders who could head the ball all day is beyond me. Robert Thomson at least won a few when he came on, we might have made something of that if he had started and Don could have come on to run at them towards the end. Not that they looked lacking in fitness. The game could have gone on till next Tuesday and no goals would have been scored.

A replay is the last thing we needed; especially in the week running up to our encounter with Hibs at Easter Road. On this evidence we could go into that game out of the Cup.

*According to their website the home club’s full name is Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic.
**William Hill Scottish Cup

Dundee United 2-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Tannadice Park, 22/10/16.

This was an unusual occurence. The last time I was at Tannadice to see the Sons (or at all) was over thirty years ago. (We did play there in the 1995-6 season but I didn’t go. A combination of the fact that that was during the time where we went a whole year without a win and my family was quite young.)

The end result was the same. We still haven’t won in Dundee since 1958.

They had a beginning flurry – Alan Martin with a superb double save – then we had a great chance, Garry Fleming stabbing the ball from close in but the keeper made a great save. Then Robert Thomson sent a header towards the post area which the keeper again clawed away and David Smith couldn’t connect properly with a ball that came to him after a corner. Martin again did the needful to keep out a free-kick.

The best bit about the first half was the seethe from the home support at their forwards continually being flagged offside. With their pace there was no need to even be close to an offside position.

At half-time I was slightly disappointed that we weren’t ahead.

The blows came equally spaced around the hour mark. Mark Docherty misjudged a header from a corner and it flew into the net. Their second was also from a corner. Our players were slightly late to react to Willo Flood running up from his halfway line. His free header across goal was turned goalwards but Alan Martin saved it. Unfortunately the rebound fell to one of them who couldn’t miss.

Despite a two goal lead they still couldn’t make any impact on us from open play. We did though, sub Andy Stirling’s cross deflecting to a perfectly placed Robert Thomson to bundle the ball below the keeper. They looked a bit nervous after that but we couldn’t make any more clear chances. Even so Sam Stanton was obviously held back when going through but no free-kick was forthcoming. Not the only odd decision by the ref in the game.

So our players scored two goals, theirs one. We scored from open play they didn’t. The team performance was good but we shouldn’t beat a team like Dundee United at their place. Still, it felt like at least a point lost.

Raith Rovers 3-2 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Stark’s Park, 24/9/16.

What an odd game. We started brightly enough then fell right out of it. They missed two great chances, one pulled wide when it looked easier to score then Alan Martin made a great save on a one-on-one after a short pass back.

But it was only delayed. We were opened up far too easily and the lad put it into the corner. We could have equalised when a throw-in got all the way through to Daniel Harvie but he could not control the bounce off his body and the ball looped over the bar.

Their second was again too easily created but the deflection was cruel to Alan Martin. We were so out of it I said, “We’re not coming back from this.” Their third was unsavable. The scorer was given too much space and simply belted it from a distance. It struck the post before nestling. “We’re definitely not coming back from this.”

Stevie Aitken made two subs at half time, Josh Todd for Craig Pettigrew and Sam Stanton for Andy Stirling. Robert Thomson had a neat back-heel that was cleared off the line but it wasn’t till Ryan Stevenson came on for Garry Fleming that we got presence in midfield. Stevenson it was who reduced the deficit when finally he took the responsibility for a shot that everybody else in the move had shunned. Consolation only I thought but somehow we managed to score again, a bit of pinball in their box ended by Robert Thomson but don’t ask me how as we Sons fans were up in the gods in the angle of the main stand about as far away from the goal at the north end as it is possible to get. For a few seconds I wasn’t even sure the ref had given it.

So, a drubbing ended up adding only one to our minus goal difference. We need to start playing (for which read defending) before going three goals down.

We’re now second bottom – and we won’t get any points next week. League leaders Queen of the South are at the Rock and notwithstanding the result there last time our record at home against them is awful.

Dumbarton 2-1 St Mirren

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 23/4/16.

Job done!

I hadn’t looked at the scores till about 5.40, was most pleased to see Livingston down 3-1 and us ahead, then thought would we hold out? I didn’t know at the time we’d had a late kick-off so the wait was even more agonising. It sounds like Garry Fleming’s goal was a belter, though.

But we’re over the line. Scotland’s top part-time team for the fourth season in a row and the longest stay of a part-time club in a ten team second tier extended. Congratulations to manager Stevie Aitken, his staff and the lads. It’s been difficult watching at times but when we win a game at this level it means so much.

The past two seasons have seen our lowest points totals in this league (36 at present vs 34 last season and 51 and 43 for the two seasons prior) but 8th position was always the target and it’s been achieved.

And a season when we beat St Mirren three times and Hibs twice (and counting??) has to be memorable. It’s a shame we couldn’t prise even a single point from this season’s champions though.

I can relax now until the end of July.

Dumbarton 1-1 Falkirk

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 12/3/16.

We wuz robbed!

This is the perennial cry of the frustrated Scottish football fan but I haven’t used it here before as far as I recall.

I wasn’t at the game but of course caught it via the medium of BBC Alba. Twice we had the ball in the net only to have the goal chalked off for offside. Both times the TV replay showed that nobody in a Dumbarton shirt capable of interfering with play was in an offside positon. In the case of the first not only was Christian Nade not beyond the last defender he wasn’t beyond the ball either.

Falkirk started more brightly and we had Jamie Ewings to thank for a magnificent one-handed save to keep us level early on. Falkirk continued to look threatening but didn’t really force another save. I thought we looked pretty comfortable for the rest of the half.

The second followed the same pattern until the penalty. Harsh? Maybe, what can you do with your hands when you’re falling over? I’d have shouted for it at the other end though. The sending-off may be the letter of the law but it was undoubtedly harsh.

It seemed to spur us on though. I thought after the second “offside” goal we were going to get nothing but the boys kept plugging away. No doubt about our penalty, Danny Rogers totally cleaned Nade out. He might have been sent off for it as well as his knees got Nade in the back.

I wasn’t confident of scoring it as it was Danny Rogers in goal and he had a good penalty saving record when he was with us last season but Garry Fleming did the business.

At kick-off I’d have taken the point but this result better not be the one that means we miss 8th place by a point or two…..

Livingston 2-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Almondvale Stadium, 5/3/16.

Opportunity missed. Big time.

Livingston started nervously, seeming to be lacking in confidence. Apart from a brief foray or two we dominated the early exchanges. Several chances went abegging – mostly through Livingston losing the ball in dangerous areas but first Calum Waters delayed his cross too long, then Tom Walsh at least tested the keeper. A magnificent through ball from Waters to Christian Nade ought at least to have produced a shot but he checked back and the chance was lost. At least six Sons corners came and went without any rewal threat to Livi’s goal appearing.

It only takes a goal to boost confidence, though. Unfortunately it wasn’t us who got it. Tom Walsh lost the ball in our attacking third and we were too stretched. There were still chances to block the cross or the attackers but Frazer Wright seemed to slip in the box and despite Jamie Ewings blocking an almost point blank shot he could do nothing about the rebound. A few minutes later Jamie saved us when Gregor Buchanan tried to play football just outside our penalty area, lost the ball and their player was one-on-one. Jamie Lindsay was prominent in midfield first half but faded in the second.

Midway through the second half our 4-1-4-1 changed to 4-4-2 when Garry Fleming came on. Later still in a vain attempt to get something from the game it was 4-3-3 as Donald McCallum was added up front. Jamie Ewings made another good stop, this time from a long range effort. A Jamie Lindsay free kick more or less straight at the keeper was about all we had to show though.

The goal that killed it also ought to have been prevented. Frazer Wright failed to deal with the long ball and again lost his footing, leaving the player with an easy side foot in.

Late on sub Jordan Kirkpatrick beat his man in the box and was caught on the way past: a stonewaller but the ref didn’t give it. Not that it mattered by then as it would have been too late. Perhaps this was karma for all those games at Livi where we’ve gone behind and went on to win.

Christian Nade was fouled throughout the game but got little protection (or support from midfield come to that.) Tom Walsh has some good control and can drift past players but can’t cross; Donald McCallum is eager and quick but lacks strength as yet; he’s not really one to come on when we’re chasing something. The game could be our penance for having Frazer Wright in the side – not that the first goal was entirely down to him. Let’s hope all his mishaps were reserved for this one.

At season’s end this could turn out to have been a pivotal game. In which case it will have tipped against us.

Tuesday’s match against Alloa assumes great importance now.

Raith Rovers 0-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Stark’s Park, 23/1/16.

A good well-worked point. We deserved the clean sheet for the quality of our defending. The closing down was tremendous, the covering impressive and the blocking committed. We weren’t greatly troubled – usually only when we had given the ball away too near our goal. Jamie Ewings – in goal for the indisposed Mark Brown – had a great save with his feet when he was on the move the other way in the first half and had to fist a driven free-kick away in the second half but otherwise hadn’t a direct shot to save. I suppose there was the Raith effort that seemed to clip the bar* – but that wasn’t on target was it?

We had one cleared off the line after an inventive corner – an inventive corner? Where did that come from? – taken by debutant loanee Tom Walsh who looked okay but was a little too conservative in his decision making. Also notable was the shocking profusion of movement at throw-ins. So un-Sons-like but good to see.

We have an appalling lack of creativity going forward though. Garry Fleming couldn’t hold the ball up at all; which doesn’t help.

As Onebrow reamrked to me just into the second half these two could play all day and not score. That sort of comment is usually a cue for a deluge of goals (against.) Thankfully not on the day.

I was pleased with the point.

*Edited to add: From the highlights it actually hit the post that holds up the net supports.

Falkirk 2-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Falkirk Stadium, 28/8/15.

Well it seems that even watching on television I’m a jinx. After fifteen minutes it was like the bad old days were back again. Our defence looked as porous as it has for seasons now. whether this was due to the changes at the back to accommodate new signing Fraser Wright (I don’t think Scott Taggart deserved to be dropped at right back but Stevie Aitken made Darren Barr captain so presumably now has to play him) I don’t know but we didn’t look organised there to begin with.

Their first had a bit of luck what with the ricochet off Kevin Cawley and the boy hit it well. The second may have been a great strike but where was the tackling?

At least we then made more of a fist of it than in the Queen of the South game. Inevitably our goal came from a set piece. When Grant Buchanan nodded back Willie Gibson’s corner Darren Barr simply wanted it more than the defender.

Second half we seemed to have quite a lot of the ball but only forced Danny Rogers into one save from which Garry Fleming couldn’t quite hit the rebound hard enough. We might have equalised when Grant Gallagher got himself through but was pulled up for a far from obvious foul. The ref gave us a decision in somewhat similar circumstances (a bit further out from goal though) a few minutes later so that may have evened out.

There were more positives from this than from the previous game but we can’t go on giving teams two goals of a start, though.

Dumbarton 0-2 Queen of the South

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 22/8/15.

OK. I admit it. It’s me. I’m the jinx.*

The three games we’ve won this season I’ve not been at. The three we haven’t won, I have. (Though this was the first time I’ve seen us beaten over 90 minutes.) And Queen of the South also kept their record of never having lost a goal at the Rock.

Queens were also more than a cut above either Queen’s Park or East Fife. They never looked in danger of losing said goal. I’ve just looked at the stats and they pretty much confirmed my impression. We only threatened with a Willie Gibson free-kick which the keeper pushed round the post.

Their first goal came when Mark Docherty got done by their wide man. The cross wasn’t cut out, came right across the goal and former Son Ian Russell did what he always does against us.

The second goal killed it (but to be fair, the first one had.) We switched off at a corner kick, allowing it to be played short and a cross to come in. Keeper Mark Brown was left exposed to try to contest the ball with their forward. Brown missed, the forward didn’t.

After that it was only a case of would they increase their lead? We never looked like reducing it. Debutant loanee Scott Brown came on but didn’t have much time to influence things, plus had a few wayward passes. Maybe when he’s had time to integrate with the squad. Midfielder Jon Routledge was given Sonstrust MOM. I couldn’t disagree. But he and Kevin Cawley were the only bright sparks. Garry Fleming just doesn’t look like a centre forward. He and strike partner Steven Craig never got into the game. From what I’ve seen of us so far this season it seems we’re going to struggle to score goals apart from set pieces. We got precious few set pieces today.

The main reason I went today was to try to buy a home top from the club shop. The queue before kick-off was so long I’d have missed some of the game. There was a steward blocking access at half time. At full time there was a sign up saying the shop was shut. I came home with no new top.

*I’m thinking of giving the game at Falkirk on Friday a miss. But it’s on BBC Alba. Will watching it on the TV make a difference?

PS:- I’m sad to see from the club website that three season stalwart Andy Graham has left “by mutual consent.” I think it’s fair to say new boss Stevie Aitken didn’t fancy him as first choice centre half. Sons fans will have fond memories of Andy. In particular his performance at Pittodrie in the cup quarter-final in season 2013-4 was immense.

free hit counter script