Archives » Ian Murray

Falkirk 1-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Falkirk Stadium, 12/8/17.

Now this was a good point.

Falkirk may be below us at the moment but will undoubtedly finish much higher than we do. Plus they were astonishingly profligate in front of goal in the last few minutes. And given Morton’s result today it looks as if last week’s was a good point too.

Falkirk had most of the ball early on but didn’t do much with it. When we got it we weren’t particularly threatening either but all that changed when Craig Barr muscled onto a ball in midfield and fed David Wilson who played a great ball behind the middle last defender which Alistair Roy collected and proceeded to thump past the goalkeeper.

We do score some belters at this ground, Lewis Vaughan and Andy Stirling last season, Mitch Megginson in one of Ian Murray’s seasons. (And a few scramblers, Chris Kane and Archie Campbell among those.)

The eqauliser came when Sam Wardrop* got done out wide. The ensuing cross wasn’t picked up by our defence and Nathan Austin was trying to make space in the area when Mark Stewart made contact with his back. Silly. It gives the forward the chance to go over and the ref the chance to make the decision. Miles Hippolyte put it away.

Dougie Hill hit the bar from a corner but we spent the rest of the first half and most of the second standing off and allowing them the ball. A few close shaves and a couple of saves from Scott Gallacher – one with his face – meant we were still in with the chance of a point, though. The biggest cheer of the second half was ironic, when the referee finally gave a foul for Christian Nade who had been getting clambered over all afternoon without reward – at one point clattered into with malice aforethought but the challenge was deemed legal.

One point almost became three when a Nade flick-on fell to Stewart in the area but his shot was tipped over by the keeper.

There was still time for Falkirk to waste two good opportunities by screwing the ball wide, though.

My main thought during and after this game was what is the point of Mark Stewart? For the most part his positioning is decidedly odd. He huffs and puffs but that’s about all. His use of the ball was woeful at times.

We didn’t help ourselves at times with some poor passing but that may have been tired legs. We’ve got a midweek game in the Cup we never win in during the week. I hope the manager puts out a team composed of players who haven’t been getting a game; especially as its against a Colts team – who should never be near a senior competition.

*Edited to add. I see from SonsTV it was David Wilson who got done.

Dumbarton 2-1 Hibernian

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

A stunning start to the league campaign.

When was the last time we won our first league game?

And this against one of the teams fancied to be in the top two.

I wasn’t there but this is seriously encouraging.

It’ll be interesting to see how we fare against old boss Ian Murray’s St Mirren away next week.

*It’s the Ladbrokes Championship now, you know.

**The Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium.

Morton Up First

I see from the club’s website that Sons first game of the new season will be away to Morton. The game is scheduled for Saturday 26th July; less than a month away.

Unlike the last two seasons we haven’t been drawn against Stranraer. I had half expected us to get St Mirren since Ian Murray has gone to manage there.

The second round is due on 19th or 20th August. I don’t suppose we’ll be interested in that one.

Interesting Times

I’ve been away for a few days and took the oportunity for a rest from the internet.

As a result it was only today I found out Sons manager Ian Murray has resigned and will take up the manager’s job at St Mirren.

This is not entirely an unexpected development; I knew he had been interviewed for his new post.

Whatever, Ian Murray will always be remembered fondly for turning round our first season in the second tier for over 25 years, leading us to 5th (17th in Scotland) in the next – not to mention a Cup quarter final – and consolidating us in the season just gone. Any good wishes will be tempered by the hope we thump his new team when we meet them in the season to come.

So will this mean a new dawn or the end of the recent good times? Can a new manager take us on any further or will we be returning to the struggles of the lower divisions?

In many ways this comes at a bad time. Only three players are signed up for next season. Planning for it will of necessity be delayed while the club seeks someone to fill the position.

Interesting – and worrying – times.

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.)

Heart of Midlothian 4-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Tynecastle Stadium, 14/3/15

Well I didn’t expect much from this game but at half-time we had held out well only really extended when Danny Rogers had to make a magnificent one-handed save, pushing the ball onto the woodwork from where it fell kindly back to him. We had two attempts on goal – both from Chris Duggan, one of which he made entirely for himself.

The atmosphere in the away end was livened up by the presence there of “Swiss Sons” – quite why a group of fans from Switzerland has adopted us is a bit obscure. I liked the scarf on which was written “Float like an elephant, sting like a rock.” Said scarf was brandished from the lower gangway as its bearer led the Sons choir. Great stuff.

Sadly the game went away from us. They scored after a corner but it looked as if Danny Rogers had been impeded. Their second was from another corner, a free header this time. They didn’t score from open play until we started to try to take it to them a bit in the last ten minutes. 4-0 was harsh on us.

Marvellous fun chanting, “Shall we sing a song for you,” at the comatose home support, “There’s only one Ian Murray,” then, “We forgot that you were there” when they finally roused themselves, “What a shitey home support,” after the circa 15,000 crowd was announced, “We can see you sneaking off,” when the early exodus started, as well as the usual “Dumbarton,” clap, clap, clap and “Oh when the Sons, go marching in,” – plus the Swiss inspired, “Dih, dih, dih-dih, Dumbarton.”

Still, in the second half we were restricted to long range shots. Chris Duggan wasn’t in the box enough, having to forage wide to get the ball. We miss a focal point.

Our defensive outlook here is undersatndable given the disparity in resources between the two clubs but too often our passes failed to reach their target. Theirs tended to be more into space for a man to run onto, but their players are quicker all round. We didn’t get time on the ball.

More attacking intent next week please, though.

Falkirk 1-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Falkirk Stadium, 20/9/14

Sons fans gave over the first minute of this game to applause in appreciation of Kirsty Mackie, a dedicated Dumbarton fan who died unexpectedly this week. So it goes.

In many ways this was a case of getting out of jail. For at least three quarters of this game we weren’t in it. Falkirk’s players seemed to have acres of space, we didn’t seem to be pressing, our passing was woeful. Their goal followed three missed tackles, an evasion of Scott Linton that was far too easy and a cross to an unmarked man. They also hit the bar in that half and Danny Rogers had to come out quickly and spread himself well to prevent a second. Apart from that though Falkirk were pretty unimpressive.

In the second they made Danny Rogers make one more save, a blinding, twisting, reflex effort that was out of the top drawer.

Credit to manager Ian Murray, though, who made his substitutions and went for it, even to the extent of putting Andy Graham up front in the attempt to salvage a point, a tactic I’ve not seen Murray use before. (Sadly this only showed why Andy is better employed at centre half – but his presence may have been a factor in upsetting Falkirk’s defence.)

We dominated the last ten minutes and the equaliser was coming, their keeper had to make several saves and Colin Nish got just too much onto an Archie Campbell cross. The goal followed a sublime piece of footwork from Steven McDougall to get into the box and square it for Chris Kane to score yet another of his late goals.

Dumbarton 5-1 Cowdenbeath

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 15/3/14.

Excellent. I’d take this every week.

Nearly everyone was available for this. Only Scott Linton was missing. It seems a strange decision to play our best midfielder, the returning Chris Turner, (we missed his influence last week) at left back to replace him. That doesn’t show much confidence in reserve left back Scott Smith who did all right when he came on last week but admittedly looks overweight.

So. Positive goal difference restored and a league placing higher than before we started. And Cowdenbeath have to catch up ten points on us in eight games in order to overhaul us. Time to look up the table rather than down. Amazing.

5 games in two weeks coming up, though.

The pundits on Sportscene Results were also inciting manager Ian Murray to “better” (or was it bigger?) things. Not just yet, please, Ian. You are still learning.

Raith Rovers 2-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Stark’s Park, 14/12/13

Not a good day for a game. High wind and driving rain for most of it.

Sons held their own in the first half yielding one chance which the guy blazed against the bar and over, while at the other end ours fell to Colin Nish (two headers wide and one shot right at the keeper) and another header – by whom it was too far away to see – that flashed past the post.

Second half we were on top and they broke away while sub Mitch Megginson and Mark Gilhaney were both on one side of the park and they exploited the space to score.

The sending off might have chaned the game but we got hopelessly out of shape (again!) and got caught three on one on the counter.

Late on Andy Graham played a great forward ball (he was our most incisive player all game – from centre half) to other sub Garry Fleming who swept it across for final sub Steven McDougall to score.

We should have got a draw from this but Raith had three real chances and took two of them. Pity most of ours fell to Colin Nish – whose name would make good rhyming slang. At one point he was unchalleged going for a high ball and still missed it.

Things everywhere did not go well for us. Jordan Kirkpatrick was our best player but was carried off injured in the first half and with all subs committed Chris Turner had to go off too meaning our midfield next week is probably going to look decidedly strange. Then Cowden go and win at Dens! You can’t trust anyone these days.

I’ve now got a very bad feeling about the season. Ian Murray’s going to be tested as a manager from here on in.

Dumbarton 0-1 Queen of the South

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 7/12/13.

Well, Iain Russell didn’t fail it seems.

I have my doubts about us playing Wed-Sat. Tue-Sat gives more recocery time. I gather Ian Murray wants Wednesdays but the team is more likely to be jaded with the shorter break.

At least Morton and Cowdenbeath didn’t make ground on us, though Livingston and Queens both did.

Three games against teams at the top of the table coming up. Could be a rough December.

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