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Dumbarton 0-3 Livingston

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 31/3/18.

We should just start calling ourselves “Dumbarton nil”.

End of message.

Livingston 2-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Almondvale Stadium, 27/1/18

Well, we couldn’t punch our way out of a paper bag today.

All the more annoying for the fact that we had the majority of the ball in the early part of the game yet had no efforts on target to their 4 before they scored – another lost from a set piece.

The second was just laughable, when (Andy Dowie was it?*) got himself into a fankle on the edge of our box and as a result the ball was on a plate for Ryan Hardie to score against us for a fourth different club.

Game over.

We did eventually make their keeper make a save (four in all I made it) but all of those came from long range.

Our starting formation was an odd managerial choice in 3-4-2-1. We did look slightly better when Froxy came on for Dougie Hill in the second half and we shifted to 4-3-1-2 but by that time Livvy were comfortably in control of the game and looked at ease in everything they did.

New loan signing Kevin Nisbet did look to have something to him but both he and Iain Russell really got very little service, neither of them had achance of any description.

So it has come to pass. We’re now in ninth place. I know we’ve suffered with injuries but even with most of them back I seriously doubt that we’ll improve on that position by season’s end. Nerve-wracking play-offs loom.

*Apologies/ It seems it was Dougie Hill

Dumbarton 1-4 Livingston

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 26/12/17.


I didn’t see this coming; we’ve been doing reasonably well at not conceding goals recently. At worst I thought we might lose by the odd goal but not by a margin of three.

Let’s hope the lads can get it out of the system by Saturday, but losing Kyle Hutton by suspension is a bit of a blow.

The Things You Miss When You’re Away

As I’ve been away I only caught up with the news of the demotion of East Stirlingshire from the SPFL late yesterday.

61 years in the SFL/SPFL gone in a flash. It’s sad for them but they’ve been living on fumes for seasons on end now. It was always most likely that it would be the Shire that would be the first to fall victim to the play-off system.

Congratulations, though, to Edinburgh City. The role of third (or fourth) largest football side in Edinburgh has been taken in the past by St Bernard’s (defunct since World War 2) and Leith Athletic (demised 1955, reconstituted 1996 and as a senior team in 2008.) As those statistics suggest, surviving in the shadow of Hearts and Hibs is not easy.

Then there is the case of Meadowbank Thistle (Ferranti Thistle as was) admitted to the Scottish Football League in 1974 but weren’t satisfied with the sizes of crowds they were attracting in the capital and decamped to Livingston in 1995.

Speaking of Hibs, I see they managed to muck things up again. Hibsing it indeed. Then again they’ll probably win the Cup Final now and so put to an end the longest running “will this be the year” saga in Scottish football.

Leicester City’s fairy tale first top level title made the news in The Netherlands – as elsewhere I suspect. There was a newspaper article there about the length of time previous winners of their country’s football championship had been waiting to win it again. Schalke 04 topped the list at well over 20,000 days with Tottenham Hotspur second (also over 20,000 days.) Liverpool were about eighth on the list. I can just about make out some Dutch but a list is no problem.

I also divined from a radio report on the way back up that Roberto Martinez had lost the Everton job, paying the price for not getting enough out of a talented group of players. (An alternative possibility is that those players aren’t quite as good as their reputations would have them.)

And then there was the Scottish Parliament election, where the SNP paid the price of winning too many constituency seats and Labour actually did come second in the percentage vote in that element but not in the regional lists. We had voted by post before we left.

Hibernian 4-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Easter Road Stadium, 26/4/16.

Not a surprising outcome given the balance of incentives.

I wonder if manager Stevie Aitken would have “rested” those he did had we needed a result. As it is our outside chance of finishing in 7th place has vanished. But 8th was the target and we’re there.

It’s even more annoying that we didn’t get anything from Rangers this season now that Livingston have beaten them. Unfortunately we played them when they had something to play for.

Party time for the away fans at Alloa on Sunday I should think. (Its traditional for Sons fans to turn up in fancy dress gear for the last away game.)

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.

Rangers 1-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Ibrox Stadium, 5/4/16.

I meant to post about this yesterday but for some reason it slipped my mind.

This could have been worse. Given the significance of the evening for Rangers we could have been in for a doing and I feared that. I also feared the outcome even more when Livi went one up on Hibs, but that went our way as well in the end.

But how can a team go from an abject surrender to Queen of the South to what seems to have been a resolute performance against the best team in the division? Unless, of course the players tried harder on a bigger stage: but that would be a form of cheating all the other times.

Queen of the South up next on Tuesday, but we could be a point behind Livi by then.

On a more cynical note: how long will it be after Hibs get back to the top tier once again before we in the lower leagues are cut off once more (as we were by the SPL)? That’s the subtext I read into this “good for Scottish football” spiel which has greeted Rangers Tier 2 win. The way things were was only good for two clubs, not Scottish football as a whole.

Dumbarton 0-0 Morton

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

Well. It’s as you were in the league what with all five games being draws but the failure of Rangers to win means they have an even bigger incentive to beat us on Tuesday night as that will make them champions. They might not have to beta us if Hibs don’t win – but that’s a situation I wouldn’t like as then Livingston would have avoided defeat against them; on which point thanks to Alloa for getting the draw (which sadly wasn’t enough to prevent them being relegated.)

It’s all getting far too tense. It’s possible, if results go against us, that by the time we play Queen of the South on the 12th we could be four points behind Livi with a much worse goal difference; very much worse if our usual Ibrox thumping takes palce..

Dumbarton 3-1 Alloa Athletic

SPFL Tier2, The Rock, 8/3/16.

A welcome win and Christian Nade scored a hat-trick!

Had this game gone on last week I had thought of travelling through but of course it was postponed. Domestic circumtances this week precluded a trip to the west.

Slight fly in the ointment was Jon Routledge’s red card. But he was out for the Hibs game and didn’t get back in the team for Saturday’s debacle at Livingston.

Let’s hope the team that showed up against Hibs rather than the (same strating) side who misfired at Livi is the one that turns uo against Falkirk on Saturday tea-time. Yes, it’s a BBC Alba kick-off time.

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.

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