Archives » Mitch Megginson

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.

Falkirk 3-3 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Falkirk Stadium, 31/1/15.

Well, this was an odd game. I’d have taken a point before the start but didn’t think we’d even score; never mind get something out of this. What with Colin Rhyming Slang offski – apparently in the huff about not being given the vacant assistant manager’s job (though his record in charge of the under 20s was, frankly, dire) – Chris Kane back to parent club St Johnstone and Garry Fleming suspended, I couldn’t see where goals might come from, especially since that’s been our failing this season.

Unsurprisingly Falkirk had most of the early posssession but when a set piece came back out to him loanee centre back Stuart Findlay sent over a beautiful cross and Scott Taggart hit the net then 1-0 was dreamland.

It didn’t last. What felt like a minute later the ball broke to an unmarked Falkirk attacker in the box. 1-1. Then we lost the sort of goal that happens to teams in relegation bother. Two ricochets on the way through and the final shot deflected into the net off the attempted block by Findlay.

Falkirk again had most of the second half. But a Scott Linton throw-in wasn’t cleared and fell for debutant loanee Darren Petrie and he didn’t panic and slash at it, but still smashed it past the keeper.

What a difference a goal makes. Our five minute spell of ascendancy ensued and after good work on the right by Mark Gilhaney, the ball came over for Mitch Megginson to cut it back into the path of Archie Campbell who steered it into the far corner.

While we might have scored another on the break as Falkirk had to press for the equaliser and Scott Agnew did have an effort just over the bar they were always going to get one more chance. (If the ref had had his way, he said, darkly, they would have had more than one. Even a Falkirk fan on the Pie Shop said some of his decisions were plain wrong.) It duly came with ten minutes to go.

Still we rode it out and gained an unlikely point. Four attempts on goal, three on target, three goals. About time we had such a ratio.

As well as Darren Petrie – solid in midfield and took his goal very well – it was also my first view of fellow loanee Dylan Easton, who runs about a bit like Josh Falkingham but has none of that player’s irritating qualities. Dylan had a tendency to over-elaborate but had confidence, dig, some sublime touches and is capable of the superb pass.

All in all I’m much more relaxed than I was this time last week in the wake of the home thumping by Livingston, not least because of the dumping of the 3-5-2 for this game in favour of 4-2-2 (or was it 4-4-1-1 or 4-5-1?)

Raith Rovers 2-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Stark’s Park, 17/1/15

If you had told me at half-time that we would come near to taking a point out of this game I would have laughed. We were woeful. No organisation, no bite, no shape, no nothing. All we had to show for it was a couple of long-range efforts from Garry Fleming. We badly missed Chris Kane up front. There wasn’t even Colin Rhyming Slang – on the bench throughout – to contest (contest?) for the ball. Though new loanee Stuart Findlay looked good, reasonably quick and comfortable on the ball. I think we were supposed to be playing 3-5-2 but it was all over the place really and they were able to get in behind us too easily.

Chris Turner had probably his worst game for us that I have seen. He’s not the player he was last season. It was his clumsy challenge that gave away the penalty and he simply wasn’t up to speed all game. There doesn’t seem to be anybody in the squad to allow him a rest what with the injuries to Jordan Kirkatrick and Mark Gilhaney.

Having said all that, Raith ought to have put us away. They didn’t and instead of going for the jugular second half opted for containment and hitting on the break. As a result we came into it. We actually looked like a team and had several Scott Agnew efforts for encouragement. One of those was parried by the keeper and Mitch Megginson pounced to score the rebound. A few minutes later the keeper spilled a cross under pressure from Garry Fleming and Mitch had a gaping goal, easier than the one he scored. He hit it too hard and it went over, off the bar. In stoppage time their keeper made a great save and in the subsequent passage of play a defender headed it off the line. On another day…..

Then again, Raith had missed a golden opportunity earlier in the half on one of their breaks upfield and also hit the post but a symptom of Raith’s second half approach was that even at 2-0 they had started time wasting.

Archie Campbell, despite his pace, doesn’t look the answer to our striking deficiencies.

Improvement next week is vital. Or at least to play for the whole game the way we played in the last twenty minutes yesterday.

Cowdenbeath 1-3 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Central Park, 27/12/14.

A good and well deserved three points. We pretty much dominated this game and ought to have had it put to bed in the first half but all we had to show at the interval was a wonderful finish from Colin Rhyming Slang. Yes, you read that correctly. He had earlier blistered a shot just wide. He was having a good game.

Our line-up was a bit odd seeming with Archie Campball in for Mitch Megginson on the right and Garry Fleming playing wide left.

I thought our failure to put more than one away would come back to haunt us when we allowed them more possession in the second half and they duly scored. Danny Rogers saved their only other chance soon after but then we scored – from a corner! – Lee Mair heading in Scott Agnew’s delivery, though Sons fans were so far away in the corner of the old stand that no-one was really sure who the scorer had been until the internet was checked!

Then the clincher. Chris Kane (who had a poor game by his standards) was put in behind the defence by Colin Rhyming Slang’s pass, tripped by the defender and even though he was heading away from goal the ref gave a red card. Sons fans had the perfect angle to see Garry Fleming’s bullet head for the net. Unstoppable. It was almost a carbon copy of Gylfi Sigurdsson’s goal for Swansea on Boxing Day except the keeper didn’t take a step to his right first.

There were two more notable Colin Nish efforts, one hitting the post, and we had chances beyond that as the ten men struggled a bit to contain us but the ball wouldn’t go in.

Sixth at the New Year. That’s more than acceptable.

Dumbarton 0-3 Falkirk

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 20/12/14.

I wasn’t at the game but witnessed it via BBC Alba.

I needn’t have bothered. We didn’t turn up for the first half and should have been down by more than one goal at half time. With Mark Gilhaney and Chris Turner missing from the starting line-up we were short in midfield. The only spark at all was, as usual, Chris Kane – and we won’t have him in the New Year.

Once Chris Turner replaced Steven McDougall for the second half things improved but we never really tested their keeper. When the second went in and David van Zanten was taken off for Archie Campbell I knew Falkirk would score again… and they did.

And…. Did Scotty Linton even get a kick of the ball after coming on for Mitch Megginson? I don’t think Archie touched it either and he was on the pitch for longer.

I hope things are better at Central Park next Saturday.

Alloa Athletic 0-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Recreation Park,1 6/12/14

A welcome win – second away win in a row – an even more welcome clean sheet, and breathing space between us and eighth place.

We could have gone behind early on as Alloa hit the post and the ball screwed back across the goal to go out for a goal-kick. Danny Rogers also had a good save with his legs in the first half. The only goal came from the aftermath of a corner which was cleared out to Mitch Megginson who spurned the obvious ball back out to Scott Agnew and advanced to cross the ball for Andy Graham to nod it to Chris Kane. That close in and in space Chris doesn’t miss.

Kaneo could have had a hat-trick in this game as he went close several times in the second half but mostly from outside the box. Jordan Kirkpatrick, on as sub for Chris Turner, had a fine strike saved by the keeper.

But I spent most of the second half looking at my watch as we didn’t really show any sign of putting the game away and Alloa had a lot of the ball (without, it has to be said, ever looking really dangerous) and the defence always looked vulnerable against a pacy break. It was us, not them, who looked as if we’d had a big game in midweek.

I’ll take a scrappy one-nil any day though.

1Indodrill Stadium? I think not.

Hibernian 3-2 Dumbarton

Scottish League Cup, Round 2, Easter Road Stadium, 26/8/14.

A case of might have been. Two-nil up with less than fifteen minutes to go you would expect not to lose; but of course we did.

The first half I thought Hibs looked sharper and more threatening but apparently we had more possession (from Boghead Ranter – about halfway down the page.) They seemed to have more space but we held them off. That is a hellish green they have for a shirt though, not Hibs-like at all.

Garry Fleming had a good game but against opponents like this his limitations were highlighted. His strengths through, particularly effort and putting himself about gave their defenders problems. Colin Nish looked more up for it than usual and came onto a game. I thought Scott Taggart was good at centre half – in the first half anyway. In the second our defence was too far away from the Dumbarton support to be sure of anything about it.

The second half was a bit different. We suddenly had a period of domination and got the goal, Scott Agnew’s corner headed back across goal by Nish and Mitch Megginson reacting quickly to hook the ball in on the volley.

The second followed another Agnew corner, again knocked back and Garry Fleming’s tenacity (He was fouled but we weren’t going to get a penalty) meant the ball rebounded to Mark Gilhaney who hit it. The ball ricocheted off at least two Hibs defenders before just crossing the line.here was some confusion for a second or two before the ref – or perhaps the linesman – gave it.

Curiously at that point – at least 25 minutes to go – some Hibs fans decided to leave!

In retrospect that goal came too early. If we had gone two up later it might have killed them. As it was they had a long time in which to come back. Nish’s substitution (by Jordan Kirkpatrick) may have been the turning point. Suddenly our one tactic for getting the ball out had gone and we were pressed back more and more. In addition we began to look tired, especially Garry Fleming whose own substitution was about ten minutes too late.

When they scored it only invited more pressure but unbelievably the second was more or less a carbon copy of the first; a cross headed in by the impressive but all but unmarked El Alagui. I don’t remember seeing a striker as good as him all last season. Ater that there was only going to be one winner – and I didn’t want it to be in extra time. One small mercy then.

Three goals lost in less than twelve minutes isn’t good, even if we were tiring against a full time team. But when we had a go at them they looked vulnerable and we showed we can score.

However, we’re losing at least three goals a game; no matter whom we play and no matter the centre back pairing.

This is beginning to look like an amalgam of the 2010-11 and 2012 -13 seasons. And beginning to feel horribly like a relegation season. Things need to change soon.

Brechin City 0-1 Dumbarton

Scottish League Cup, Glebe Park, 2/8/14.

This was not an advert for the beautiful game. Very few chances were created between the two sides. A Brechin player looked to have a tap-in in the first half after their wide man got round David van Zanten far too easily and squared the ball but somehow the guy in the centre contrived to miscue so badly the ball went for a throw in.

We didn’t seem very direct – I can’t see that way of playing succeeding in the league this season, but then again for years we’ve needed to tighten up at the back and this was a clean sheet.

I can only think of their keeper having the one save – punching it out wide from a Scott Agnew free-kick. Our goal came from the resultant throw-in; the scrappiest goal you’ll ever see, Andy Graham’s effort ricocheting from two defenders’ bodies before crossing the line.

Chris Turner didn’t look fully fit to me. Archie Campbell was lively when he came on and got behind their defence a few times. Mitch Megginson screwed a great cut back from him wide. New on-loan keeper Danny Rogers didn’t have much to do – one good save apart – but seemed confident enough.

Improvement required for the Raith game on the 9th, though.

Raith Rovers 1-3 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Stark’s Park, 12/4/14

Straight away as the teams came out I noticed their keeper was wearing an all orange number which nearly matched our away strip. It was about ten minutes in before it was changed for a black top. A woman Sons supporter shouted out, “what about the shorts?” Ooh-er, missus. (The shorts were changed for black ones during half time.)

This was a comprehensive win. We had six efforts on target to Raith’s two before we scored. The goal had been coming and Mark Gilhaney’s first time drive when the ball came out to him was a fully deserved result for our endeavours up to then. Jamie Ewings had two excellent saves – one from a defensive header for which he had little time to react but still diverted on to the bar – in the first half.

Our second was a great individual goal from Mitch Megginson, slaloming through their defence before slotting it past the keeper. Does Mitch score ordinary goals?

A comfortable enough first half. I know Raith were missing several midfielders for one reason or another but you can only play the team you’re up against; and we did, rather well.

The third came when Colin Rhyming Slang – who had a good game overall – reacted quickly to the break of the ball in the box to knock it in at the near post.

Their goal followed on from a passage of play notable for the most blatant handball I’ve ever seen, the ball being knocked down by the Raith attacker from about head height as he was on the run. How the ref, two linos and the fourth official between them could not see it is beyond me. The ensuing corner came back out to their player who curled it in well thus ruining our potential first away clean sheet of the season. But the corner should not have been.

Raith had a bit of a flurry after that but any chance they had of more goals was ruined when their defender was given a straight red for denying Garry Fleming a clear goalscoring opportunity and the game kind of petered out after that.

Curiously for the second straight game at Stark’s Park Jordan Kirkpatrick had to leave injured.

There is now not even the arithmetical possibility of a relegation play-off. Fourth place is possible but will be difficult, fifth would still be a remarkable achievement.

Edited to add:- Chris Turner did a lot of quiet, unobtrusive stuff in the game allowing the other midfielders to get on with playing on the front foot.

Alloa Athletic 1-5 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Recreation Park, 18/1/14.

Stunning. Simply Stunning. I’d never envisioned this when I looked towards this match.

I can’t remember seeing such a one-sided first half when we were the side on top – especially away from home. (Even the 6-0 at East Fife two and a half years ago wasn’t so lop-sided.) We were two-nil up, at 30 mins in, before they had a decent attack. Stephen Grindlay had had only pass backs and one pick up to deal with until after Mark McLaughlin deflected a cross in and Chris Turner got his head onto another. He did have to make a save from close-in header at 2-0, though. Chris Kane had hit the bar about 5 mins in and late in the first half converted a chase with their keeper to the corner of the box into a penalty which he took himself. There was contact but he’d seen it coming and didn’t avoid it. 3-0 at half time was already dreamland. I’d worked out that our goal difference – not to mention our points – was now better than Alloa’s.

They came out a bit more fired up in the second half but couldn’t make any impression. Jordan Kirkpatrick set up a shooting chance for himself but his piledriver just cleared the post, Mark Gilhaney had a great chance, one-on-one with the keeper whom he rounded but sent his shot over. (Well, we were shooting downhill by then.) They, however, ran up the park and scored but only while Mitch Megginson was temporarily laid out in our penalty area.

Any thoughts of a comeback were snuffed out when a cross reached Chris Kane – what a worker he is; brave too – he played for about an hour with a bandage up his nose after a clash. He ought to have put the cross in with his first touch but instead it teed up for him to belt it past the keeper.

The best was the last, a peach; a superb cross from the right was hit first time on the volley by Jordan Kirkpatrick and rocketed into the net. Jordan’s reward was an immediate substitution! That gave Scott Agnew some game time though.

Brilliant performance. Pass marks all round, I even noticed Colin Rhyming Slang making defensive clearances. Alloa were much poorer than I’d thought they would be. No need for Paul Hartley to chuck in the towel as their manager after the game, I’d have thought though.

Moreover, an unlikely concatenation of results means we’re now fourth in the table. In a promotion play-off spot. Our highest league position in 30 years.*

When will I wake up?

*Edited to add: Our highest league position in nigh on 30 years.

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