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Airdrieonians 3-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, New Broomfield,* 2/11/19.

Not so good. Our clean sheet run ended after less than a minute of this one. It’s a bit uphill from then on but we got an equaliser and then lost two quick goals before half-time.

And three of the teams below us won, unfortunately.

Our next two games are against teams above us. Even if they are both at home that’s likely to be tough.

They’re followed by another home game, this time in the Cup. Busy times at the Rock.

*You can call it the Penny Cars Stadium if you like.

Dumbarton 0-1 Alloa Athletic

(aet 0-2.)

SPFL Tier 2 Play-off Final, Second Leg, The Rock, 13/5/18.

Well; we all knew that the good times wouldn’t last forever.

Yet for 93 minutes of this we were still a Tier 2 team.

Then all of a sudden no longer. That it was such a scruffy goal only put the knife in even more.

But after that I knew it was hopeless. Our defensive substitutions meant that there was no way we would be conjuring a goal in extra time. Our only hope was hanging on for penalties and that was unlikely given the momentum was against us and Alloa would be lifted and us deflated.

And the final nail in the coffin was driven in by an ex-Son in Jordan Kirkpatrick. Cracking goal though.

If only….

Kevin Nisbet had directed his header downwards more – or even to the near post rather than back across the keeper….

Andy Stirling had kept that rebound chance down instead of skying it….

Liam Burt had taken the ball for a walk to the corner flag instead of trying to score in injury time….

Alloa had scored from that double chance in the first, not the last minute. We’d have had to come out a bit and at least try to score. Froxy might even have been given a run-out….

We’d made the most of our breaks up the park in the second half last Wednesday….

Craig Barr hadn’t been suspended again. Dougie Hill looked much less comfortable than he did against Arbroath and Andy Dowie seemed affected too….

We actually had a striker….

Manager Stevie Aitken was not so wedded to defensive tactics….

It was a game too far really. We looked leggy and inhibited. All those catch-up games and the Challenge Cup run had taken their toll.

And so the great adventure comes to an end after six years.

Back to proper football grounds again next season. Ones where you can stand, not sit, that you can walk round to the other end at half-time, where you’re not stuck in a wee corner of the main stand. (New Broomfield, Stark’s Park and possibly Ochilview excepted.*)

We’ve had seven promotions in my lifetime. And now eight relegations.

I wonder how long it will be before we get promoted again.

And from which division.

*Edited to add:- and New Bayview. I’d forgotten it’s a one stand effort like ours at the Rock. Only the Angus grounds for the old-style experience, then. I can’t see me making it down to Stranraer.

Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie (New Broomfield)

This is the Excelsior Stadium,* home of Airdrie United FC (or, as some of us like to remember them, Clydebank.)

Main entrance to Airdrie United’s stadium. (Stitch of two photos.)

Excelsior Stadium, Main Stand

It’s a tidy ground but a bit soulless. The capacity is way above what Airdrie can attract as a crowd.

This is the view of the ground from the east car park.

New Broomfield, Airdrie (Excelsior Stadium)

Main Stand from East Stand

Excelsior Stadium, Main Stand from east

AFC crest at back of main stand.

AFC Crest

The North Stand:-

North Stand from east, New Broomfield.

Its main purpose, like its mirror image to the south (both are rarely, if ever, occupied) is to house an electronic scoreboard.

*So why New Broomfield?

Broomfield was the home of Airdrieonians FC who shortly before their demise moved to New Broomfield or, as it was known then for some sponsorship reason, the Shyberry Excelsior Stadium.

Broomfield was an idiosyncratic ground which had an old pavilion.

Broomfield

Compare Fulham’s Craven Cottage.

The reincarnation of a football team in Airdrie (Airdrieonians went defunct in 2002) was due to the fact that a local businessman, after failing to achieve election to the SFL with his new entity Airdrie United, took over the ailing Clydebank FC and moved it lock, stock and players to Airdrie, thereby effectively killing off the team who had been for 37 years Dumbarton’s local rivals.

The Year Ends in 2!

This is Sons promotion winning team of 1971-2 (photo shamelessly copied from Big Rab):-

Dumbarton FC 1972

See the final Scottish Second Division 1971/1972 league table here.

We somehow missed out in 1982 but made it up to the Premier out of sequence in 1984 before two relegations saw us in Div 2.

But in 1991-2 the Final Scottish Division Two 1991/1992 league table shows us promoted again.

League reconstruction demoted us soon enough but there was 1994-5 in consolation.

We then plummeted down the leagues until 2001-2.

We lasted four seasons before demotion again.

After the aberration of a championship in 2009 I didn’t dare to hope that this season ending in 2 we would be promoted again.

Today at New Broomfield the dream came true.

I’m just off to watch the (highlights? re-run?) on BBC Alba.

Edited to add:- Magic!

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