Archives » Paul McGinn

Dundee 5-0 Dumbarton

Scottish Cup Fifth Round, Dens Park, 23/2/16.

I kind of expected something like this. We don’t have a good record at Dens and midweek games are problematic for part-time teams against full-timers. Yet things could have been so different.

It was my first look at Christian Nade as a Son – and at Kler Heh too. Nade was the sort of forward we haven’t had in such a long time. He held the ball up and distributed it well. He’s not the quickest but his control is good. He’s the focus in attack we’ve been desperately needing. I doubt he’ll score many but he may allow time for others to get forward in support. Heh seemed a bit lightweight against this kind of opposition but he clearly has talent. He’ll need to savvy up about shielding the ball though and learn to avoid being shrugged off it.

We looked OK for 15 minutes and Dundee, while a cut above our usual opponents, weren’t really threatening, then ex-Son Paul McGinn wriggled clear in the box and beat Mark Brown at his near post and it might as well have been all over. It was after half an hour, though. Mark Brown waited to gather the ball, attacker Kane Hemmings didn’t. No way were we getting two goals back.

The third was a collective failure as Greg Stewart waltzed across the front of the defence before hitting his shot past Brown who seemed slow in getting down. (Do you sense a pattern here?)

The fourth was a joke. Mark Brown parried straight out a ball he could almost certainly have caught. It was returned into the net.

The fifth I knew was going in as soon as Jon Routledge made the professional foul. (He got booked for his trouble.) Mark Brown never even moved for the shot despite being nearly on top of it.

In my opinion Brown ought to have saved four out of the five goals. How different would the game have been if he had?

After the third we went to a back three and suddenly had space for going forward. With better crossing into the box we might have got something

Best thing of the night? A Dundee four on one break ended when their player ballooned the cross well over when totally unmarked. Highly amusing. There’s your Premier Division class right there.

Nade’s play gives me hope that we might be more menacing in future. Is that kind of sentiment fatal?

Alloa Athletic 0-1 Dumbarton

Scottish Cup Round 5, Recreation Park, 8/2/14.

We dominated the first half of this and only had one hairy moment when Stephen Grindlay made a good stop and Paul McGinn didn’t look favourite for the rebound but still managed to scoop it away. The goal was well worked, Scott Agnew did brilliantly to bring the ball down and then hooked it across goal for Colin Rhyming Slang to volley in from close range. Then Chris Kane won himself a penalty – almost a carbon copy of the incident in the recent league game but this one was more definite. Unfortunately his shot was a carbon copy of the previous one and the keeper saved it (while injuring himself in the process.)

The second half was a bit more even but we were really troubled only twice – another great stop from Stephen Grindlay and an absolutely magnificent goal line clearance from Andy Graham after it looked a certain goal. Scott Linton hit the bar with a belter but the game was pretty scruffy and scrappy in the latter stages.

So a Cup quarter-final to look forward to. When was the last time we had one of those? Was it 1979? I don’t remember one since.

Cowdenbeath 2-4 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Central Park, 11/1/14.

A great win, thoroughly deserved, which takes us 17 points clear of Morton and 9 above Cowden. Mind you, the start was a bit iffy.

The first back pass Stephen Grindlay had to deal with he managed to hit an attacker with and it rebounded to another Cowden player who promptly laid it across goal where the scorer couldn’t miss. Amazingly we were level within about a minute after some ping-pong in their box when Colin Rhyming Slang hit the loose ball home.

We dominated the rest of the half and Mitch Megginson finished well after being put through the middle. The defender who tried to take him out got a yellow card for his trouble. In the meantime Chris Kane also got past a last defender but neither the lino nor the ref saw the jersey pull which stopped him getting his shot away.

They had an opportunity to score again but Stephen Grindlay got a foot in the way. Paul McGinn was right through but clipped his shot just over. Their equaliser came when Stephen Grindlay looked to have an easy clutch but somehow let it spill into a Cowden player.

In the second half we scored early, Chris Kane, who looks to have a bit of pace and effort in him, was well placed to finish off a fine passing move.

Thereafter we sat back a bit and allowed Cowden too much of the ball. They had a free-kick which rattled the bar as the sum total of their threat though and we looked dangerous on the counter, which is where the clincher came from, another great piece of interplay resulting in Mitch getting his second.

The only real chance we gave up came right at the end when one of their players was free in the box but couldn’t get his head to it properly.

I must say Colin Rhyming Slang had a good game today, winning a fair number of aerial balls and having some neat touches as well as scoring.

Livingston 1-3 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Almondvale Stadium,* 16/11/13

Well; after half an hour I couldn’t see this coming. We had looked sprightly enough early on but never threatened their keeper and then about twenty minutes in they scored when there appeared to be no danger. Sometimes you just have to say it was briiliant. The ball came on from the wing and Mark McNulty hit it exquisitely first time. Jamie Ewings was never stopping it. That’s two wonder strikes against us in the last two games I’ve been to. Jamie did make a great tackle in a one-on-one a few minutes later and had another good save in the second half. Plus he had had to look lively at their first corner to stop the wind taking the ball in, and they hit the bar at 1-0.

Mitch Megginson’s leveller was a thumper. Andy Graham then Colin Nish held it up in the box. Mitch fair belted the lay-off, Sons fans perfectly placed to see it was in the moment he hit it.

Second half we came out much more aggressively and had more attempts on goal in the first minute than in the whole of the first half. Mark Gilhaney’s shot then Jordan Kirkpatrick’s parried effort which Colin Nish ought to have converted rather than poking it over.

Looked like Ian Murray had told them during the interval to press much higher. Whatever, it worked. We started to exploit them on the break. Paul McGinn’s great run up the wing saw him cleverly step inside, the defender took him over inside the box. After some dealy Chris Turner converted. Some turn round.

We began to defend a little too deeply for a bit but a swift counter attack took the ball from our box to theirs via a fine upfield ball to Jordan Kirkpatrick who switched it all the way across to Mark Gilhaney who eveded his man to get clear in the box and looke dset to score but cleverly tuned tha ball across for sub Brian Prunty (on for the mostly ineffectual Colin Nish) to tap it in.

The rest of the game was spent waiting for the final whistle – only a couple of near-close things.

This was a win we needed though. Had we lost things would be looking a bit glum.

*Edited to add:- They’ve changed the stadium’s name again. It’s now the Energy Assets Arena. Oh tempora!

Falkirk 1-2 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Falkirk Stadium, 19/10/13

A welcome and (before the game, unexpected) win.

Considering we had a cobbled together midfield due to injuries this was heartening.

We started brightly enough having the better of the very early exchanges but Falkirk always looked as if they could be dangerous when they got the ball out wide where they seemed to have lots of room.

The goal came after a good move, Jordan Kilpatrick collected in space on the left and his shot (sclaffed I think) was turned back and into the goal by Garry Fleming. A few minutes later Jordan Kilpatrick again took the ball in space: his shot this time went just over the bar. Scratch midfield or not, we were putting together some good passing moves.

Our second was a sweeping move from our own half, Paul McGinn’s cross clipped in off the post by Mitch Megginson’s first time touch.

Towards the end of the half their number 9 took the ball infield from the wing and hit an unstoppable shot past Jamie Ewings. Not long after that the same Falkirk player showed an outrageous piece of dissent towards the referee. He should have been off then and there. (He did pick up a booking during the game and was red-carded in the last minute after stupidly booting the ball away.)

Second half they came out looking to play the ball faster and pressing higher up the pitch. Our defence managed to frustrate them though. They did hit the bar at one point and also claimed for a penalty later on but from where I was it looked as if there was no contact.

Despite all their possession and looking as if they knew what they were doing Falkirk had a tendency to over-elaborate. The goal apart, Jamie Ewings didn’t have a save to make all game.

All the players put a good shift in, though. Even Kevin Smith when he replaced Garry Fleming. It was Jordan Kirkpatrick’s first full 90 minutes. He did well in the first half but faded out a bit in the second – as did most of our attacking efforts to be fair.

Alloa Athletic 1-2 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 2, Recreation Park, 14/9/13.

A first away win. Excellent.

We dominated the early proceedings, forcing corners early on and only fell out of it a little towards the latter part of the half. Their goalie was troubled just the once though – by a slightly deflected Chris Turner shot – and Jamie Ewings not at all.

The goal had a touch of flukery about it, the ball came back to Mark Gilhaney after a corner, his shot struck Andy Graham who was still up in the box. He pivoted and slotted it in. The ball was only in play for two more seconds before half-time!

Second half they tried to keep the ball and suck us out but we resisted until we could flow forward. Nevertheless Jamie Ewings had to make a good save. Their equaliser had a similar touch of flukery to our goal, the ball rebounding to their player after the corner came over, with much the same result.

That gave them a bit of confidence and they started to press a bit more. Jamie Ewings had another good save (after an unbelievable point blank one from an offside player) but we continued to look menacing in attack. One great cross from Paul McGinn in particular.

The winner came when Andy Graham was demolished in the box. Scott Agnew buried the penalty.

Alloa ended up running out of ideas and resorted to humping the ball upfield, moving ex-Son Ben Gordon up front from centre half towards the end but really never creating anything.

2-1 but not many clear-cut chances. I’ll take it though.

Pass marks for everybody but Chris Turner wasn’t as effective as usual and could have talked himself into a sending-off. He was subbed, possibly as a precaution. Garry Fleming put himself about to good effect when he came on.

6th! Not bad, and only one point off 2nd.

Hamilton Academical 2-1 Dumbarton

SFL Div 1, New Douglas Park, 2/4/13

So. Honours even over the two games.

This was a game we could have won though. After some Hamilton pressure (and Paul McGinn going off with a hamstring injury) we scored with our first effort on goal. Their keeper came out for Scott Agnew’s cross, stopped, and Jim Lister’s header looped up, taking an age to drop into the net.

Thereafter Hamilton had most of the first half but we also played some neat stuff and should have extended the lead. Brian Prunty – strangely out of sorts (possibly carrying an injury?) – scuffed one right in front of goal then Scott Agnew put it wide when it looked easier to hit the target. Despite Hamilton’s possession Stephen Grindlay had only to make one save in the first half.

Second half we had two earlyish chances, Prunty’s header saved by the keeper and Mark Gilhaney’s shot beating him but striking a defender. Those missed chances were crucial as Hamilton’s heads might have gone down.

We looked shattered for the the last third, four games in ten days taking their toll. Hamilton dominated. You can’t surrender possession as easily as we did and hope to hold out forever. Stout defending was eventually undone.Shay had two very good saves before the inevitable equaliser which he got a hand to but it diverted only on to the post and in. Their subsequent winner was hotly disputed by the Sons players who claimed it hadn’t crossed the line.

Even then we had a chance to salvage a point. Someone – I don’t know who, the area was crowded – put in a great header and their keeper incredibly clawed it up and over the bar.

The game in hand over Cowdenbeath is now gone. But when was the last time we were as high as 19th in Scottish football – as we were before the game? (1986-87, as it happens.)

This must also be the first time a manager has lost his job just after his team has beaten us.

Dunfermline Athletic 3-4 Dumbarton

SFL Div 1, East End Park, 23/3/13

Astonishing!

The scale of this result can be measured by the fact that Dunfermline had won their last 12 games against us and we hadn’t won at East End Park since 1986.

1-0 down at halftime I couldn’t see it coming. We weren’t 2-0 down long enough for me to be too despondent but at 3-1….?

Fortunately Chris Turner hit an absolute belter to make it 3-2 almost straight afterward and that sowed seeds of doubt in the home team.

We actually had a good first ten minutes but fell out of it for the rest of the half apart from Chris Turner having an effort chalked off for offside. I was in line and he looked OK to me. Not the last time the linesman was to be derided.

Their first goal came from when Nick Phinn was pushed off the ball in our half and they ran up and scored. Stephen Grindlay seemed to be beaten very easily.

Their second was dreadful defending. Their forward went through about three half-arsed tackles before hitting it in the corner.

Two minutes later a great passing move saw the ball hit across goal by Paul McGinn and Steven McDougall was free just beyond the back post to score our first against Dunfermline this season.

This was immediately after Jim Lister had come on for Nick Phinn. He made a difference. The home centre backs knew they were in a game then.

Their third was a joke. The through ball that led to it saw two Dunfermline players offside both of whom subsequently touched it, one playing it forward to another while both were well beyond the defenders. The linesman’s flag stayed resolutely down. He made gestures to suggest a defender was playing them on on the far side. Utter rubbish. The rest of the match was filled with Dumbarton fans shouting at him and raising ironic cheers when he finally did flag someone offside. (It’s what we pay our money for.)

The equaliser came from a defender dwelling on the ball and Jim Lister chasing him down, he then picked out Scott Agnew with a cut back, not the more obvious ball across the box. Aggie finished cleverly back the way it had come. Dreamland.

It then got better.

Our fourth was another intricate passing move finished off by Steven McDougall, calmness personified in the box, beating his man before slotting it past Paul Gallacher.

Dunfermline pressed for the few minutes remaining but we always managed to get bodies in the way or tackles in.

Up to today we had only 4 points out of the last 21 and the Murray magic seemed to have gone. Now it’s 7 out of the last 24. Even with Dunfermline’s troubles this must give the lads great confidence.

Games come thick and fast now, starting at home on Wednesday, then two in a row at Hamilton.

Edited to add:- Chris Turner was lucky to stay on the field after his deliberate hack at Josh Falkingham. I know Falkingham’s an annoying wee so-and-so but serious foul play is serious foul play no matter who it’s committed against.

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