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Falkirk 1-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Falkirk Stadium, 30/3/21.

Well I didn’t see this coming. I didn’t see it at all. After Saturday I just wanted to crawl away into a darkened room so didn’t avail myself of Falkirk’s live stream. (It was £13.99 a pop too, A bit steep.)

From the comments on Pie and Bovril the Falkirk fans seem to think it’s their managers’ fault. (Yes they have two.)

They also said Sam Ramsbottom was man of the match. He apparently made four good saves. (Though one Falkirk fan disagrees, saying he only had one.)

The other surprising thing is that we scored. New boy Rabin Omar after a route one kick up the park according to the club website.

An unexpected and welcome point but we need three in every game at the minute.

Unfortunately Clyde won away at Peterhead so we’ve gone down a place, and they’ve got a game in hand on us too. Forfar got themselves a similarly unexpected point to ourselves at Partick.

Those losses at home in the past two league games are really hurting now.

Airdrieonians tomorrow night at home is the latest must win.

If we did it would put serious pressure on them.

So we most likely won’t.

Dumbarton 0-1 Peterhead

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 27/3/21.

Well this was a must win – and we lost it.

OK it was a great strike but perhaps we shouldn’t have been allowing it. It came from Adam Frizell losing the ball in their half with trying to be too tricky. Not much is coming off for him at the moment, but that’s true for the whole team.

Their goalie didn’t have a save to make the whole game. Not that Peterhead had many efforts on goal. Typical the one that counted came from a former Son, Ben Armour, who’s making a habit of scoring the only goal of a game against us. He’s yet another player whose talents we never seemed to be able to harness when he was with us.

Looking at our fixture list I can’t see where even a single point is going to come from. And Clyde pulled back a point on us today too.

It’s beginning to feel awfully like a relegation season. And yet on total goals conceded we would be third in the league. That stat shows where our trouble lies. No creativity in midfield. On goals scored we’re rock bottom.

Tuesday night at Falkirk could be brutal for which I will not be tuning in.

Then there’s Airdrie at home on Thursday evening. Another eye-bleeding watch no doubt.

The hope’s not killing me just now, since I have none at all.

Dumbarton 0-1 Forfar Athletic

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 20/3/21.

Well.

It turns out this was a must-win after all.

It wasn’t just a defeat. It was a calamity. They came to within two points of us and Peterhead won to stretch their lead over us to five points. Our game against them (next up in the league) has now become a real must-win.

What’s more Forfar showed very little to suggest they are or will be a good side.

The trouble is neither did we.

Even making allowances for the lack of games this was dire. Both teams will be lucky to avoid relegation. I hardly think Clyde can be worse than us both.

To cap it all, Stefan McCluskey is now going to have an operation and will be out for the season. As if we didn’t have few enough bodies already.

Make no mistakee; this was the performance of a side doomed to relegation.

In the absence of Rico Quitongo, Tomas Brindley filled in at left back. He was okay but at least twice was in a great crossing position with players free in Forfar’s box and miserably failed to get the ball in to them. Too many passes in midfield were misplaced. There was some neat link-up play at times but it never led to anything. Everyone had a game to forget – except for one player, who has a very cogent reason to remember it, as a warning.

For the goal was utterly preventable. I would say it was comical but it was worse than that. It was totally abject. New signing Sam Ramsbottom had hit three out of four clearances against one of our players already as well as getting away with several other low kick-outs. But while having plenty of time to make sure his kick would be well-placed he did it again, clattering the ball against poor Ryan McGeever’s back, from which it rebounded goalwards. Ramsbottom’s dive after it was futile. He only helped carry it into the net.

Ramsbottom will now linger in my mind (along with Peter Shaw of dreaded memory) as being just about the worst goalkeeper I’ve ever seen in a Sons jersey. He was woeful. Not just his kicking, his ball catching skills also leave a lot to be desired, he seemed to punch or palm away just about everything that wasn’t the easiest of catches.

I would say that it would be for the best if we lost in the Cup against Huntly on Tuesday, to save us the fixture pile-up, except for the effect such a defeat would likely have on morale.

My mood is despairing.

And So It Begins Again

Today, at 3 pm, Sons will play a competitive football match for the first time in 91 days. That’s more than a normal close season.

I really don’t know what to expect. A little ring-rustiness certainly.

I hope, though, that opponents Forfar Athletic will be equally ring-rusty, as it’s something of a crucial game, if not quite a must win for us.

It’s more like a must not lose. If Forfar get the three points they’ll only be two points behind us, albeit having played a game more. Far too close for my liking.

Clyde are only those two points behind us and they have a game in hand. That game, however, might be a problem for them as it means that in these Covid times they have to squeeze it into the already packed schedule.

In that context, Peterhead, two points above us but with two extra games played, have an advantage over us in that they’ll have more rest time over the next few weeks.

Still, I’ll be in front of the live stream* at kick-off today, fingers crossed, mentally anguished.

*Any gremlins permitting.

Completing the Season

The amended fixtures that will suposedly allow Tier 3 SPFL clubs to complete 18 games for this season have been published.

(After a top five/bottom five split a further four fixtures are proposed to make up a 22 game season – but only if every side has managed to fit the 18 game total in.)

Sons’ games are scheduled as follows:-

Saturday, March 20 – Forfar Athletic (H, 3pm)
Saturday, March 27 – Peterhead (H, 3pm)
Tuesday, March 30 – Falkirk (A, 7.45pm)
Thursday, April 1 – Airdrieonians (H, 7.45pm)
Tuesday, April 6 – Montrose (H, 7pm)
Thursday, April 8 – East Fife (H, 7pm)
Saturday, April 10 – Cove Rangers (A, 3pm)
Saturday, April 17 – Clyde (A, 3pm)
Tuesday, April 20 – Partick Thistle (H, 7.45pm)

To those has to be added the game against Huntly in the Scottish Cup on March 23 (ko 7.45 pm) and a possible tie beyond that if we win.

It’s some schedule, In fact it’s an insane schedule given that we have a less than threadbare squad and no hint of imminent signings.

The players will be dead on their feet by Apr 1 (5 games in 12 days.) There’s also 4 in the seven days Apr 3-10 if we’re in the next round of the Cup. That’s due on Sat Apr 3.

Dumbarton P-P Airdrieonians

So another postponed game, the third this season and the second in a row – with the possibility of a fourth next Saturday if Huntly cannot get their 1st round Cup tie against Cumbernauld Colts on before then.

Mind you, when I saw the weather forecast for Dumbarton for the week just gone and that the temperature would not rise above 0oC until about 3 pm today I knew this would be off.

So we are now in eighth place, just one above the relegation play-off spot and with Clyde in ninth having a game in hand (they have had even less luck with getting games played than we have.) Admittedly, Peterhead are only two points above us and we have two games in hand over them.

I’d still prefer to have more points on the board, though.

Montrose 4-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Links Park, 19/12/20.

Ouch!

This is a riddy* in anyone’s language. A comprehensive doing.

My son watched it on Montrose’s live streaming and told me afterwards we weren’t ever at the races.

And Peterhead’s win at Firhill today makes our point there a fortnight ago look much less of an achievement. Plus two other teams below us won.

So we’re down to sixth and only two points above ninth – with everybody below us having a game in hand. (Those might be against each other, though.)

The four games at home in a row we now have (barring an away Cup draw) really need to count.

*West of Scotland abbreviation for “red face.”

Peterhead 1-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Balmoor Stadium, 21/11/20.

Well. Normal service appears to have been resumed. A good start with a draw, two wins and three clean sheets has been overtaken by two defeats in a row. Mind you according to the club’s view of the game we again, as a fortnight ago, might have got something from the game.

We now have three very hard matches indeed in a row against Falkirk, Partick Thistle and Cove Rangers respectively, all of whom are above us in the table.

My spot in front of the computer is booked for the live stream on Tuesday night.

Pitmedden Garden

When I was up north for the Peterhead game in August last year we took the chance to visit Pitmedden Garden as it’s always been somewhere the good lady wanted to see.

In the formal garden there’s some odd topiary:-

Topiary, Pitmedden Formal Garden

A fountain:-

Fountain, Pitmedden Formal Garden

A pond:-

Formal Garden, Pitmedden

Some geometric planting:-

Pitmedden Garden, Ellon, Aberdeenshire

Pitmedden Garden, knot garden, Aberdeenshire

An upper terrace with a semi-circular sculpture at the far end:-

Terrace, Pitmedden

The terrace gives a good view of the formal garden:-

Pitmedden, Formal Garden from Terrace

Formal Garden from Terrace, Pitmedden

Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead

Balmoor Stadium is the home of Peterhead FC.

I visited it for the first time when Sons played up there in August last year.

From access road:-

Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead From Access Road

The photos below take you on a clockwise circuit of the interior.

East Stand from northwest:-

East Stand, Balmoor Stadium

Main Stand from north-ish:-

Main Stand, Balmoor Stadium

Main Stand from northeast:-

Main Stand, Balmoor Stadium

East Stand:-

East Stand, Balmoor Stadium

North end:-

North End, Balmoor Stadium

East Stand from north:-

East Stand Balmoor Stadium

East Stand from south:-

Balmoor Stadium, East Stand

Main Stand from southeast corner:-

Balmoor Stadium, Main Stand

South end and part of Main Stand:-

Balmoor Stadium, South End and Main Stand

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