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Dumbarton 1-0 Raith Rovers

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 29/2/20.

A collector’s piece, this one. Carsy scored. Only the fifth time for us I believe. Possibly only his fifth ever. The last time was I think was also against Raith, in the home game one year ago on 26/2/19.

So that’s two wins in a row – last achieved in December, again against Raith.

That the winner came in injury time means the home fans must have left the Rock buzzing.

Another win on Tuesday night against Forfar would go a long way towards making sure we avoid relegation – indeed all but make that a certainty.

No doubt that means it won’t happen.

Dumbarton 1-0 Clyde

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 25/2/20

That’s a relief.

Not only is it a welcome win – our first since the Saturday before Christmas – but we also stretched the gap over every team below us.

I had been planning to go through to this but the weather we’ve been having put me off the trip. It doesn’t seem to have been a good game though.

Still; a win’s a win.

Can’t see another against Raith on Saturday however. (But I’d be delighted to be wrong about that.)

Dumbarton 0-1 Raith Rovers

SPFL Tier 3, The Rock, 3/8/19.

And so it begins….

A defeat in which we didn’t score. Though apparently we should have had a penalty.

I can’t see us improving on that in our next two games – both away, against Falkirk and Peterhead.

Unless the manager can pull off another Dom Thomas-like loan signing I suspect we’re going to struggle badly.

New League Season

The new league season starts today at 3.00 at the Rock.

This must be the least I’ve looked forward to “the big kick-off” in years. The manager’s signings of new players (only three remain from last season) have not been inspiring to say the least. We look particularly light at centre back and up front. (The midfield’s not so promising either.)

I know we won at Annan but they weren’t very good on the day and we’ve been comprehensively thumped twice since.

I note taht today’s opponents Raith Rovers haven’t been setting the world on fire either but that’s no guide.

I hope to be proved wrong but at the moment I can only see a long, hard season – and struggle to avoid tenth and automatic relegation – ahead

Forfar Athletic 0-0 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Station Park, 13/4/19.

The scoreline tells you all you need to know about this game.

Sometimes you get an entertaining 0-0 draw. Sometimes you don’t. Today we didn’t.

The nearest we came to scoring was with long distance efforts by Ross Forbes and Dom Thomas but they were fired down the goalkeeper’s throat. Calum Gallagher had a couple such off target as did the two previously mentioned.

Not that Forfar were any better. Grant Adam only had two shots to save all day.

Mind you I’d feared the worst as just when the teams were coming out the announcer said that due to an injury in the warm-up Stuart Carswell was being replaced by Boris Melingui. Carsy is so important to our midfield. It’s really an obvious miss when he’s not there. The announcer still gave out Carsy’s name as playing when he read the teamsheets again at half-time, though.

Boris was up front with Calum Gallagher pulled back into midfield where he put a good shift in (he’s like a modern day Chissie*) but his attacking partnership with Dom Thomas was therefore missing. Boris ran about well and pressed with a will but there was no spark to our play. Dom Thomas had few opportunities to run with the ball, they doubled or trebled up on him at times and his control got away from him too often. Plus he needs to play folk in when they’re better placed.

Looking at this Forfar side I’m amazed they’re pushing Raith for second spot. They looked as bad as us, with very little in the way of creativity.

So it’s all squeezed up again at the bottom. We could have done without the wins for Stranraer and Stenhousemuir. We’re four clear of ninth and the dreaded relegation play-off spot with three to play but the bottom two play each other on the last day. The highest either of them could reach is 44 points. They could both reach 42. We’re on 39.

*Ian Chisholm, late of this parish.

Raith Rovers 4-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, Stark’s Park, 23/3/19.

We just weren’t at it for this game.

Mind you, the line up was odd with Carsy playing at centre back and Michael Paton in midfield. Neither Ross Perry nor Brian McLean could have been available at centre half despite no mention on the club website of them having problems.

We had a fair bit of possession in the first few minutes without making anything of it. Then the doors fell off. A quick movement up our right led to a good first time strike hitting the back of our net. But we had been carved open far too easily.

They began to look faster and sharper than us, getting to second balls quicker.

Their second followed a misjudgement by Craig Barr who failed to cut out a through ball. David Ferguson’s last ditch challenge only fed the ball to the scorer.

Grant Adam had no chance with either shot. His kicking had started off OK but soon started to become atrocious. It’s a liability.

Hope blossomed when a great ball inside the full back allowed Bobby Barr to the bye-line and his cut-back was netted by Calum Gallagher.

If we’d held out to half-time we might perhaps have made a game of it but Grant Adam came out for a ball he’d no hope of ever getting, letting ex-Son Kevin Nisbet head into an empty net. Last effort of the half. That was game over.

I wondered at the restart if our goal would survive more than the ten minutes it had in the first. It didn’t. Nine minutes in they got past the defence too easily again. Grant Adam parried the shot – but only to Nisbet’s head. Game really over.

We looked utterly disjointed, loads of hoofed balls to nowhere, misplaced passes galore, Dom Thomas reverting to ‘hit it at the earliest opportunity’ even when playing a pass was the much better option. Even so I was surprised when he was hooked off in favour of Iain Russell but Beany almost scored with his first touch, the ball crashing off the bar. It looked easier to score. That’s the sort of day we had.

Four of the teams around or below us picked up points as well. We could be back in eighth place on Tuesday when Stranraer play Brechin.

This looks like going down to the wire.

Fixtures Time

The league fixtures for 2018-19 have benn announced on the club website.

First up is East Fife away – which makes it almost a home game for me.

(Not quite. The Raith games are closer.)

Lots of trips to Angus there though.

Dumbarton 3-2 Dundee United

SPFL Tier 2, The Rock, 7/4/18

Whatever happened to Dumbarton nil?

This was a very welcome, if somewhat unexpected, three points.

We hadn’t scored against anyone bar Brechin in the league since Boxing Day and only eight at home all season (including against Brechin.) And again apart from Brechin – and Peterhead in the Scottish Cup – it’s the first time we’ve scored more than two for over a year. (The victims then were Raith Rovers on Mar 11th 2017.)

Dundee United must be pretty poor.

Seriously though, I hope the lads take encouragement into Tuesday night’s game at Cappielow. Getting at teams must be the way to go.

Dumbarton 2-0 Raith Rovers

Scottish Challenge Cup*, Fourth Round, The Rock, 11/11/17.

A historic moment. Certainly the first time we’ve won four games in this tournament in the one season and also the first time we’ve reached its semi-final.

This will be our first national cup semi-final since we lost to Hearts after a replay in nineteen hundred and long time ago.

Plus it’s our first ever international cup semi-final given that Irish and Welsh teams are now allowed in it.

Heady stuff. Congratulations to the lads and manager.

*I suppose I’ll have to mention the sponsors now. It’s officially the Irn Bru Cup.

Challenge Cup Quarter-Final

Sons have been drawn to face Raith Rovers, on the second weekend in November, again at home – the fourth such tie this season.

Only our second ever quarter-final in this competition. The last one was so long ago I forget when it was and who it was against.

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