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Jim McLean

I’ve just seen a report of the death of Jim McLean, the man who led Dundee United to the greatest successes in their history (bar a Scottish Cup win.)

Following two earlier League Cup wins (themselves the club’s first major trophies,) in 1983 his stewardship found them winning the League and becoming champions of Scotland. With hindsight that seems even more remarkable than it did at the time. As I recall (but don’t quote me) they achieved that using no more than 15 players in total over the whole season.

The next season saw an even more incredible achievement, a European Cup semi-final (matching the effort of their city rivals, Dundee, from 1963.) Then there was a UEFA Cup final appearance (thereby eclipsing their neighbours) in 1987. The most astonishing statistic of the club’s European games under McLean’s leadership is their two wins against Barcelona (OK, they were not the force at the that time they were to become but it was still a huge scalp) in that EUFA Cup run. Curiously the club had also beaten Barcelona home and away in the equivalent competition, the Inter Cities Fairs Cup, in 1966.

Some controversy surrounded McLena’s treatment of players, especially as regards the details of their contracts, but he nurtured many who went on to forge big careers in the game. His relationships with members of the press were not always rosy though. He was a personality, no doubt.

As a pure manager, though, his record is nothing short of amazing.

James Yuille (Jim) McLean: 2/12/1937 – 26/12/2020. So it goes.

Kilmarnock 2-0 Dumbarton

Scottish League Cup*, Rugby Park, 14/11/20.

Not as bad as I’d feared, even if we were on for a hiding in the first half but Ryan McGeever got injured which we could have done without.

It’s a long time since this Cup has been a happy hunting ground for us. The group this year always looked a stiff test. Too stiff as it turned out.

The table makes for unhappy reading but I suppose this competition is never a priority for us.

Back to league business next Saturday.

*Betfred Cup

Dumbarton 0-4 Falkirk

Scottish League Cup*, the Rock, 10/11/20.

Well, the least said about this the better.

Down to barer than the bare bones for various reasons (injuries, suspensions) we could only put two subs on the bench.

In that context and with players having to make shift, it’s not too dreadful. Thankfully it wasn’t a league game.

But. Expect the same – or worse – on Saturday in the last of this season’s League Cup ties at Kilmarnock?

*Betfred Cup if you like.

East Fife 2-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 3, New Bayview, 7/11/20.

Ah well. All good things come to an end. But given last season’s showing East Fife were always going to be testy opponents.

So that’s our clean sheet streak gone.

It seems we played well but had no luck at all.

Reports say we had the ball in the net four times but three were chalked off, somewhat dubiously according to the Daily Record which adds that one of their goals was most likely offside. That’s football for you.

There’s a two week break now from the league during the international games interval but that will be filled with two League Cup (Betfred Cup) games.

Clyde 3-2 Dumbarton

Scottish League Cup,* Broadwood Stadium, 10/10/20.

Another game, another defeat. Another one goal defeat.

Not really a good start. At least this time we managed to score.

We’ll need to buck up a bit for the start of the league next Saturday, though.

*Betfred Cup.

Dumbarton 0-1 Dunfermline Athletic

Scottish League Cup,* Group E, The Rock, 6/10/20.


It’s back!

At our level anyway.

It seems their goal was a dodgy penalty. Or at least a disputed one. Welcome back to the same old, same old.

*Betfred Cup if you must.

New League Cup Group

Football? What football?

Saturdays are empty at the moment, no trepidation in the run-up, no joy or despair at 4.45.

It seems an age since I posted news about Dumbarton FC.

Still, Sons’ opponents in this year’s League Cup (Betfred Cup) have been announced.

Kilmarnock, Dunfermline Athletic, Falkirk and Clyde make for pretty stiff opposition.

Something to look forward to, though. (Or perhaps, dread.)


Just in case you (and I) had forgotten what a football ground looked like, these are pictures taken at Sons’ first game of last season, the League Cup tie at Galabank, home of Annan Athletic FC.

Ground as seen from road from town centre:-

Galabank As seen From South


Entrance to Galabank, Annan Athletic FC

Annan Athletic Club Logo on Galabank’s gates:-

Annan Athletic Club Logo

Galabank From North. Ground is in background beyond gates at the left of the picture:-

Galabank From North

Pitch at Galabank, from northeast:-

Pitch at Galabank, From Northeast

From northwest corner looking south, showing pitch-side stand:-

Galabank From Northwest Corner Looking South

Northwest corner:-

Galabank From Northwest Corner

From southeast:-

Galabank From Southeast

From southwest corner:-

Galabank From Southwest Corner

Looking north:-

Galabank Looking North

South enclosure:-

Galabank South Enclosure

Dumbarton 0-2 Motherwell

Scottish League Cup,* Group E, The Rock, 23/7/19.

Be thankful for small mercies.

At least it wasn’t a doing, but I’ve no idea how many of Motherwell’s full first team squad were playing. And for the first time this season we didn’t score.

The manager now has ten days to knock the squad into some sort of shape before the serious stuff starts.

Right now avoiding tenth (and therefore relegation) looks a tall order.

*Betfred Cup

Morton 6-1 Dumbarton

Scottish League Cup*, Group E, Cappielow Park, 16/7/19.


We could have done without such a thumping.

I suppose it’s a sign of our lack of cohesion. The team hasn’t had any time at all to gel. But it’s a bit of an embarrassment nonetheless.

Still, we lost 7-0 at St Mirren in the League Cup in August 2008 and went on to win the league that year.

Do you hear the sound of someone clutching at straws?

*Betfred Cup

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