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Sons to Return

It seems Sons will be back in action soon as the Scottish Government has agreed to tiers 3 and 4 of the SPFL (and also the Scottish Cup) resuming.

Our Cup game against Huntly has already been scheduled for Mar 23. That only leaves twenty days to get back to training and up to speed for a full ninety (or heaven forbid, 120) minutes.

How the rest of the league season will be finished is anyone’s guess. There’s not enough time I would have thought for the full 27 games agreed before the season’s start to be played now. Sons completed nine before the shutdown so that would be 18 to be fitted in by May. Maybe the clubs will agree to reduce the total to 18 games which would certainly be manageable.

Fans won’t be back anytime soon though.

Suspended

I was looking forward to actually seeing a Sons game again tomorrow.

However today’s suspension of Scottish football below its top two tiers means that it will now not be until February 13th when the home game against Montrose is due – or just possibly the 9th if the Cup game against Huntly is scheduled for then – that I will have that pleasure.

With the coronavirus now spreading at a higher rate than ever I suppose this was an inevitable decision. People’s safety must be the main priority.

It’s still a blow to morale, though.

Sons New (Now Old) Away Strip, 2019-2020

As seen at Galabank, Annan Athletic FC.

A fairly boring thing really, all white with black trimmings:-

Dumbarton FC New Away Strip, 2019-2020

Football. The Lost Game.

Normally at this time on a Saturday I’m composing a post on how well Sons have done that day. (Or not as the case may be.)

I wonder when I’ll do that again.

It’s not even like a close season (a normal close season) when you know exactly when you can go to a game again. Football (lower league football, with crowds; without crowds is a total non-starter) will be one of the last things to return to normal. The risk with even small numbers of people in anything resembling close proximity for 90 minutes plus added time is just too great.

Still, the club seems to be looking ahead as it’s already planning what next season’s home strip will be. (There might not be a next season, of course.) None of the choices is very appealing. If not a white strip with black and gold trimmings/bands/stripes I wish we could at least have a black and gold strip, instead of yellow; but at our level beggars can’t be choosers and we can only go with what strip manufacturers offer.

The crowd funding campaign has reached over £18,000 but is still about £6,500 short of its target.

Worrying times.

New Season’s Fixtures

The league fixtures for next season are now on the club’s website.

It looks fairly tough already.

Given we only have ten players signed at the moment – one of whom seems to be permanently crocked and two being goalkeepers – it may be even tougher come the actual games.

Oswestry

The name is enough to bring on a warm glow for any Sons fan, more so to one who was there that unforgettable night, shrouded now in mystic memory.

Not that it was an unalloyed delight. For three-quarters of the game we weren’t in it – and it was a pretty glum experience. I was wondering why I had travelled all that way only for us to surrender meekly. Still we weren’t exactly out of it, not even when The New Saints scored early on the second half. But we gradually started to push forward and even got a couple of crosses in.

Then the moment it all changed with that pass from Kyle Hutton to Danny Handling, the sublime run from Mark Stewart to take away the defender and leave space for the shot, the shot itself, the outburst of almost disbelieving delirium, Danny Handling running up the park in delight, Sons fans applauding and shouting with a kind of relief.

Then a few minutes later the ironic cheers when the referee finally gave a free-kick against their defence for fouling Christian Nade, who’d been getting no joy up till that point.

Up stepped Froxy with that beautiful, beautiful, sublime strike into Sons legend. If his goal at Dunfermline earlier that season hadn’t already made him one, this certainly confirmed it.

Below are the game’s (short) higlights – with Welsh commentary.

Watch Kyle Hutton’s reaction to Froxy’s goal (at about 2 minutes seven seconds in.) It looks like he’s thinking, “Did that just happen?”

Sometimes the football gods are with you, at others not. Pity the final wasn’t so memorable, but that was another story.

Oswestry, however, will stay with me forever.

I took photographs, naturally, of the ground and the town, all coming up.

And of course I have already posted the video of the celebrations at the final whistle.

Freddie Glidden

I see from the club website that former Son Freddie Glidden has died.

His years playing for the club were slightly before my time but I remember my eldest brother reminiscing about him. I recall the word “uncompromising” was implied.

We could do with a bit of that right now.

Frederick Glidden: 7/9/1927 – 1/1/2019. So it goes.

A Dreadful Year for Sons

2018 wasn’t a good year for Sons – Oswestry apart.

But I hadn’t realised how bad it was until I read this this statistical analysis of the playing year produced by a Sons fan on his “Tales From the Rock” blog and linked to on page 1610 of the “Sons Sorrow” thread on the Pie Shop, aka Pie and Bovril.

Played 55, Won 16,* Drawn 8, Lost 31, Goals for 60, Goals Against 104.

These stats show just why manager Stevie Aitken had to be binned.

There has been a small improvement under new manager Jim Duffy, but he is still labouring with the squad he inherited – a lot of whom seem to be injury prone.

*This count includes pre-season games against non-league opposition.

Hugh Harra

I was saddened to see on the club website that Hugh Harra has died.

A player for Dumbarton from 1962-1967 (appearing 163 times) he was therefore a member of the earliest Sons side I can properly remember. His photo in the link shows that gold shirt with black pin stripe Sons used in the 1960s and I remember so well.

In my memory he was an uncompromising half-back (they weren’t called midfielders in those days) with a reputation that more than matched that description. A good asset to have in a side in those “it’s a man’s game” days.

Hugh Harra: 29/3/1936-6/2018. So it goes.

Sons Flags Flying

Still down after yesterday.

Here are two pictures from a cheerier moment:-

Sons Flags flying

More Sons Flags

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