Archives » Tony Wallace

East Fife 0-1 Dumbarton

SPFL Tier 4, New Bayview, 11/11/23.

This is only the second time this season I have watched the mighty Sons of the Rock in action. But East Fife’s ground is only 7 or so miles away from where I live so it seemed only right to turn up.

We survived an early scare when Tony Wallace headed the ball but straight to an East Fife attacker for a one-on-one only for Brett Long in our goal to bail him out.

A minute or so later we took the lead a ball into the box reached Kalvin Orsi who poked it home for his first goal in 784 days.

Thereafter we kind of fell out of it for a while with East Fife knocking the ball about quite well but never really threatening. Then we had a spell where we had four great chances in about three minutes but East Fife’s keeper made one good and one magnificent save and there was a great last minute block to prevent us scoring again. We did get the ball in the net once more but it was chalked off for offside.

The second half was fairly uneventful. Our final balls were just a bit off. East Fife barely looked like scoring except for when Brett Long misjudged a situation, coming for a ball he was never going to get, and was left stranded. Enough defenders got back though to prevent a goal.

The fact that their keeper got their man of the match award kind of sums things up.

I must say Michael Ruth’s centre forward play was superb. He held up the ball and played others in. Sadly he didn’t get enough of the ball in the box to be able to score.We also had players actually showing for the ball at throw-ins. That is not the Dumbarton way.

The ref made some odd decisions. Par for the course these days.

Up front for East Fife Nathan Austin was a shadow of the player he used to be.


Airdrie United 1-4 Dumbarton

SFL Div 1 Play-off Final, Second leg. Excelsior Stadium, 20/5/12

Where was the anguish? Where was the angst? In a way this was even more unreal than watching us live on TV. 2-0 up after about twenty minutes, scoring just before half-time, cake icing and tiki-taka in the second half? It doesn’t get better than this. Except I was tense up till the Airdrie lad’s sending-off. At the time I didn’t think it was more than a robust challenge but the TV replays showed he took James Creaney’s leg and both his boots’ studs were showing so the ref got it right.

Next season might be a struggle but I’m not thinking about that right now. I’m basking in this.

Airdrie United 1-4 Dumbarton

I actually first took a photo of the scoreboard at 1-3 but this superseded it.

Craig Dargo may have been official man of the match (and he did give us the platform to win the game with his two strikes) but I’d like to mention Tony Wallace. From coming into the team as essentially Kevin Nicoll’s understudy he has grown into the season and his performance yesterday boded well, even if once again Airdrie’s Paul Lovering may have conned the ref into getting him booked. The TV replay was inconclusive as to whether there had even been a foul in that incident – which looked innocuous to me at the time. But it was Tony who beautifully set up the third goal for Mark Gilhaney and so gave Airdrie an almost impossible task in the second half and Tony again who waltzed through their defence for the fourth after good work from Brian Prunty.

Stephen Grindlay had a couple of excellent saves and actually commanded his box a few times but still had two moments which revealed his bomb scare capabilities.

We could have punished them further but that would maybe have been unkind. Certainly we tried to score “cute” goals when 4-1 up but the efforts didn’t come off.

Airdrie looked plodding. Maybe their efforts against Ayr United and at The Rock had taken it out of them. But our lads put in a tough shift at Arbroath in the semi-final and were still fit and really up for this. Credit to the backroom staff as well then.

Finally, a curiosity. We have been promoted without a positive goal difference in the league. Has that ever happened to anyone before?

Dumbarton 2-1 Airdrie United

SFL Div 1 Play-off Final, First Leg, The Rock, 16/5/12

This was weird. It was totally unreal to watch my team – my diddy team – on live television, with the full treatment, build up – though that was short – replays, half time study on the manager etc. It was also unreal not to be shouting encouragement (or otherwise) during the game.

Anyway, Airdrie had most of the possession but didn’t really do much with it. The shots Stephen Grindlay had to save were mostly comfortable for him, their other efforts went high or wide. We did not play well, our passes too often went astray. Nerves, perhaps. We took the lead out of nothing, Brian Prunty finished it well, though. Then – total unreality – we scored with a free header from a free kick. Unlikely hero, Tony Wallace and a great delivery from Scott Agnew.

Airdrie’s Paul Lovering then conned the ref into booking Tony Wallace, who was perhaps still affected by that a few minutes later when he made the challenge the ref gave as a penalty. Even with the replays I was struggling to see a foul there.

I knew Grindlay would save it, unfortunately he didn’t block the rebound shot.

Second half not much happened, except Pat Walker was brought down by the keeper after he’d flicked the ball past him in the box but the ref wasn’t interested then near the death Prunty had a one-on-one which the keeper saved with his legs before Paul Nugent made the needless challenge that led to his second booking.

So we have it all to go through again on Sunday. I don’t think I could stand another 90 minutes of 0-0. It’s on a plastic pitch too, which you’d think would favour them.

Stenhousemuir 1-2 Dumbarton

SFL Div 2, Ochilview Park, 11/2/12.

Incident packed – in the first half at least, when Stenny committed collective suicide. The first was when their centre half tackled Pat Walker just outside the box and the ref blew. I was too far away to be sure and when he reached in his pocket I thought he might be booking Pat for diving but it was a red for the defender for “preventing a clear goal-scoring opportunity.” Fair enough, if it was a foul there was no other defender in a position to cover. Stenny’s manager was sent “to the stands” for his complaints here. (He spent the rest of the game running down to the wall surrounding the pitch to relay instructions to his players – and the officials paid not the slightest bit of attention to him. Being sent to the stands at Stenny is clearly not a punishment.)

A few minutes later, in what I thought was an accidental collision of heads the Stenny player fell to the ground hurt. Cue hordes of home players demanding a card for Martin Mcniff apparently believing an elbow had been used. I was directly in line with this and it hadn’t even looked a foul to me! The ref was well placed on the other side and he obviously didn’t see an elbow but as a result of the Stenny protests he showed McNiff a yellow. Former Son Andy Rodgers was booked for his protests and was lucky it wasn’t a red as he kept on complaining way after his yellow.

Stenny have previous in this regard, in the 1-1 game in our last promotion season they got Gary Wilson sent off in similar circumstances.

After that incident Stenny players were throwing themselves to the ground at the slightest pretext obviously hoping to even things up card-wise. Sadly the ref fell for more than a few of these efforts. Stenny’s no. 9 could have a great future from the 10 metre board in the swimming pool.

Tony Wallace then had a great chance but side footed it over.

The second act of Stenny madness came when Pat Walker won a corner off a defender who then made his dissent clear by throwing the ball away. There is absolutely no chance that it was a goal kick instead. The defender though, who had already been booked, threw the ball to the ground in disgust. The ref held his arms out wide as he gave the second yellow, followed by red, as if to say, “You haven’t given me a choice.”

The first goal was from a corner when we stopped fannying about with short ones and put in a cross which Alan Lithgow powered in. Not long after, Brian Prunty’s shot took a deflection and went past the keeper.

2-0 at half time and easy street? This is Dumbarton. You should know better.

Stenny made three chances in the second half more or less from nothing each time, two from Andy Rodgers, both well saved by Stephen Grindlay (who seems to have improved on crosses by the way and was otherwise untroubled except by the goal which was a great strike from the substitute – look out for it on Sons TV.)

We had a barrowload of chances and didn’t score any of them. The most prominent was when Prunty had a free header at a virtually open goal but somehow managed to head it back towards the keeper.

This was my first look at loanee Ross Finnie* – some nice touches but wrong decisions at times – and Ally Graham, who didn’t do much. As a result of the sendings-off we didn’t really need a midfield enforcer so it was a good game for Kevin Nicoll to miss through suspension.

But a game we should have put to bed quite easily ended up being a bit of a worry at the end due to the slim margin. And the possibility of improving our goal difference vis-á-vis Stenny was lost.

We’ll need to be sharper on Tuesday night at Forfar.

*Edited to add:- make that Ryan Finnie.

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