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If time travel were possible…….

I’d be going back in time twenty years armed with current knowledge.

And I’d be going to the bookies.

“How far in the future can I bet on the outcome of two football matches on the same day?” I’d ask.

“There is no limit” would come the reply.

“I would like therefore to stake one thousand pounds that in 2013, Celtic will lose to Ross County in a premier league match in Dingwall after being 2-0 in the lead”

(Bookmakers assistant looks incredulous and somehow worried)

“And I’d like to make it a double with Annan Athletic winning a league game at Ibrox against Rangers, on the same day, in Scottish League division three with more than forty thousand people there”

(Bookmakers assistant says “Hold on while I go and get the odds for that sir”)

Bookmakers Assistant on phone : “Yes he has the money and seems normal but is clearly suffering some kind of mental trauma. Should I phone the authorities?”

Bookie Boss – “Aye do that but stall him and make sure you take his bet first”.

I would have the last laugh though, because today Ladbrokes would be in receivership and I’d be a billionaire!

Quote of the Week

“Stick SPL2 where the sun don’t shine”

Henry McClelland, Chairman Annan Athletic FC

It is part of an inspiring statement which can be found here

As I understand things, there were assurances given that the full time first division clubs would not pursue or be persuaded by an SPL2 option. Furthermore I believe that there was information from the SPL that the settlement money is guaranteed for this season at least. These were the two main concerns I had about a no vote.

Whilst I think those at the SFL meeting required the judgement skills of Solomon and the forensic skill of a Philadelphia lawyer, I think that the right decision was made.

It is now up to the SFA and SPL to respect this democratic vote and not pull any surprises from the hat on Monday.

The buzz phrase has now moved from sporting integrity to 42 club resolution

The Wild Rovers

The other night I took in the Albion Rovers v Annan Athletic third division play off final first leg at Cliftonhill. I have a few friends who support the Rovers, one of whom is involved in the running of the club. It was a good game considering the gale force wind and rain, with Rovers running out convincing 3-1 winners, courtesy of three goals by Robert Love.

Robert Love with the match ball.

Here’s a few more photies I took with my new shiny iPod.

It's a relief to find it's a sponsorship notice (albeit one that's 9 years out of date)

You want razamataz? We got razamataz! The Rovers Cheerleaders.

Condimental

Rovers celebrate the first goal

Other managers were there

At one stage with the ball pinging about in the wind and with possession changing five or six times in as many seconds, a Rovers player had a spectacular overhead kick in midfield “Silky soccer, boys!!” shouted one wag.

The second leg of the final is on Sunday at Annan, scene of Sons 2009 third division triumph. Annan is a great club which holds fond memories for this blogger, but I’ll be hoping Rovers will finish the job they started on Wednesday and win promotion for the first time since 1989 (clinched in a match v Sons as I recall)

Just Champion!

I can’t really describe yesterday in words, so these pictures will have to do. (click on any photo to enlarge).

I couldn’t get much action from the game because I didn’t have a zoom lens, only a wee digital compact and a phone.

The game was almost incidental as the championship was all but secured last week.

However we completed the job in style winning 3-1.

The return to Dumbarton and the team in an open topped bus coming down Castle Road with so many turning out to welcome them home was unforgettable.

Come on the Sons!

DSCF2694

,

Party Time

Well I’m off to Annan with the Sons today.

Don’t expect to hear anything from the BLFP until tomorrow.

Wish us luck!

Yes I am that old.

Shades of Lunacy!

big-rabThe wacky photo on the left is reminiscent of Timmy Mallet circa 1985, or even my zany blog pal Colin Campbell but is in fact Yours Truly modelling the souvenir shirt that I hope the majority of Dumbarton fans will be wearing on Saturday (128 sold so far!).

That and a big daft pair of sunglasses. Again I hope most of the fans will be wearing shades although the forecast is rain.

The theme is “The Future’s So Bright We Gotta Wear Shades” Based on the 80′s ironic protest song by Timbuk 3 against atomic weapons.

The shirt has that slogan along with the DFC club crest and “Division 3 Champions 2008-09″

I’ve been assured that my recording of the song is to be played on the team bus on the way down to Annan.

The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades

(it’s only listening now I hear how flat my voice was here. hey ho!)

At night on our return to Dumbarton the celebrations will include comedic contributions from two BLFP regulars, Fern Cake and Stu Who? (continuing the shades theme!) and a rerr terr* afterwards

*good time, celebration, enjoyable period sometimes involving alcoholic beverages.

Anyone wishing to order a shirt can do so here

Sons 0 Annan 2

Just absolutely dire.

Players playing yet another “system” that didn’t work against a team with a highly effective one that did. Lumping balls forward whilst the opposition passed about neatly.

We have three away games coming up after a ten day rest.

We probably have the best players in the division.

Unless they start getting deployed to their strengths they will continue to under achieve.

Annan Other Thing!

Despite looking as if they were hanging on for a point on Saturday, the Sons lost out to a 90th minute goal from the home side to make it Annan 2 Dumbarton 1. The only saving grace was that Stenny lost at Forfar. However Sons will not be able to afford too many defeats like Saturday’s between now and the end of the season.

Dumbarton 4 Annan Athletic 1

Sons overcame Annan with ease yesterday although Annan looked a shadow of the side who ran Dumbarton so close in the Cooperative Insurance cup in August.

In only six minutes Peter Watson diverted Gordon Lennon’s cross cum shot past his own keeper. Then, on the half hour mark, Annan keeper Dougie Calder was powerless to deny Paul Keegan’s shot which came courtesy of a great cross by Derek Carcary.

Paul Keegan

Four minutes later Calder gifted Dumbarton a third goal when he brought down Derek Carcary and Ross Clark scored the penalty.

ON the stroke of half time Stuart Hill then turned the ball into his own net. Sons Paul McLeod missed two great opportunities to make Annan’s first half embarrassment even more complete.

The highlight of the second half was Alan Inglis’s forty yard screamer of a free kick, which provided the visitors with their consolation goal, but to be honest only some more poor finishing by McLeod and Keegan prevented Sons from adding to their total.

For once I’d like to defend the ref. This was the first game in a while I’ve seen with no cards issued (edited to add apart from Mick O’Byrne’s! – were there any more?). As a result there was some robust tackling without the game ever being dirty.

Messrs. McGeown,Lennon,Chapman Jnr,Hunter and Chapman Snr.

Last night we had the always enjoyable annual Sonstrust quiz. It proved to be a good day all round for the Sons as the club team of manager Jim Chapman and his son, players Gordon Lennon and Mark McGeown along with kit man Stevie Hunter lifted the prize. Our own team managed a total of one out of ten on the sports round (I mean since when are cricket, golf and cycling sports?)  despite that we did not too bad on the other rounds.

In Defence of Penalties.

Last night the Sons played host to Annan Athletic in the Co-operative Insurance Cup. It was the first visit to the Rock by the borders side and to be honest the home support were apprehensive following Annan’s 4-1 defeat of Cowdenbeath at the weekend. The game was another frustrating affair with Sons having superiority of possession but unable to convert it to goals despite good early efforts by Craig Brittain and Derek Carcary. Steven Archibald also went close for the Borders side.

At the start of the second half at 0-0, Dumbarton were denied a clear penalty kick when Paul Keegan was brought down in the box by Alan Inglis but the ref only a few yards away inexplicably waved away the claims. Further efforts by Darren Johnsone of Annan and Sons sub Fergus Tiernan were dealt with comfortably by the respective keepers. 0-0 full time.

Extra time saw Sons have a penalty awarded against them 1-0 for Annan from Mike Jack’s spot kick. To their credit, and despite the ordering off of Andy Geggan (having just been given a yellow for the penalty) for protesting to the ref, Dumbarton never gave up and in 115 minutes with the clock running down, Raymond Logan found the net with a low diving header. 1-1 at full time and the best entertainment of the evening was to come. Sons and Annan converted four penalties each. Annan’s fifth effort by Alan Inglis (see above) was saved by Sons keeper Dave McEwan leaving Stevie Murray to slot home no 5 for Sons and win the day.

Many people don’t like penalties as a way of deciding a match, but I tend to think it is a skill based way of settling a game which has failed to produce a winner in two hours of play. It’s also an exciting way to end a game.

A frustrating night in many ways but the right result in the end if only for the never say die attitude of the Sons. The reaction of Stevie Murray and the rest of the players was as if they’d just won the cup! I always like to see players rejoicing in a victory and showing that it means something to them. Hard lines on Annan who must feel they let things slip after being in the lead v. 10 men.

The ref was terrible.

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