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Murraynho

Well done to manager Ian Murray, his backroom staff and the players for their remarkable achievement in keeping the Sons in the first division. Yesterday’s game with Partick Thistle was a bit of a party as the good natured Jags fans celebrated their championship win and promotion to the Premier League.  Sons supporters meanwhile (boosted in number by a DFC supporters club from Switzerland!- I kid you not) had a bit of a party celebrating their highest league finish in 26 years.

Only the post prevented a screamer from Scott Agnew making it a perfect day for Sons but really a draw was just about right.

IMAG0205

Goal of the season man Bryan Prunty can’t wait for the celebrations!

More Goldfinches and Football

When I was at the Plastic Whistle game last week a rather fetching young lady put a ticket type thing on a chord round my neck “You’ll need it when you get in” she said.

I forgot about it until I got home. When I read the ticket, it was a promo for a Partick Thistle supporters scheme to raise money for the club.

I found it again last night in a jacket pocket and was reminded how it was illustrated:

ptgf

 

Something you don’t often see

A Scottish League football ground filled nearly to capacity:

P1040638

A mere 24 hours after seeing Dumbarton lose out against Raith Rovers my daughter and I took in the Partick Thistle v Morton game last night in the same division.
Same division but a different league.
The Sons and Rovers had attracted fewer that 600 souls to their match on Tuesday, whereas there was just short of 9,000 at Firhill last night with the kick off being delayed for twenty minutes to allow the crowd access to the stadium. We initially paid our way into the stand pictured above but there clearly weren’t enough seats for everyone to be accommodated so the stewards directed us on to the track and to the stand behind the goals.

P1040643

The Plastic Whistle players celebrate what turned out to be the winning goal last night.

It wasn’t a great game. The decisive moment came in the 41st minute via a cross from Thistle’s Chris Erskine which First Division Player of the Month Kris Doolan just failed to connect with. However James Craigen picked it up at the far post and converted the opportunity with ease.

It looks like Thistle are headed for the SPL. I wonder if Firhill will house as big a crowd as last night at any game next season?

Steppin Out Queens!

I watched the Ramsdens Cup Final between Queen of the South and Partick Thistle at Livingston today on BBC Alba with the rather surreal bilingual commentary. The match itself, finishing in a 0-0 draw was a rather uninspiring affair but boy! Extra time and penalties provided excitement.

First we had this goal from Nicky Clark for Queens

Then this missed penalty by Thistle (for a foul that was probably outside the box) and a cracking fight. The unsuccessful penalty taker, Alan Muirhead was goaded by Queens captain Chris Higgins about the miss and dickhead Muirhead saw red for a head but. You don’t get stuff like this in the Champions League!

Thistle did equalise at the last gasp, taking the game to penalties. After penalties it was 4-4 and then sudden death saw deserved man of the match Queens keeper Lee Robinson make the decisive save which saw the cup go to Dumfries.

Not a misprint or a typo!

Dumbarton 2 (two) Partick Thistle 0 (nil)

thumbnail.asp

At the turn of the year, Dumbarton languished at the bottom of the league with five points. Since then they have gained nine further points, scoring nine goals in the process. The Sons have won three out of the last four with two of those victories being against the league leaders at the time.

Last season the team’s dramatic revival went on to become a successful promotion bid via the play offs. This season an escape from relegation* would be no less a feat.

The general perception amongst supporters was that both the manager and the players were incapable of redeeming their position. The manager was sacked in November and Ian Murray 31 year old former Hibs and Rangers player was brought in.

Has Murray’s presence in the dugout been the difference? or are the players much better than everyone thought? I’d have said that the second part must at least be true. One wonders just what has happened in the short time that Murray has been there to have moulded what looked like a team of no hopers into a winning side? Not that I’m complaining!

He (Murray) was interviewed on the radio after the match and came over very well.

Of course things could turn again just as suddenly but at the moment it’s good to see that the team has at least given itself a fighting chance of progressing from the bottom rung.

In other Sons news, I see that former boss Jim Chapman has taken over at third division Annan Athletic. Jim took Sons to the third division championship in 2008/09. I wish him well in his new job.

The match report from yesterday is here

*Although reconstruction could save us anyway