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Get the calculators out!

The Sons go to Stirling today  knowing that a victory will confirm their place in the play offs for promotion to the first division. I can well remember a previous visit to Forthbank when, with Murdo McLeod as manager, Sons clinched promotion with a 2-0 victory there in 1994-95. I had a beer or two that night!

From Sons website here are the possible outcomes of today’s game with a thought spared for the Binos who are battling relegation to the third division.

Play-Off Scenario

If Sons WIN they will clinch a play-off place tomorrow whatever happens elsewhere.

If Sons DRAW then their play-off place will be confirmed if Stenhousemuir do not win at Arbroath. Because Airdrie United and East Fife are playing each other at New Broomfield, they will not both be able to overtake Sons.

If Sons LOSE , they can still seal a play-off place tomorrow. However, they need Stenny to lose at Arbroath and the Airdrie United v East Fife game not to end in a draw.

Back in ’64

Shanghai Jimmy referred to a court case in 1964 where Rangers had tried to have the Scottish League reconstructed and five teams excluded. I remembered a superb resource, namely the Google Newspaper Archive and after a bit of checking on dates found a report from the Glasgow Herald on 27th May 1964 on the five clubs’ successful appeal on the earlier granting of the case.

Uphill Struggle

I haven’t written much about the Sons this season. Frankly results (one win, one draw and eight defeats in the league) have been so poor that I don’t feel inclined to comment much these days.

Ross Clark

Yesterday I had a sense of foreboding about the game v Stenhousemuir and in particular the Sons former talisman Ross Clark. Apparently Clark didn’t have a great game but ( almost inevitably) scored two goals as Sons went down 4-0. Another former Son, Stevie Murray apparently took it upon himself to cover huge areas of the pitch where the Dumbarton midfield should have been and took the piss for most of the game.

I really like attacking midfield players who can score goals and I was frankly amazed when Clark was allowed to leave at the end of last season. Murray would often flatter to deceive but he was obviously deployed to effect yesterday.

I’ll desist from any further comment until Sons win a match.

Could be wishing you a Happy New Year before that happens.

Sons 2 Stenny 1

A vital three points for the Sons last night. I liked how the BBC report says that Dumbarton won against ten man Stenny as the home side were already 2-1 up at the time of the sending off

Paul Quinn’s effort was blocked by Ben Gordon as the visitors threatened early on but Chaplain netted the opener with a neat finish on half-time.

Stenny’s William Lyle levelled from 12 yards after being put through by Pat Scullion in the 65th minute. I thought there was a touch of offside about it but not many seemed to share that view.

Chaplain nets the winner from the spot

Lyle then fouled Chaplain in the area and the striker scored the resulting penalty.

Gary Thom was sent off late in the game for a needless and crazy lunge on Sons keeper Jan Vonacek.

Four points in four days takes the pressure off for a wee while.

A big match on Saturday for the visit of Peterhead, who also won last night, and Ken Fitlike on Saturday.

Stenhousemuir 0 Dumbarton 3

Business commitments meant I couldn’t make it through to Stenny yesterday. However Sons fine run of away victories continued. Here’s what the BBC say:

Dumbarton turned in a fine second-half performance to come away with the points at Ochilview.

Roddy Hunter took advantage of some poor defending to place the ball into the bottom corner on 49 minutes.

Hunter then saw his powerful header saved by Chris McCluskey, only for Scott Chaplain to tuck in the rebound.

A Ross O’Donoghue header made it three in the final minute of the game as the visitors cemented their place in mid-table of the Second Division.

Dumbarton v Stenhousemuir 7.11.09

Third goal celebrations (photo Donald Fullarton)

Dumbarton Win a Trophy!

No this is not a misprint!

The Sons picked up their second piece of silverware of 2009 last night. As the club website explains:

SONS beat Stenhousemuir 2-0 to win the Stirlingshire Cup at Ochilview tonight.

The deserved victory ended a barren spell in the competition for Dumbarton with their last triumph in season 1995/96.

It was an eventful evening — and tournament — for Sons striker Roddy Hunter.

The diminutive striker gave Dumbarton the lead midway through the second half before being harshly sent-off.

The match sponsors then voted him man of the match! And to top the lot, Roddy finished as top scorer in the competition!

Sub Martin McNiff was Sons other scorer adding his goal with ten minutes left on the clock.

Dumbarton 0 Stenhousemuir 0 – Nothing to Get Excited About

Two bad teams and an even worse referee.

Inexplicable team selection (unless the manager had a difference of opinion with the two normal first choice centre backs and the only forward we have with a physical presence) and formation. Sons keeper Vojacek saved an early penalty and had two more great saves. He was then ordered off just before half time (debatable decision) but was later given sponsors’ man of the match! He was replaced by Michael White – Dave McEwan must be really happy he got that Dumbarton club crest tattoo!.

Sons 4-3-2 system in the second half seemed to improve their game and it has to be pointed out that this was the first clean sheet of the season! Also, considering our recent form, a point with ten men for half the match has to be viewed as a success of sorts. However it was very poor fayre indeed and it’ll be interesting to see next week’s team selection and tactics. Hopefully it’ll be keep it simple 4-4-2 and the best side available. That means a return IMHO for (at least)  Murray,  Gordon and McLaughlin to the starting line up. If we have to go with a sub keeper it must be McEwan who served us pretty well last season.

The ref ?

Wrong decisions, inconsistent, not keeping up with play, lecturing players unnecessarily.

Other than that he was alright.

Stenny 0 Sons 2

I’ve been critical of the team in recent weeks.

But…..

Things are looking up again. The second of two 2-0 away victories for Sons, yesterday was a vital win. Pressure of work meant I couldn’t attend the game but it seems like the Jim Chapman’s deployment of a 4-4-2 system is paying dividends.

Whilst there wasn’t a place in the starting line up for our two most skillful players, Stevie Murray (edit: Murray was playing as Helpless Dancer points out. Mistake courtesy of the BBC who have also now corrected) and Derek Carcary, the run in is all about results.

Two consecutive 2-0 away victories is no mean feat in this league and with Cowdenbeath dropping two points yesterday there may still be a chance of the championship if we can keep this form going.

Yes I’m as fickle as the next fan.

Come on the Sons!!

Dumbarton 1 Stenny 0

Ian Chisolm. Photo Donald Fullarton

The game yesterday was played in lousy conditions and the football was pretty lousy too. Sons struggled though to be honest fellow promotion seekers Stenhousemuir were no great shakes and posed little threat. It has to be said though the away team’s passing and build up was far superior to Dumbarton’s.

Ian Chisholm scored Sons winner just before half time. He is a fringe player but this isn’t the first time “Chis” has done more than was asked of him.

The result was better than the performance but it keeps Sons in the right area of the league.

The Toilet Bend of Scottish Football

Not much time this morning but there is an excellent article by Benjie Goodhart on his Guardian blog about the Stenhousemuir-Forfar game he attended last week. Good reading and even the comments worth the look.

HERE is the link.

Don't worry though Helpless Dancer, there'll be another Christmas track tomorrow!

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