While the rains and mist descended gloomily in southwest England, the weather up in Dumbarton was described by Sonstrust chair Denise Currie as "beautiful but Baltic" today. The wind can whip up difficulties for teams visiting the Strathclyde Homes Stadium, "and it's fair to say that Craig Brittain's goal had an assist from the conditions", writes Alan Findlay of today's 1-0 win against East Stirlingshire for the last home game of the season. The match itself was pretty dire, I'm told, but those vital three points mean that Sons can go to Forfar next weekend knowing that they will not end up the worst professional team in Scotland. Some relief after a grim term. All eyes are on the what lies ahead now. Something better, surely?
Meanwhile, my local team Exeter City secured an important 2-0 away win at Rushden and Diamonds. Together with the point achieved at home midweek against 2007-8 Blue Square Premier champions Aldershot Town, that means the Grecians currently occupy the crucial final promotion play-off spot. A win against bottom-of-the-league (and already relegated) Stafford Rangers on Tuesday night will put them in poll position next Saturday and mean only a point is needed against Burton Albion, even if Stevenage (who have superior goal difference) get full marks from both their remaining games. That's definitely achievable in terms of ability. The question is whether ECFC have the psychological strength to claim the four points they need.
I can't end without a word of congratulation to the new champions. Twelve years after their namesakes folded, Aldershot Town are back in the Football League. The game against Exeter last Tuesday was fast, furious and fabulous: a credit to the game and to the Blue Square Premier. These guys are no Shots in the dark. They ought to be top ten in League Two next season, possibly higher. That the Grecians lived with them in the 1-1 draw, and by rights should have beaten them (bar a miracle save in the dying embers), bodes well for the future.
[Pic: Dumbarton goal hero Wee Craigie, (c) Donald Fullarton]