I had a text late last night from my friend Jonathan Crawford (a West Ham fan). He’d just seen a brief clip of Dumbarton on Sky Sports News and wondered why you could see houses and scenery rather than a stand at one of the goal ends. I explained the reality of lower league life in Scotland. The Strathclyde Homes Stadium, splendid as it is (and both Scotland and European teams like training there), has just one stand, seating a little over 2,000.
Mind you, there are splendid views to be had of the river when the action palls on the good quality pitch. Not to mention the glories of Dumbarton castle on ‘the Rock’ immediately behind us. SHS must be one of the most picturesque football grounds in Britain, and though the Club are undoubtedly sage to explore the full range of possibilities for the future, I confess to loving the place. The sadly dilapidated old Boghead Park was drenched in memories, of course, and hard to leave back in 2000. But the new home is a splendid – and still under-utilised – resource.
Back to the telly. I missed the clip of Sons versus Middlesbrough myself, but hopefully someone will get them up on YouTube. Jonathan made the comment that I’d only missed a Boro goal – one of five, as the mighty DFC were educated about the massive difference between SFL Leagues Two and Three and a newly-relegated English Premier side about to settle into the Championship… though not for too long, the faithful at the Riverside are hoping.
A goal against the Sons, maybe. But I’d still like to see it. As I also remarked in my text exchange: “Humility comes easy to a Dumbarton fan. TV coverage does not!” Talking of which, its fantastic news that the new ‘Sons TV’ initiative is streaming off the Club website. Another triumph for the Sonstrust. Six minute clips, goals and summaries will be really, really welcome to those of us who can only get to a few games at SHS and on the road. The material up there now is a fine selection from the conclusion to our 2008-9 Third Division title-winning season. Of course the sight of Gordon Lennon celebrating and being interviewed is deeply poignant given his tragic death shortly afterwards, but also greatly appreciated, I’m sure.
[Pic: Sons' Keirnan Brennan takes on Middlesbrough (c) Lennox Herald 2009]