Sunday, 12 September 2010

"We're no' bottom anymore..."

A midfield tussle at the Rock
Well, it wasn't exactly pretty, but Dumbarton have at last broken their 2010/11 Second Division jinx, and a dismal run of four defeats, with a 1-0 win over Stenhousemuir at SHS yesterday afternoon. Match winner Derek Carcary was perhaps unlucky not to claim a brace, after the first of two bursting runs through the Warriors' defence in the last ten minutes of the game was wrongly flagged offside by referee Craig Charleston. The officials didn't have the best of days, especially if you were a home supporter. Ten bookings, a sending off and verbal warnings for both managers was excessive given the reality of the game.

In truth, Stenny had more of the chances overall, especially in the first half of a scrappy and uneven contest. The weather veered from sunny to cloudy, warm to wet. So did the match. Before the break Dumbarton central defender Stirling Smith, on an initial month's loan from Aberdeen, had a chance to put pressure on the visitors from a free kick, and Scott Chaplain was frustrated when his shot was blocked after a darting, skilful foray on the edge of the box. Among those denied at the other end was ex-Son Ross Clark, who helped the team to its 2008/9 Third Division championship.

Pre-match warm-up
After the break, Dumbarton applied more pressure on Stenhousemuir, but looked occasionally vulnerable to counter attacks and set plays. There were a couple of narrow escapes and scrambled clearances. Hard working Iain Chisolm denied another former Son, winger Stevie Murray, with a courageous, well-timed tackle. Michael White in goal made a pair of outstanding saves, and right at the death held firmly onto a low, swerving shot. In theory this should have been no great problem, but it occurred at a crucial moment when nerves were jangling, and could have lost Sons two points if there had been a spill in front of an oncoming Warriors' striker.

So there were certainly some anxiety-provoking moments. All told, however, this was a much more solid performance than the one that resulted in collapse away against East Fife two weeks ago. Hopefully the win will boost Sons' confidence, which seemed to ebb and flow throughout the game, and now needs to be rebuilt throughout a young squad recovering from a poor start and looking to move on to better things.

Meanwhile, Dumbarton now sit in ninth place, within reach of mid-table security with a couple more decent results.

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