Irn Bru Scottish League Division Three
Saturday 20th September 2008, Kick-Off 3pm
Strathclyde Homes Stadium, Dumbarton
As a Clydebank supporter Dumbarton should be the sworn enemy. However I could never really get into disliking them even when there was a footballing rivalry available to both sets of fans. Dumbarton, being just down the road always seemed quite homely and if it wasn’t against Clydebank I was always pleased to see them win.
This is my first visit to the appalingly named Strathclyde Homes Stadium, Dumbarton’s home ground for around 8 years. I’ve been to Boghead plenty over the years. Clydebank even had a period when they played their home games there.
Strathclyde Homes Stadium is only a short walk away from Dumbarton East train station and sits on the bank of the Firth of Clyde.
I get there in plenty of time for the kick-off so I wander 100 yards from the ground to Dumbarton Rock bowling club at the foot of Dumbarton Castle. Although the sign says ‘Members Only’ it’s populated mainly by Cowdenbeath fans. Aberdeen’s home game with Dundee United is on the telly and a 35ml Jack Daniels and Cola is £1.60. Can’t ask for much more from a Saturday afternoon boozer.
Today is ‘Raise the Rock’ day where the Dumbarton Supporters Trust attempt to drum up more fans. For this reason admission to today’s game has been reduced to £5 for adults.
Once inside the ground the supporters club is open and I go inside for my second drink of the day. This time a 35ml Spiced Rum and cola costs £1.80. Before a Dumbarton match seems to be an economical time to get pished.
An Emcee is on the mic all throughout my visit to the supporters club, which looks pretty much like any bowling club or function hall. The walls are adorned with pictures, shirts, flags and other such memoribillia from throught the club’s 136-year history.
Photographs of their famous former players such as Ian Wallace and Graeme Sharp are up there as well as team groups from various seasons over the decades. There are also signed shirts and photos from the last game at Boghead and the first match at their current ground.
A group of gents are piling up Belhaven Best cans into a formidable pyramid while a local scout troupe are selling home baking in the corner. The new strip is also on sale at the back of the room, where I pick up a team sheet.
I get myself a pie. When I find myself stood over a bin in order to eat it I think something has gone far wrong. One bite is enough to know it’s quite disgusting. I drop it into the bin. Having had nothing to eat so far today though I have another go at the pie stall. This time I opt for a steak pie. Thankfully it’s everything you’d expect from a football match snack food.
The game itself begins as quite an open encounter. Cowdenbeath have a good chance early on that they put over the crossbar. Dumbarton go close themselves a moment or two later.
On the 36th minute Derek Carcary curls a peach of a shot into Cowdenbeath’s net from around 25 yards.
I missed the start of this conversation, but this was what I heard from the two old boys sat behind me in the first half.
Old Boy 1: He fair brings a lot of fanny though.
Old Boy 2: Even I was excited and I’m 66.
In addition to the memorabilia on the walls in the supporters club, the other leftover from the days at Boghead seems to be the announcer’s record collection. Or more accuratley his record. We are treated to Glenn Frey’s ‘The Heat is On’ at least twice over the course of the afternoon.
Dumbarton certainly seemed on top of things in the second half although they didn’t really threaten to increase their lead any.
As the game wore on however you could just feel that they were losing their grip on it a bit. Attacks ended up with the ball going backwards and defenders began to panic on the ball.
So it was no surprise when Cowdenbeath scrambled the ball home in the 90th minute. Two points dropped, thought much of the home crowd as they trotted out.
But this game wasn’t over. Dumbarton put pressure on the Blue Brazil’s defence winning a free-kick over on the left. Deep into injury time the ball was swung over for Ben Gordon to head past the keeper.
Amazingly The Sons had won it and the players and remaning fans went mental. Just enough time for Cowdenbeath to kick-off, but nothing more. Not the greatest game of football, but the thrilling ending was what we go to the game for.
I have some more photographs here.
Dumbarton: McEwan, Lennon, Wilson, O’Byrne, Gordon, Clark, Carcary (Gray 52), Geggan, McLeod (Canning 67), Keegan (Michael Moore 84), Murray
Scorers: Carcary (36), Gordon (90)
Cowdenbeath: Hay, Baxter, Ross (Adamson 64), McGregor, Mbu, Armstrong, Fairbairn (Ramsay 80), Fleming, Gemmell, Tomana (Stein 41), McQuade
Scorer: McQuade (90)