Tuesday 14th July 2009, Kick-Off 7.30pm
Strathclyde Homes Stadium, Dumbarton
Down to Dumbarton this evening for my first pre-season friendly this year. This is the first time Dumbarton have played since the tragic death of their captain Gordon Lennon last month.
Coincidentially the opposition, Partick Thistle, are one of Lennon’s former clubs. There’s a collection received by the Sons Supporters Trust on behalf of the Gordon Lennon Memorial Fund in aid of his dependents. The admission price has been set at an affordable £5 and this should have contributed to a decent amount of money going to the collection.
I enjoyed my two trips to Dumbarton last season, so much so that I’m sure I’ll be back a few times this season to see how they fare in the Second Division. I only saw Thistle once last year, in their 2-0 post Christmas defeat to Ross County. I have to say that it was possibly the worst match I saw all season. Freezing cold too, but then that was hardly Thistle’s fault.
This looks as if it will be an entertaining match. Thistle have already got their pre-season underway beating Cowdenbeath 4-1, then on Saturday drawing one-all with Stirling Albion.
The Community Suite at Strathclyde Homes Stadium has become my favourite pre-match venue. To be fair I didn’t go to that many social clubs or pubs pre or post match last season. I’ll endeavour to get into more this season. With cheap drink and lively banter at all the tables the Community Suite should really be a must visit for all groundhoppers coming along. The jerseys, programmes and photographs of the club’s history are also of interest for anyone wanting their money’s worth from the day.
I notice that the club have installed a very nice framed photographic montage of Gordon Lennon. His portrait being surrounded by numerous photos of him playing and celebrating with last season’s third division trophy.
There is a minute’s applause before kick-off and all the Dumbarton players wear black armbands. The Sons Supporters Trust are planning a benefit match for later in the season.
Partick Thistle are turning out this evening in their famous pink and grey kit.
Up front for Thistle tonight is Jim Hamilton, who appears to be continuing his campaign to play for every club in Scotland, with the Jags the 10th senior side he’s turned out for.
At left-back for the visitors is the former Dumbarton man Patrick Boyle. Signed from The Sons only last week Boyle has a decent game, solid in defence while creating the odd chance with the occasional long ball.
Dumbarton start the game well and create a few half-chances.
It’s Thistle who get the goal though as a free-kick from outside the box drops to John Robertson who tucks it away.
Former Thistle man Stevie Murray is the stand-out for Dumbarton. Every time he got the ball he looked to beat a man, even if there was none near him. I first saw him turn a cup replay for Thistle against Dunfermline in January of last year. I always enjoy a winger happy to take opposition defenders on rather than look for the easy option. He creates a few chances and his efforts seem to be appreciated by Sons and Jags supporters alike.
Seven minutes into the second half Hamilton comes off injured as he takes a nasty high foot to the head.
As it’s a pre-season friendly, there are a few trialists on the pitch and we have a few curios in the numbered shirts division. With substitutions Thistle have two players wearing number 15 shirts and two in number 16 jerseys. Dumbarton have a sub with no shirt number at all.
With a few minutes remaining a ball beats the whole Dumbarton defence. Substitute Doolan turns and slots the ball low into the corner of the net.
It’s a typical pre-season friendly all said and done. Played in a friendly spirit, but by no means an exciting game or any real indicator as to how the sides will perform in their respective leagues next season.
Should you wish to contribute to the memorial fund for Gordon Lennon there are details for how you can do so on The Sons Supporters Trust website.
Here’s the match report from Partick Thistle’s website.
Dumbarton: David McEwan, Andy Geggan, A Trialist (Martin McNiff, 45), Mick Dunlop, Ben Gordon, Ryan McStay (Ross O’Donoghue, 60), Ross Clark (Roddy Hunter, 60), Scott Chaplain, Darren Gribben (Ian Chisholm, 71) Derek Carcary (A Trialist, 60 mins) Stevie Murray. Unused Sub: Michael White.
Partick Thistle: Jonny Tuffey, Paul Paton (Martyn Corrigan, 51 mins), Patrick Boyle (Stephen McKeown, 45),
Ricky Little, John Robertson (Alan Archibald, 45), Ian Maxwell, Paul Cairney, David Rowson, Liam Buchanan, Jim Hamilton (Kris Doolan, 52), Chris Erskine (Bryan Hodge, 67 mins). Unused Sub: Ryan Scully.
Scorers: Robertson (40), Doolan (86)
Referee: Gary Hilland
Assistant Referees: John Gilmour and Jim Burns