DUMBARTON will only ever be able to put 11 players on the pitch at any one time this season.
But there are hundreds more who are making themselves an important part of the squad.
And Ally Love wants the connection between the players and supporters to remain into the New Year after scoring the goal that kept Sons four points clear in cinch League Two.
The Hogmanay game away to Albion Rovers was far from a classic, but with 20 minutes to go, the forward made the difference with a close-range finish.
And ahead of starting 2023 with a home game against nearest challengers Stirling Albion, Ally wants the fans to keep the connection there.
He said: “It was a very hard-fought result – it always is when you come here (Cliftonhill Stadium). You have to give Rovers credit and I don’t think they should be bottom of the league.
“They played well and penned us in at times. They play their pitch well, but our players dug in and defended well.
“We had a good chat at half time – the starting XI and the substitutes – and it was something we needed.
“I have scored a few goals here in my time, but no matter what the game is, you are always itching to come on and make an impression on it.
“Even after I came on, we got a corner straight away and our fans were terrific with their encouragement. They have been brilliant at home and away this season.
“I can feel that link between us and them, and it is going to have to stay there if we are to achieve what we want this season.”
It is now on to face Stirling, who retained the four-point gap by beating Stenhousemuir 3-1 at home on Hogmanay.
Ally will wait and see whether his goal has earned him a start, but he is confident that whoever plays, Dumbarton will be in good shape.
He added: “It’s massive. We have done our bit by winning today but our more experienced players know we just have to focus on ourselves.
“We are in the position we are in and it is up to us to keep chipping away week by week.
“Stirling will come to us with a gameplan, but we will go about our business our way and hopefully get another result.
“Hopefully I’ve played my way into contention by scoring today, but the gaffer will pick the XI he thinks will get the result.
“I will wait and see because when you look through the squad, it is a good squad of boys; a cracking squad to be honest. Even the boys on the bench could start. It’s very healthy competition.”