Saturday 11th November 2017
CHRIS McLAUGHLIN goes into every game with the same fatherly advice ringing in his ears.
And today the wishes of Chris Sr finally came true.
With one flick of his weaker right foot, Chris Jr got his first goal in senior football and set Dumbarton on their way to a 2-0 win over Raith Rovers.
The result put Sons through to the Irn Bru Cup semi finals – their first time at that stage of the competition and their first game in the last four of any national tournament since 1976.
The hugely generous may say that it was Chris’ second goal, but he can’t even lay claim himself to Willie Dyer’s own goal for Brechin last week.
But the other aspect of the left back’s game, keeping clean sheets, is also on the up. Dumbarton have now kept back to back shut-outs for the first time since last November.
Speaking to www.dumbartonfootballclub.com, Chris said: “I was quite fortunate with the goal. The ball just dropped for me, and on my weaker right foot too.
“It was a great start for us and even though Raith fought back well, we kept the ball well. If we’d scored the penalty to make it 3-0 that would have ended the game.
“Instead we just kept working hard. People say it’s easy to play against 10 men but it’s not as simple as that and we’re delighted with the win and the clean sheet.
“It’s my first goal in senior football and my mum and dad were here. My dad texts me on every matchday telling me to shoot and score goals.
“I said I’d claim the winner last week but I got a bit of stick from the boys for that. Fortunately the Brechin player put it through his own net.
“As a defender, it’s also important that we keep clean sheets. We’ve now done that in back to back games and it’s nice to be going into the next games against Elgin with that sort of record.”
That game against Elgin sees Dumbarton start their pathway in the Scottish Cup, having blazed a long trail in the Irn Bru Cup.
It is followed by four consecutive games against teams currently in the Championship’s top four, but Chris is taking it one game at a time.
He added: “We look forward to every game and hopefully next week we can go out and win again.
“We’re just focusing on the next game and will worry about the return to league action when it happens.
“If we win and keep a clean sheet next week, we’ve done those for three games in a row and hopefully we can push on from there.”