Sunday 2nd April 2017
FOR David Smith, Saturday, October 22 2016 may just have been a turning point.
Until then, he’d been an attacking midfielder for Dumbarton and all of his previous clubs. Then that afternoon, the possibility of playing right back arose when Sons played Dundee United.
Whatever inspired it, both club and player have won a watch.
David has never shifted from right back since after being one of the surprise success stories of the season since that afternoon at Tannadice.
There are few greater examples of his success there than his performance in yesterday’s 1-0 win over Morton, which must have run goalscorer Lewis Vaughan close for the Sonstrust man of the match award.
And David – who is ever present in all competitions this season and has been a substitute in only one game, at Stranraer in September – is targeting another big display next week.
Victory at St Mirren on Saturday will put Sons seven points clear of the Paisley side, who have still to go away to all of the top four.
David said: “I’m getting more used to playing right back now. My positional sense is getting better and I’ve made a couple of last ditch tackles today, so I thought I did well.
“It was a good game for us against Morton. They are a good side who are flying in the league, but they had a game in midweek and we thought that if we went at them from the first minute it could work for us.
“We rode our luck at times but we battled to the end. We kept a clean sheet and the boys upfront did well too, so it was a good all round performance.
“Now we move on to face St Mirren next week for what will hopefully be another step towards securing our Championship place.”
For David and his team-mates, circa 5pm yesterday saw a very different mood to the same time seven days ago.
Sons had just lost to Ayr United and were looking down the barrel of a tough ending to the season.
Ayr have since lost 2-1 to Dundee United, and yesterday were beaten 6-2 by St Mirren.
But despite the Buddies’ goal haul, and their recent revival in form, the trip to the Paisley 2021 Stadium can’t come quickly enough for David.
He added: “It just shows you how football changes week to week.
“Last week we were down in the dumps after losing to Ayr United when we felt we should have had at least a point. Football is just and up and down game and next week will take care of itself.
“St Mirren are a good side with a really good manager and I’m not surprised they have turned it round.
“But we need to look after ourselves. We went there earlier in the season and won and there’s no reason why we can’t do that again.”