DUMBARTON belatedly play their first fixture of 2023 tomorrow, with a tough outing to Station Park to play Forfar Athletic.
The Loons are the only team Sons have yet to register a victory against in the league this season, with two draws played out so far.
And it is unlikely to be any easier tomorrow, with each side heading into the game off the back of victories, albeit Forfar played last week.
Manager Stevie Farrell is looking forward to the challenge, but knows how difficult it will be, not least with player availability.
He said: “We are looking forward to it. Just like any other week, we focus on the next game, and our full attention has been on this game since last Sunday.
“We have trained Tuesday and Thursday and will be ready for what we know will be a difficult game against a Forfar side who have been doing well of late.
“We are a bit thin on the ground on Saturday, but it is what it is and that is why you put a squad together. We will have restricted numbers on the bench but we feel we can go up there and get a result.”
Several obstacles have already been put up regarding player availability. Gregor Buchanan and Ryan Blair will each serve a one-match ban tomorrow having crossed the yellow card threshold in the last game against Albion Rovers.
Declan Byrne and John Gemmell remain out, and there is a doubt over Ross MacLean, with an assessment awaited from the physio on whether he can take part.
In more positive news, Aron Lynas has been confirmed as fit and available to return after missing the Albion Rovers game. Edin Lynch is also fit having been a doubt for last week’s postponed fixture.
Youngster Luca Vata could also be drafted in from the club’s under-18 squad, having trained with the first team recently and performed well.
The manager added: “We have to be respectful of the club’s finances in looking to strengthen our squad and we will not be stretching those finances to make any deals happen.
“We are working with the board to see if we can add to the squad without putting ourselves under any financial constraints.”
Admission to Station Park is by payment at the turnstile, with admission to the terracing costing £14 for adults, £8 for over-65s and £5 for under-16s. Admission to the stand will cost an extra £1.
The supporters’ bus leaves Church Street in Dumbarton town centre at 11am, with seats remaining available, costing £20 for Sonstrust members and under-16s and £23 for non-members. Please contact Gillie Brough on 07948 532539, or via Facebook Messenger, to book.
Forfar have recently added to their squad, with Adam Hutchinson, who was on loan to Dumbarton last season, joining on loan from Dundee United. Forward Seb Ross has also signed from Falkirk.
Matthew Aitken is their top goalscorer across all competitions this season with five. He is tied on four in the league with another ex-Sons player, Ben Armour.
Forfar are eighth in cinch League Two, but head into the game off the back of an impressive 2-0 win at Annan Athletic in their last outing. New manager Ray McKinnon has overseen three wins in their last four games.
If you can’t make it to Station Park tomorrow, we will have in-play commentary on our Twitter feed @DumbartonFC.
Ross Hardie will referee tomorrow’s game, with assistance from Paul O’Neill and Chris Newman.