Friday 23rd December 2016
SONS head to the coast this weekend, for the club’s first Christmas Eve match since 1988, to play Ayr United at Somerset Park.
The game is huge for both clubs. Ayr, in their last six Championship matches have lost three, whereas Sons have hit a little bit of form, collecting 10 points from a possible 18 and losing only twice.
“It’s a big game, undoubtedly”, agreed manager Stevie Aitken. “Hopefully the conditions will match the occasion and both teams will be able to put on a decent game.
“We go into the match with a wee bit more confidence given our recent league form and the boys have been very focused throughout the week.”
Across all major competitions there have been 148 matches between the Sons and the Honest Men. Dumbarton are unbeaten in 78 of those games including 53 wins.
Delving back into history, Sons recorded a 6-0 win against United in October 2005 and played the following team: Grandly, MacDonald (Russell), Gentile, Smith, Gaughan, Dempsie, Borris (Bannerman), Connell (Dillon), Rodgers, Boyle, McQuilken. Subs not used: Gemmell, Wight.
The scorers on that glorious afternoon were Gaughan, Rodgers (two), Dillon, Smith and Russell. The attendance was 917.
In terms of Christmas Eve Matches, Sons have played a total of ten games on 24th December and have recorded seven wins.
The last game played on this date was against Montrose in 1988, and it was a 3-2 victory. Scorers on the day were Colin Spence (on his debut), John McQuade and Jamie Doyle.
The team, managed by Jim George, was as follows: Boyd Strachan, Pat Cairney, Stevie Gow, Steve McCahill, Pat McGowan, Gerry Doyle, George Elliott, Stuart Robertson, Colin Spence, John McQuade, Stuart MacIver. Subs were Graham Duncan and Jamie Doyle.
In team news for this weekend, ‘keeper Jamie Ewings has an ongoing back problem which will keep him out of the squad tomorrow.
Grant Gallagher has had a scan on his leg injury and with the results expected soon, things will be clearer for him, but he does sit out this game.
With no other injury or suspensions, Jamie and Grant apart, it’s a full squad to choose from for the gaffer.
Alan Findlay & Simon Barrow