Thursday 5th September 2019
CONOR BRENNAN is in a minority.
That’s nothing unusual. He’s one of two players on the pitch every Saturday afternoon who is entitled to use his hands, within the laws of the game of course.
Sometimes when that happens, it can be dramatic, as was the case at Links Park on Saturday.
Dumbarton were 2-1 up on Montrose deep into injury time, when the home side’s Graham Webster thrashed a shot towards goal.
Of the 480 spectators in the stadium, most were willing it into the net. The rest held their breath.
And released it when Conor palmed it over the bar. Barely a minute later, the resulting corner was out of harm’s way and Sons had three points.
The goalkeeper, though, wasn’t willing it into the net or holding his breath. He ENJOYED it.
Speaking to www.dumbartonfootballclub.com, Conor said: “We knew, with Montrose, what we were going to get. I don’t think their position in the league reflects them as a team.
“There is no doubt that when they get some momentum going, they will pick up. The conditions also weren’t great, but we knew it was going to be wet and windy.
“We tried to be as organised as we could and went on the front foot, and luckily for us the wind continued in our favour during the first half.
“During that time we were fine defensively; we didn’t have a lot to deal with and that’s what you want. You don’t want a busy game – it’s all about the boys in front of you being organised.
“The second half was a different game. We knew Montrose would come out of the traps and push a bit further up, but we settled into it OK.
“They then picked things up and got a lot more in behind our back four, but again defensively we were mostly very, very good. We of course lost the goal and there were a couple of saves I had to make, including the one in injury time.
“That was the most important and as a goalkeeper it’s something you really enjoy. You work on that sort of thing day in, day out and it’s a reward for your hard work in training when it comes off during a game.
“They had the corner, we cleared it and that was the final whistle – that was how important it was. The boys were really good on Saturday and we enjoyed it.”
Copyright Fullarton Photos 2019
Eighteen days before the match, Sons had lost in their own backyard to St Mirren Colts in the Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup.
An international break may well have seemed more appealing at that point than it does after three wins on the spin which have propelled you to joint top of League One.
But after the efforts of recent weeks, Conor and his team-mates will welcome the rest before it all starts again at home to Airdrieonians on Saturday, September 14.
He continued: “It’s funny how things can change, but I always knew we had the ability and that we would just take a while to gel. I’m one of only three players who were here last season.
“It was just a matter of getting a run together and it’s come at exactly the right time for us going into the international break this weekend.
“Even in our game against Raith Rovers on the opening day, we lost but deserved to draw it. It’s amazing how things can change.
“When you’re in our position you probably do want games to come thick and fast, but it also gives you time to rest and work on things in training.
“We had a bounce game on Tuesday against BSC Glasgow which we lost 2-1, but it was used as an opportunity to try out different things.
“A couple of players couldn’t make it on the night, but it gives the manager food for thought. It was a chance for the players to show what they can do.
“It’s a squad game and everybody will be used at different stages, whether in the league, bounce games or cup ties.”
That match against the Diamonds is one being looked forward to by everybody at DFC, very much including the players.
Conor added: “It will be a good game. Airdrie have changed a bit this season to a hybrid setup and are training a couple more days a week than us.
“There will be a lot of action in that game, defensive and attacking, but we are on a good run, so it’s important to keep that going.
“With it being at our place, we’ll have the fans behind us and that makes a big difference. If it’s going into the last 10 minutes and you’re all square, we also know our own pitch and that will come into it.”