Thursday 13th October 2016
SATURDAY could be a sliding doors moment for Ryan Stevenson.
Had things worked out differently, he could have been on the away side. Or even in the stand supporting them, as a boyhood Ayr United fan.
Instead, the only result he wants is the sort he’d have winced at when he was growing up.
A victory for Dumbarton – and GOALS.
Six years ago another boyhood Ayr fan, Pat Walker, scored on his debut for Sons to help them to victory.
Ryan’s debut in a Dumbarton jersey has long passed, but apart from that, he’s setting a similar target.
And having had the weekend off training, but had the usual Tuesday and Thursday sessions, he is confident the Sons squad will be raring to go.
He said: “It has been good to get a break, and to work on a few things when we have trained without having a match.
“We are all looking forward to Ayr’s visit. It’s already getting tight at the bottom end of the table and we know how important a game it is already in the season.
“As a team, goals are something we need to add to our game. Hopefully the likes of me, Robert Thomson and Garry Fleming can get among them.
“We’ve been playing well and there’s not been much to panic about. The Dunfermline game, and the first half against Raith Rovers, have been the only times we’ve really let ourselves down.
“It’s a tough league and we’re the only fully part-time side. We trust in what the manager is doing and I am certain things will turn for us.”
Saturday’s game is widely acknowledged as the first of four which could be pivotal to the fortunes of both Sons and Ayr.
But the Honest Men have surprised a few people recently, unbeaten in five, including a 2-1 win over Hibernian at Easter Road.
They also reached the Irn Bru Cup quarter finals last Friday by beating Falkirk 1-0 in a match watched from the stand by Sons gaffer Stevie Aitken.
Dumbarton, though, have progressed themselves, with a promising 0-0 draw against unbeaten Queen of the South in their last outing.
Now, for Ryan and his team-mates, it’s about kicking on.
He added: “We knew we had been disappointing in the first half against Raith Rovers and had to produce a performance in the second half, which we did.
“Then we continued to progress against Queen of the South. They have been doing really well, but in the first half I thought we were the better side.
“In the second half we just needed a bit more cutting edge. We need to take our chances when they come along.”