Wednesday 15th July 2020
WE’RE now on to the podium in our countdown of the 100 greatest games to be played at what is currently the C&G Systems Stadium.
Today, we reveal which game has won the bronze medal, with the runner-up and winner to be unveiled tomorrow and Friday respectively.
The order of the series was decided by average individual placings among our panel of supporters and media team members Andy Galloway, Graeme Robertson, Jack Crawford and Fraser Clarke.
Number three is a game from 2012.
Number 2 will be online tomorrow at 10am.
Please note that as no club photographers were taking pictures at the home leg of this two-legged tie, the article is illustrated with pictures from the away leg.
3. Dumbarton 2-1 Airdrie – Wednesday, May 20, 2012
After 16 years, 180 minutes of football stood between Dumbarton and a return to Scottish football’s second tier.
Not since season 1995/96, when they lost 31 of their 36 fixtures and finished on 11 points, had Sons been in the First Division, now known as the Championship.
They’d already seen off the team that finished above them in the league, courtesy of the Stephen Grindlay show at Arbroath which secured a 2-1 aggregate victory.
Now they had to beat the Airdrie team who sneaked the last place in the playoffs before a surprising semi-final win which relegated Ayr United.
The fixture caught the imagination on each side of Glasgow, with over 1,700 packing into the stadium for the final time in a season which started nearly 10 months earlier.
Having beaten Airdrie 2-1 at home less than a month previously, there was every reason for Dumbarton to be confident they could overcome the last hurdle.
The first 28 minutes passed by competitively, but without goals. Within a further three, nobody of a home persuasion could help dreaming of second tier football.
On 29 minutes, Pat Walker flicked on a through ball into the path of Bryan Prunty, who thrashed the ball home.
Three minutes after that, a free kick was awarded out on the left. It had to be Scott Agnew over it. But it didn’t necessarily have to be Tony Wallace who met it.
After all, he had never scored for Dumbarton until the previous week against Arbroath. His close range header was his second goal for the club and we really had lift-off.
Copyright Fullarton Photos 2012
Things were brought a bit back down to earth three minutes from half time when Wallace fouled Jamie Stevenson in the box, and Jamie Bain put the penalty away to give Airdrie a lifeline.
Chances came and went for each side over the remaining 48 minutes. Agnew and Prunty had opportunities for the home side, while the visitors went close through Stevenson and Ryan Donnelly.
Unfortunately skipper Paul Nugent didn’t quite see the game through to the end, dismissed in injury time for a second bookable offence.
But it turned out there were no further goals in store. They were all being saved for the second leg, along the M8 four days later.
They were the ones that sealed Sons’ place in the First Division in a performance straight out of everybody’s wildest dreams.
Craig Dargo scored twice, Mark Gilhaney found the net and Wallace was on target again in a 4-1 demolition.
Copyright Fullarton Photos 2012
Would we rather have had that leg at home, with the 2-1 victory at New Broomfield? Maybe, but each 90 minutes was part of a brilliant triumph that secured our second promotion in three years.
Dumbarton: Grindlay; Nugent, Creaney, Lithgow, McNiff, Wallace (Gray 85), Gilhaney (Lamont 39), Nicoll, Prunty, Agnew, Walker (Graham 72). Subs: Ewings; Kennedy.
Airdrie: Adam; Stallard, Lovering, MacDonald (McNeill 46), Lilley, Stevenson, Bain (McLaren 72), Blockley, Holmes, Donnelly (Boyle 86), Lynch. Subs: Duncan; Lamie.
Referee: Iain Brines.