Thursday 2nd July 2020

WE continue our process to find the greatest games played at what is now the C&G Systems Stadium with numbers 14 and 13 today.

Supporters Fraser Clarke, Andy Galloway, Graeme Robertson and Jack Crawford have worked to compile the countdown, with the final rankings decided by average individual placings.

Today we feature games against Elgin City and Berwick Rangers.

Numbers 12 and 11 – both of which are against the same club – will be online on Saturday at 10am.

14. Dumbarton 3-0 Elgin City – Saturday, December 2, 2000

Where it all began.

If a week is a long time in football, the seven months leading up to this game had felt like an eternity.

Dumbarton weren’t just out of the race for promotion, in the days before play-offs. The horse had bolted for so long it was in a different postcode.

And to make time feel even longer, we hadn’t kicked a ball in Dumbarton. All our ‘home’ fixtures had been played at Cliftonhill Stadium in Coatbridge.

But there was everything to play for in this game. However we did it, we just HAD to ensure we entered our new stadium in the same way as we left Boghead Park – in victory.

There was simply no way we were going to do anything else. And there was simply no way anybody other than one man was going to get the stadium’s opening goal.

Paddy Flannery had sat out the final game at Boghead Park due to suspension – a real travesty given how iconic he had become at DFC in the stadium’s final years.

As long as his name went in the record books as the scorer of our new arena’s first goal, he’d be satisfied. That and the team winning.

And on 23 minutes, the place in the record books was waiting. After a neat passing move forward, the close range finish was Flannery’s for the taking.

Fourteen minutes after the restart we had our second goal, when another fine attacking move was finished this time by Andy Brown.

And only a minute later, the third goal fittingly went to Craig Brittain, another player synonymous with Boghead’s recent years and who would go on to be the first player to have a testimonial at the stadium.

There could have been more goals, but we settled for three. Maybe a bigger avalanche of goals against Elgin City would come some other time.

The 2000/01 season had long become about playing for pride, but there was plenty of it on this opening afternoon at the stadium which was every bit the gala occasion it was hoped to be.

After seven months, the Sons of the Rock were home.

Dumbarton: Hillcoat; Dickie, Brittain, Bruce, McCann, Stewart, Bonar, Grace, Flannery, Brown, Robertson. Subs: Wight; Jack, Dillon, Gentile, Martin.

Elgin City: Pirie; Edwards, MacDonald, Duncan, Morrison, Whyte, Campbell, Green (Trialist 66), Colin Milne, Ross, Clinton (Slythe 75). Subs: Rae; Calum Milne, Ellis.

Referee: John Gilmour.

Copyright Fullarton Photos 2008

13. Dumbarton 5-2 Berwick Rangers – Saturday, November 1, 2008

As November dawned on season 2008/09, Dumbarton could have little cause for disappointment at how the campaign was going.

Were it not for an injury time winner for Stenhousemuir back in August, they’d be unbeaten in the league. And there was that night at Love Street…

Victories had mostly been narrow ones, but somebody was due to concede a landslide of goals when it all fell into place.

This was the afternoon that happened. As much as Berwick may have looked like a side struggling at the wrong end of the table, Sons looked like a team that could be in contention come the end of the season.

As soon as Paul McLeod rolled home the opening goal on only nine minutes with a fine angled finish, the outcome of this match was in no doubt.

The lead was doubled on 19 minutes from the penalty spot, Ross Clark being fouled in the box and doing what needed doing from 12 yards.

On 32 minutes Berwick had one back through Craig Anderson. So what do you do from there? Try to keep the back door shut and get yourself back on top of the game?

If you are Stevie Murray in the form he was in for this game, you do things differently. Two minutes after the concession, he intercepted a clearance from the visiting keeper.

Forty yards out, he sent it back in the goalie’s direction, but well out of his reach and into the net. The sort of skill he was brought to the Rock for, and one that very few players in the division could manage.

Clark didn’t do too bad a job of matching him, though. Seven minutes into the second half Sons were awarded a free kick out on the left – which he promptly bent into the far corner.

Two minutes after that, Berwick had Gary Greenhill sent off for an off the ball incident. Had Dumbarton needed to score more, they would have scored more.

They settled for one further goal, which came with 15 minutes left when Liam Cusack finished at close range for his first goal for the club.

Jamie Ewart headed a second consolation goal for Berwick with seven minutes left, but it barely registered. This sort of display was a definite sign of potential champions.

Dumbarton: McGeown; Lennon, Wilson, O’Byrne, Gordon, Clark (Canning 77), Carcary (Chisholm 65), Geggan, McLeod, Keegan (Cusack 65), Murray. Subs: McEwan; Tiernan.

Berwick Rangers: Lunn; Lennox (D Grenhill 33), McMahon (Callaghan 71), Ewart, Horn, G Greenhill, Craig Anderson, McMenamin, Gribben (Chris Anderson 57), McLaren, Dillon. Subs: McGurk; Guy.

Referee: Colin Brown.

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