Tuesday 30th June 2020

GAMES number 16 and 15 feature today in our countdown of the 100 greatest fixtures at the club’s current stadium.

The rankings in the countdown were worked out by average placings among our ‘pundits’ of supporters Jack Crawford, Fraser Clarke, Andy Galloway and Graeme Robertson.

Today, we feature games against Dundee United and Morton.

Numbers 14 and 13 will be online on Thursday at 10am.

Copyright True Scott Photography 2016

16. Dumbarton 1-0 Dundee United – Saturday, August 13, 2016

When Dundee United were relegated into the Championship three months before this game, some minds went back 21 years.

Could Dumbarton do to the Terrors what they did to them in October 1995, and run up a shock victory?

As we’ve already seen in this countdown, yes, we could, on Hogmanay. But there was a little more to this game.

It was United’s first away fixture in the second tier since that season when they were beaten at Boghead. At the end of that campaign, they won promotion through a play-off.

Having drawn their opening fixture of this season at home to Queen of the South, they already knew how hazardous the division could be.

Despite that, Dumbarton were expected by few to be terribly difficult prey for them. Not for the first time in our Championship years, those neutral expectations were confounded.

The first half was every bit the contest it was hoped to be, albeit with not much in the way of goalmouth action. Alan Martin saved with relative ease from Cammy Smith while Gregor Buchanan and Joe Thomson had efforts off target for Dumbarton.

Nine minutes into the second half, though, came the golden moment of the match. Buchanan was impeded pursuing Ryan Stevenson’s corner and penalty it was.

Mark Docherty, converter of two futile penalties in a 4-3 defeat at Dunfermline on the opening day, this time put away one the meaning of which was priceless.

Martin was tested by Jamie Robson and Coll Donaldson over what was left of the match, while Simon Murray had opportunities but could not hit the target.

After only 90 minutes at home, we had sent out a message that even the favourites for the league were not going to find it easy at our place.

Dumbarton: Martin; Pettigrew, Docherty, J Thomson, Buchanan, Stevenson, Todd, Gallagher (Stirling 81), R Thomson, Harvie, Smith. Subs: Barclay; McCallum, Clark, Kassarate.

Dundee United: Bell; Durnan, Donaldson, Toshney, Spittal (Murray 63), Murdoch, Fraser, Obadeyi (Van Der Velden 63), Smith (Telfer 83), Flood, Robson. Subs: Zwick; Dillon, Coote, Souttar.

Referee: Gavin Duncan.

Copyright Fullarton Photos 2004

15. Dumbarton 3-0 Morton – Saturday, May 1, 2004

It was the question that would just not go away. Could Dumbarton, unthinkably, win promotion to the First Division after only two years in the Second?

After taking only six points from the opening 10 matches of the season, Sons were contemplating a long, hard remainder of the campaign.

Certainly, after the 10th of those matches – a 2-1 defeat at Arbroath – few would have thought we would reach the third from last matchday in with a real shout.

Perhaps that was one of the things that got dozens of supporters walking across the Erskine Bridge to get to the game. With Morton fans walking from Cappielow to the Rock, Sons fans joined them for the second leg of their journey.

They could hardly have hoped for better weather. Unfortunately, one set of fans was always liable to hope for better from their team. Dumbarton, emphatically, had more to celebrate.

A minute was left of the first half when Paul Ronald, at the front post, hooked home a ball in from the left. With Morton already having been beaten at the Rock this season, confidence soared.

It was through the roof in the early stages of the second half. On 56 minutes, Morton were reduced to 10 men when Derek Collins was dismissed for lashing out at Iain Russell.

Within a minute of the red card being waved, Gordon Herd finished off a through ball for 2-0. From there, Dumbarton simply could not lose.

The only remaining goal of the afternoon came from Russell with five minutes left. The expressions of sheer joy post-match were those of a team who knew they had a chance.

Unfortunately, those ambitions came to nothing. There was no more Sons could have done in the final two games, beating Arbroath 3-0 and then, as described earlier in this series, dispatching Alloa Athletic 3-1.

Hamilton Accies just had a bit too much over the final two games and went up with Airdrie instead. It was hard not to point to the season’s final meeting with them as where it went wrong.

In that game at New Douglas Park, Hamilton’s Steven Thomson was not sent off after a professional foul, then scored the equaliser. Accies won it after several minutes of injury time.

Instead, we were left with the great unanswered question – how would this Dumbarton side have fared in the second tier? On this sort of form, you would bet against nothing.

Dumbarton: Grindlay; Renicks, Brittain, McKinstry, Dobbins, Donald, Bonar (Laidler 88), Ronald, Herd (Skjelbred 66), Russell, Dillon (Boyle 84). Subs: Wight; Bradley.

Morton: Coyle; Collins, Henderson, McGregor, Greacen, Uotinen, Millar, J Maisano, Cannie (McAlister 58), Weatherson (McGlinchey 74), Walker (Adam 74). Subs: Stark; M Maisano.

Referee: John Underhill.

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