Sunday 28th June 2020
THE top 20 of our 100 greatest games at the Rock continues today with numbers 18 and 17.
The countdown has been worked out by the average placings of games by supporters Graeme Robertson, Jack Crawford, Fraser Clarke and Andy Galloway.
Today we feature two games from the reasonably early years at the stadium.
Numbers 16 and 15 will be online on Tuesday at 10am.
Copyright Fullarton Photos 2004
18. Dumbarton 4-1 Berwick Rangers – Saturday, February 7, 2004
If nothing else, this game makes it as high as it has due to the surreality of it all.
Picture the scene. The weather hasn’t been great all week, but the game gets the go-ahead. You kick off and take a 2-0 lead within minutes, but a blizzard then engulfs the stadium.
After the teams leave the pitch temporarily, the game resumes, but despite dominating, the fear is that you might not see the victory through because if anything, the snow is getting worse.
That was what happened to Dumbarton in this game. Fortunately the game was played to its conclusion and we registered a fine victory over Berwick Rangers.
Within 60 seconds we led from the penalty spot, with Craig McEwan converting with not a snowflake having yet hit the stadium.
Incredibly it was 2-0 five minutes later. Gordon Herd came to Dumbarton with a reputation of pace and finishing ability, and after injury, this was probably its first exhibit.
He had his opening goal after breaking clear of the Berwick defence – but Jack Frost decided this was the moment.
With about 15 minutes played, referee John Fleming took the teams inside. After a phone call to the Met Office, the game was resumed after a break of approximately a further 15 minutes.
Berwick got a goal back four minutes after the resumption of play, with Mark Cowan heading home a free kick.
It stayed 2-1 until the 70th minute, by which point the snow, if anything, was falling more heavily. Craig Brittain finished after an excellent team passing move and the result was beyond all doubt – if the game was played to a finish.
With 10 minutes remaining, Iain Russell finished John Dillon’s low ball at the back post and that truly was that.
Conditions were…somewhat different, but we’re glad that Mr Fleming, who sadly passed away last year, did decide to finish the match. One of the best performances of the season to date.
Dumbarton: Grindlay; McEwan, Brittain, McKinstry, Collins, Donald, Bonar, Bradley (Boyle 87), Herd (Russell 56), Ronald, Dillon. Subs: Wight; Dobbins, Renicks.
Berwick Rangers: Inglis; Murie, Bennett, Cowan, McNicol, Forrest (Smith 67), Connelly, Connell, Hutchison, McCutcheon (Kerrigan 83), Hampshire. Subs: Godfrey; Neill, Gordon.
Referee: John Fleming.
Copyright Fullarton Photos 2005
17. Dumbarton 6-0 Ayr United – Saturday, October 22, 2005
This was the start of the second quarter of the league season, with Dumbarton having taken just five points from the first.
We might as well have added the next three in style. It would be wrong to say that we did not gain a huge advantage by having two extra men within the first half of the match.
However, we were about to take a 2-0 lead when the red cards were dealt, and even with equal teams, had played some of our best football of the season up to that point.
Things got started as early as the fourth minute, when Kevin Gaughan headed home a corner at the front post.
The real flashpoint of the match was on the 32nd minute. It all started when Chris Boyle was felled by Raymond Logan’s challenge on halfway.
Advantage was played, and resulted in Andy Rodgers being fouled in the area by Dougie Ramsay. Having denied a goalscoring opportunity, the Ayr man’s dismissal was clearcut.
But on the advice of his assistant, referee Crawford Allan again waved the red card in Logan’s direction for his challenge on Boyle.
Rodgers made no mistake with the penalty once order had been restored, and from there, the outcome was in no doubt.
The third goal was scored on 63 minutes when John Dillon broke clear of the visiting defence and finished clinically.
Rodgers had his second with 14 minutes left with the truncated Ayr team clearly wilting, applying a close range finish.
The final two goals came in the game’s last few minutes. After 86 minutes Jamie Smith headed home at the back post for number five.
And a minute later, Iain Russell provided another close range finish to add to what was already a record victory at the stadium.
Dumbarton: Grindlay; Borris (Bannerman 46), Boyle, Smith, Gaughan, Dempsie, MacDonald (Russell 64), Connell (Dillon 46), Rodgers, Gentile, McQuilken. Subs: Wight; Gemmell.
Ayr United: McGeown; McKinstry, Essler (Hyslop 51), Anis, Robertson, Ramsay, Conway, Logan, Wardlaw (Weaver 40), Maisano, Vareille (Boyd 75). Subs: Phillips; Reid.
Referee: Crawford Allan.