Sunday 31st May 2020

OUR countdown of Dumbarton’s 100 greatest games at what is now the C&G Systems Stadium with numbers 95 to 91 today.

The four-man panel of Graeme Robertson, Jack Crawford, Fraser Clarke and Andy Galloway have worked over the last few weeks to come up with the rankings.

Today’s instalment features games against Albion Rovers, Brechin City, Falkirk, Annan Athletic and Morton.

Numbers 90 to 86 will be online on Tuesday at 10am.

95. Dumbarton 2-0 Albion Rovers – Wednesday, January 2, 2008

There had been precious few highlights to season 2007/08 to date as a New Year dawned. The playoff ship had long sailed, and the manager’s chair was closing in on two months laying vacant.

But this game against Albion Rovers was the conclusion to 48 hours that started moving things in the right direction. On Hogmanay, Jim Chapman was appointed as Dumbarton’s new manager.

To add to the backdrop of his first fixture in charge, it was against the club whose post he left at the end of the previous season.

After one training session on New Year’s Day, his debut was all about getting the result. It was by no means a performance to write itself into history.

But Fergus Tiernan on 53 minutes and Brian McPhee on 63. Job done, and things were just that bit more steady.

94. Dumbarton 1-0 Brechin City – Saturday, February 24, 2001

Only matchday six at Dumbarton’s new stadium, and another game played during a season where it had become clear that promotion wasn’t going to be possible.

But they say that the next best thing to winning promotion is messing up somebody else’s efforts, and that was what Sons managed against Brechin City.

The Angus men were in a three-way battle with Hamilton Accies and Cowdenbeath to claim the two promotion places – no playoffs in those days.

Having won all of their last three in the league – including one yet to feature in this countdown – Sons were in a decent position to take them on.

It looked like being all square after a competitive game, but with a minute to go, Joe Robertson sent a low ball into the area.

Paddy Flannery was in space to meet it, and Third Division defences of the day knew what happened from there. Brechin went on to narrowly miss out on promotion – this may have been pivotal to it.

93. Dumbarton 1-1 Falkirk – Saturday, August 10 2013

The opening day of the league season had not been good to Dumbarton in past seasons. On the last four such days they had lost to Airdrie twice, Forfar Athletic and Alloa Athletic.

They probably hoped for something different to start season 2013/14 than a fixture they lost at home twice in the previous campaign.

They were certainly competitive against Falkirk, but were up against it just after the hour mark when Conor McGrandles rolled the visitors in front.

Even after one season, though, Dumbarton had established themselves as a side who would not stand aside and let any opponent take full points, especially on their pitch.

And with six minutes remaining, Bryan Prunty’s finish from the centre of the area almost burst the net. The scenes on and off the pitch showed what it meant.

It was Sons’ first point at home to Falkirk since 1986.

92. Dumbarton 1-1 Annan Athletic (AET, 90 mins 0-0, Dumbarton won 5-4 on penalties) – Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A bit of history in more ways than one. Annan Athletic’s first League Cup tie, and the first penalty shootout in a national competition at the stadium.

As newcomers to the league, Annan had taken only one matchday to show they weren’t there to fill a space, winning their league opener 4-1 away to Cowdenbeath.

They gave Dumbarton a better game than may have been anticipated on an evening where frustration grew as the game went on.

It didn’t really catch fire until extra time. Andy Geggan fouled Mike Jack in the area on 103 minutes, an offence for which he was booked, and Jack put the penalty away.

Geggan continued to remonstrate and promptly received a second booking. It was all slipping away until Raymond Logan equalised with five minutes left.

With only Annan’s Alan Inglis having missed during the first nine penalties, seeing his kick saved by Dave McEwan, it was left to Stevie Murray to win it.

91. Dumbarton 1-0 Morton – Saturday, April 1, 2017

Dumbarton and Morton don’t do uncompetitive games, but there are more action-packed ones than this to come during this countdown.

Neither does Lawrence Shankland really do missed chances these days, but he did in this game. After his shot hit the bar from six yards, he then saw Alan Martin save his shot.

When Gregor Buchanan’s header was cleared off the line late in the first half, a mostly poor encounter was finding its spark.

And after 60 minutes, Lewis Vaughan was the player in the best space to be picked out by Andy Stirling, and finished clinically.

Shankland did then find the net with 15 minutes left, but did so having pushed Buchanan and the goal was ruled out.

With every point vital in the four-way battle to beat the drop, these three were priceless.

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