Friday 17th July 2020

DURING the last seven weeks, we’d like to think we’ve covered everything.

All that has been, and is, special about coming to what is currently the C&G Systems Stadium during its almost 20-year existence to date.

Last-minute winners, victory at a canter, shocking clubs who are traditionally in higher divisions than us, relegation survivals, and promotions. Amongst everything else.

There are frustrating Saturday afternoons to be had as well, of course. Although we have accentuated the positive times that have taken place watching us in our current home, we don’t pretend that roadblocks haven’t existed over its 20 years.

However, the past 99 games we’ve chronicled, and the one you’re about to read, shows what can happen at any time.

In fact, the last Saturday afternoon we spent at the stadium was a dramatic winner over the team which won promotion from League One at the end of the season.

Our winning game also involves winning promotion. It was not actually clinched on the day, but to all intents and purposes this was the match that sealed our success at the end of a legendary season.

The final countdown was decided by individual placings from supporters and media team members Jack Crawford, Fraser Clarke, Andy Galloway and Graeme Robertson.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about what has made the last 20 years so enjoyable at our home.

And when the next opportunity comes along, we’re looking forward to having you back there.

1. Dumbarton 6-0 Elgin City – Saturday, May 2, 2009

On most matchdays there is some element of doubt.

Like yesterday’s featured game against Queen’s Park. Dumbarton very nearly missed out on promotion after the league’s bottom team put up a strong enough resistance to take a point.

This, though, was different. Approaching the Rock to go to the game, it was impossible to feel that Sons could fail in any way.

They’d just gone top of the Third Division for the first time in the season after dismantling Forfar Athletic.

They hadn’t conceded a goal in seven weeks, and during that time had scored 12 goals of their own, with the only dropped points coming in a goalless draw at Cowdenbeath.

They were up against the team that was set to finish bottom of the Third Division (Queen’s Park, in yesterday’s game, could yet have escaped bottom spot).

Copyright Fullarton Photos 2009

It was a matter of a Dumbarton player finding the net. From there, pending what time it happened, it would surely be a matter of how many.

The only question mark was over whether it would be enough to clinch the title on the day, and not leave it a week until the season’s final match, at Annan Athletic.

The team picked itself and from the start, was getting stuck into the task. Nineteen minutes into it, they had the moment they needed.

After Derek Carcary controlled a through ball, his shot ricocheted up into the air off the Elgin City keeper. It dropped perfectly into the net and Sons were ahead.

The ‘how many’ grew. On 28 minutes, an excellent passing move involving several players was finished off by Denis McLaughlin for 2-0.

Copyright Fullarton Photos 2009

Carcary then made the afternoon his own. Six minutes from half time, his incredible pace was used to devastating effect for a third.

And two minutes from the interval, he again raced in to finish from a seemingly impossible angle. He was looking like a player who could do it at a much higher level, potentially the top.

This game was over. It was about what was happening elsewhere if the helicopter was to be needed by the then Scottish Football League.

In the end, East Stirlingshire’s second goal to make it 2-0 early in the second half at Albion Rovers was realistically the final blow to that prospect. We would have to go to Annan to get our hands on the trophy.

Copyright Fullarton Photos 2009

Not that that put anybody off. After 66 minutes, Carcary stole possession and finished for one of his simpler goals for DFC. 5-0.

And with six minutes left, Stevie Murray finished the rout with an angled finish. It deserved to finish with a trophy lift, but that had to wait for another seven days, down the M74.

The joy of the achievement was tragically curtailed weeks later when team captain Gordon Lennon died aged only 26 in a vehicle accident while holidaying with his family.

But his memory lives on with the title success, and the way it was sealed. This game, 11 years on, remains the benchmark as the greatest game at our current stadium.

Copyright Fullarton Photos 2009

Dumbarton: McEwan; Lennon, Boyle, Dunlop, Gordon, Clark (Canning 74), Forbes, McStay (Geggan 77), McLaughlin, Carcary (Brannan 73), Murray. Subs: McGeown; Chisholm.

Elgin City: McNulty; Edwards (Niven 61), Kaczan, Nicolson, D W Craig, Gillespie (McKenzie 73), Cameron (Crooks 54), O’Donoghue, Campbell, McKay, D A Craig. Subs: Robertson; MacDonald.

Referee: Eddie Smith.

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