So we set off for ‘the rock’ or The Bet Butler Stadium as it’s known these days and home of Dumbarton FC. It’s a venue that’s quite close to home, it was wet and miserable which is something we’re becoming accustomed to, but it’s a local Derby of sorts and as expected, we got a good competitive game
During the week, my eldest lad made up the numbers for our 5 a sides and had played quite well, however after it he’d said his foot was uncomfortably sore. By the morning he couldn’t put any weight on it and missed school for the rest of the week so he was a fitness doubt for this particular tour!
At the same time, our sat nav app on the phone said it couldn’t find our intended destination and even when you altered the postcode to Dumbarton Castle it still couldn’t find it! Good god it’s a national landmark, so we went on instinct and road signs and in the end found it no bother!
No sooner had we parked the car and went to walk the short distance to the main stand, the heavens opened up on us! As we headed up to the turnstiles, and the wee man lagging behind on crutches, a female club official shouted on us and asked if we wanted to come in through the main doors as we may have encountered problems getting the crutches through the turnstiles. It was a decent and considerate gesture that was much appreciated, however we opted to go in with the punters!
Soaked to the skin, we managed to catch the sides warming up and found ourselves a decent seat in amongst the near 1,200 crowd, albeit in the most uncomfortable of circumstances!
Dumbarton have taken a bit of time to adapt to life back in the First Division and have defender Jack Ross in temporary charge of the team while Morton are on a good run of form. Any indication on how this game would be decided was evident after Dumbarton conceded a penalty in the second minute when keeper, Ewings was adjudged to have fouled Morton winger, Graham in the box. The veteren midfielder, Martin Hardie buried the spot kick to give the Greenock side the lead. Before 20 minutes had been played, he headed in his and Morton’s second from a corner, and just before half time Weatherson’s close range header made it 3-0.
Ten minutes into the second half, Morton scored their fourth in bizarre circumstances. Did he mean it, well only David Graham can answer that, when his low corner seemed to evade everyone in the conjested penalty box and travelled into the net! He does have an appalling tache which i’m hoping he’s sporting for the ‘Movember’ cancer charity rather than it being a personal fashion statement!
Not long after that, Peter Weatherson grabbed his second and Morton’s fifth with a nicely placed finish into the corner of the net to confirm the win. Although Dumbarton plugged away they were getting over run in midfield, not creating many clear cut chances for themselves and it was evident which team was near the top and which was near the bottom.
The last 15-20 minutes was played out like a training exercise with numerous substitutions made, the weather worsening and the points already well on their way back to Greenock. However, just as it looked like there would be no further action of note, Dumbarton pulled a consolation goal back through the much travelled striker, Bryan Prunty when he curled a shot into the bottom right hand corner past keeper, Gaston after Morton’s defence failed to clear their lines. We left during injury time and I ran ahead to get the car started for a quick get away and we were in the house for 5.05pm! Happy days.
This was a good game to catch, though clearly not for the home support! The facilities were good, staff were friendly including the very well mannered young programme seller who said “that’s two pounds please sir, enjoy the match”. On a decent day you will get a great view of the area surrounding Dumbarton.
The ground has one stand the length of the pitch and the dugouts are situated opposite, with nothing surrounding the other three sides apart from grey fencing. Prior to kick off, stewards did a sweep of the perimeter to make sure there were no free loaders trying to see the game!
During the game there were a couple of delays as the ball went out of play and over the fence which was to be expected. Behind the goal on the right hand side there is car parking, but it goes without saying you may get a dent one of these days!
The ‘Sons’ were hoping to appoint a new manager in the coming week and I wish them well with that. I’m really taken with that white kit, and might even look into purchasing it…..!