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    Allan Maitland previews Dumbarton game 

    Friday, October 16, 2009 4:58:59 PM

    We welcome Jim Chapman his coaches, the players, directors and supporters of Dumbarton Football Club to the “Recs”. After a difficult start to the season Dumbarton have now won their last two away fixtures and I watched them win the Stirlingshire Cup with a deserved 2 – 0 victory over Stenhousemuir on Tuesday night. With the squad of players now available to Jim I have no doubt that Dumbarton are good enough to be challenging for a play off spot and the signs are that they are now adjusting well to life in the Second Division. I have tried to sign Scott Chaplain twice for Alloa, which shows how highly I rate him as a player – his ability to arrive in the box at the right time is excellent and in many ways very similar to Brown Ferguson. Dumbarton also have Ross Clark, an ex Alloa player and a person that I really like. My highlights from Ross’s time at Alloa were his two goals in an outstanding performance when we beat Morton 3 – 2 at the “Recs” and his two goals against Stranraer when we came back from 3 down to win 4 – 3 (I know Chris Mackie tried to claim one of the goals it was definitely over the line before he touched it). Ross is recovering from an injury and today may be too early for him but I wish him well. Strangely there are 2 goalkeepers in the Dumbarton squad that played for us recently – David McEwen and Michael White. Davie was unfortunate to injure his ankle in our first match of the season at Dumbarton and is still on the sidelines but Michael has been involved in a number of games and played well on Tuesday night.

    I have been really disappointed with our recent results but feel that we’ve played well in our last two games without getting the results the performances deserved. Last Saturday at Brechin was perhaps the best we’ve played this season and I would have felt aggrieved if we had only taken a point from the game, but to lose the game to a last minute goal was particularly hard to take. In a very even first half, John Grant scored a wonderful early goal after a great run and cross by Mark Gilhaney and Brechin deservedly equalised from the penalty spot. We completely dominated possession in the second half but didn’t create many chances while Brechin had two great opportunities on the break. As we pressed for a winner I made changes to try and win the game but it seemed to disrupt our control of the game and Brechin scored on the break in the final minute when we appeared to lack concentration defensively at the vital moment. I believe that we are strong enough to recover from the disappointment of the last 4 weeks and get our season back on track.

    With the first quarter of the season over I think everyone will agree that Stirling Albion look the best side so far and that is obviously why they’re at the top of the league but there doesn’t appear to be too much between the rest of the sides and everyone looks capable of beating each other. The sides that will succeed are the ones that can find the consistency needed to turn defeats into draws and draws into victory. Our injury list has severely hampered our progress but with players returning over the next couple of weeks I expect our fortunes to change and I hope we can start that today.

    I hope you all enjoy today’s game.

    Allan Maitland

    Managers Corner