In my weekly blog looking at Clyde, Dumbarton and Albion Rovers this season I have been reflecting on the Sons’ activities during the international break, the Wee Rovers’ interrupted season and the Bully Wee’s resurgence…
Feeling the groove at the Rock?
Sometimes supporters grab onto anything positive at times when times are grey. Languishing in 9th spot, is hardly reason to be cheerful and would suggest there was not a lot to feel positive about but seeing their outpourings on social media, there’s a feeling that they may soon get their rewards. Their display against Queen of the South two weeks ago gave many the feeling that they could put together a coherent performance even though they did not escape with the win. Not winning since they did against Livingston at the beginning of October has sorely tested the fans’ patience. It might be interesting if a meet the manager event was held now.
They have a tough home game today against Raith Rovers and one thing the support is hopeful of is that the team and squad have been working hard on their defensive duties. The Sons have lost 4 and 5 goals in games since that win against Livingston and there needs to be a marked improvement. There are always the deluded and doom merchants amongst any support but for one to suggest that the run up to Christmas shall define the season looks on the face of it a harsh assessment; I am not so sure that he is wrong. If Aitken’s troops can get on a run they can steer clear of relegation. End up losing the majority of games in the run up to Christmas and this season is again about a dog fight at the basement. It is a stark view held as the Sons need to find a groove, a consistent set of results that could establish their run in to the end of the season and give manager Aitken something to build upon for next season. Should this season not be deemed a success it sends them back to the Alan Adamson days and Ian Murray’s time begins to feel very far distant.
The Coatbridge rain dance
No matter what you call the weather there is an ill wind blowing through Cliftonhill right now as they attempt to get games on. On Friday night before their home game against Dunfermline Athletic, their twitter feed was full of hope as they said the pitch looked perfect. It makes the prospect of their game against Cowdenbeath look a far more likely prospect for the 4th attempt to getting it on – due this Tuesday the 24th November. It originally had been scheduled for two weeks ago, then the following Tuesday which was postponed and then the Tuesday after that but again it fell foul of the weather.
Postponements can be difficult for a number of reasons. Firstly it now means that the Wee Rovers side that takes the pitch has only played away and lost last weekend. This is not good and if you have previously been on a difficult run, some of the frailties exposed when you last played come back to haunt you. It can also be a pain though if you have been putting together a wee home run that is interrupted by the weather and it can be difficult to get that momentum back.
The biggest pain though is interruption to cash flow. Add to that the preparations necessary for a game that is then called off which still needs still to be paid for though there is no revenue and that is a massive problem. With no money clicking through the turnstiles or paying for the burgers we end up with teams teetering on the edge as they try and pay the bills and the wages with no positive flowing into their bank accounts.
For a club like Albion Rovers this Saturday’s home game along with another on Tuesday – the game against Cowdenbeath, followed by a third – against Stranraer means they are likely to get some decent revenue with bills that could have caught them out being paid. It is however a nervous time. The solution? For me it is summer football and I do think we are creeping closer and closer to that. Mind you getting three games on in seven days does cause the groundsman a bit of a headache but that is a very different story…
Bully Wee bounce…
The last time out I saw Clyde they lost and played badly against Stirling Albion. I was able to catch up with them last weekend as they hosted Elgin City to re assess where they were heading. I saw at the game against Stirling Albion worrying signs that they were not able to be decisive and effective in the last third. Four goals against Elgin City would suggest that this is a forgotten issue.
I also wondered about their 3-5-2 formation being a little sophisticated for this league though to be fair they have the squad who can play any system; such is their experience. At the game against Elgin the formation as 4-4-2 and it was highly effective.
I have to start though at the back. The return to fitness of Scott Durie is good for the team and though he only came on as a last minute substitution with Michael Bolochoweckyj, Chris Smith and Mark McLaughlin also in the pack alongside a marauding Scott Linton there should be very little lacking in service.
What worked particularly well was the holding play of David Gormley. Gormley has had his critics and particularly those who were unconvinced by his Junior pedigree. In the game against Elgin he bagged one for himself as well as setting up the best goal of the game for Linton with a cross which was sweetly volleyed home. Gormley looks like he could become the major playmaker between midfield and the front line as they chase the title; be in no doubt that is what Barry Ferguson and his squad are after. This afternoon they are away over the border to Berwick so we shall see if this particular bounce will last longer than a week.