Dumbarton

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Round 26

Dumbarton 2 - 0 Forfar Athletic
2020-03-03 19:45 More Reports
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Round 28

2020-03-07 15:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Dumbarton

In


Mati Zata (mid) (Dundee United); Morgyn Neill (def) (Stenhousemuir); Ryan Tierney (att) (Edusport); PJ Crossan (att) (Celtic); Stefan McCluskey (att) (Pollok); Conor Scullion (mid) (Cumbernauld); Jordan McMillan (def) (Edusport); Lewis Crawford (def) (Petershill); Ryan McGeever (def) (Brechin); Jordan Pettigrew (gk) (Livingston); Joe McKee (mid) (Falkirk); Matthew Shiels (def) (Rangers, loan); Rico Quitongo (def), Isaac Layne (att), Ruaridh Langan (mid) (all released)

Out


Ross Perry (r)(def) (Darvel); Craig Barr (r)(def) (Cowdenbeath); Calum Gallagher (r)(att) (Airdrie); Brian McLean (r)(def) (Morton); Ryan Thomson (sp)(mid) (Stranraer); Bobby Barr (r)(mid) (East Stirling); Cammy Ballantyne (k)(def) (Montrose); Willie Dyer (r)(def) (East Stirling); Ros Forbes (k)(mid) (Forfar); Iain Russell (att) (Pollok); Michael Paton (r)(mid) (Queen of the South); Grant Adam (r)(gk), Boris Melingui (sp)(att) (both released)

Dumbarton’s 2018-19 campaign was catastrophic. After relegation from the Championship, they were expected to be strong candidates to bounce back automatically, but despite assembling a strong squad on paper they were consigned to fighting against relegation for the duration of the season. Reality has seriously bitten the club over the summer, with a complete overhaul of the team. They have lost the big earners that they would have wished to cut from their squad, but equally they have lost out on some of their better players to teams they would not expect. A perfect example of this is Cammy Ballantyne, one of their most consistent performers last season, going to Montrose, while Ross Forbes, their star attacker, went to Forfar. Reconstructing the side has proven to be difficult, with the League Cup producing three comprehensive defeats and a narrow victory over an Annan outfit that is in League Two and has been seriously weakened over the summer. Manager Jim Duffy has his back on players who have previously performed at this level. Indeed, only Ryan McGeever and Morgyn Neill can have constituted a success in League One or higher last year. PJ Crossan turned out for Stranraer but was on the bench for the duration of the campaign, while the talented Stefan McCluskey returns after a stint in the juniors. He has the potential to be one of their best pick ups. Instead, the Sons are hoping that their left-field additions can prove successful. Jordan McMillan, Lewis Crawford and Mati Zata have all joined either from lower league or reserve sides, while a trio of free agents have been picked up. Of these players, only Isaac Layne has played at this level before and he spent much of last season laid up injured. He was not successful before that, so the odds on the striker proving a success are long. Dumbarton go into the season a club in a dishevelled state.

Target


If fans expect a playoff push, in reality, this season is all about survival for Dumbarton.

Season Review
2018/2019

№6: Dumbarton

Dumbarton endured the most disappointing season of any club in League One. At the start of the campaign they were tipped as potential title winners, having added some exciting names to their squad, yet by the beginning of May they were breathing a sigh of relief that they were not going into the final day of the season under threat of relegation. In truth, it was a season in which everything that could go wrong did for long periods. They elected not to have much depth to their squad, and an early-season injury crisis absolutely crippled them in many areas of the team. It was a risk they knew they were always going to be flirting with, yet they did not cope with the situation well, and plummeted towards the foot of the standings, with Stevie Aitken jettisoned in October to be replaced by Jim Duffy. The hangover of the injury situation continued to cripple Dumbarton deep into 2019 but once they got things together, they showed themselves to be more of a playoff-standard team. Dom Thomas’ arrival at the club on loan for a second time during the season was the catalyst for their improvement, with the Kilmarnock man absolutely outstanding for them. Indeed, it was just he was nominated as one of the league’s Players of the Season. Had it not been for his goals, Dumbarton might well have sunk. Callum Gallagher ultimately came onto a game, too. The midfield was constructed around Stuart Carswell, who was excellent, though when he was missing too often Ross Forbes had to play centrally, where he was less effective. Michael Paton was a big disappointment out wide, meanwhile. Dumbarton had major defensive headaches all season, which were caused in part by injury problems and in part by players not good enough. It was January and the transfer window before they started to turn things around, David Ferguson an important addition. In goal, they struggled throughout the season, with Grant Adam unconvincing. There is the scope to build a good deal for next year, but there is a sense they are on a knife edge. With Duffy in charge, they should be in safe hands, though.


Player of the Season: Dominic Thomas

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