Benchman: He turned the colour of the new away shirt

Mystery picture: Which team are training here?
Mystery picture: Which team are training here?

The Benchman reminisces over Boghead after the recent trip to Dumbarton.

LOOK BACK IN ANGER

Surely Dumbarton could have had more than two turnstiles open to cater for what was known to be a sell-out crowd? Several Bairns fans missed the first 15 minutes of the match. One well-known bus convener, let’s call him Brian for argument’s sake, was raging with anger as he belatedly entered the ground. I have to admire his restraint as he sought out a hi-viz bedecked steward and said, “Excuse me, my good man, I’m sorry to bother you, but the arrangements for spectator entrance were less than effective and could do with revision.” At least I think that’s what he meant.

THAT PITCH

Green, brown, yellow and grey were the colours of a rock-hard surface at Dumbarton which has a distinct slope towards the left-hand corner. No wonder they are seriously considering moving to (yet another) new ground. It made any good football well-nigh impossible. Bring back Boghead- at least it took a stud. Just ask Dragutin Ristic.

THE NEW STRIP

Scotland, Dundee, Falkirk and Ross County all face similar challenges to meet the demands of the marketing men keen to make a fast buck on the latest variation on a theme of navy blue and white. Any ideas?

THE DROP ZONE

Some big names were in danger of dropping down to the third tier of English Football. Twice European Cup winners Forest, former Premiership winners Blackburn Rovers and once FA Cup winners Birmingham City all went into Sunday’s lunchtime games with incredible pressure on them. Blackburn were relegated and their glory days under Jack Walker and Kenny Dalglish seem like a distant memory. The first Premier League winners to face this drop, you have to feel for their long-suffering fans. Abject mismanagement by people who don’t understand football, and who think that a merry-go-round of managers will bring instant relief.

DIVING A.K.A. SIMULATION

Maybe the time has come for those deemed to be assistants to the referee to actually help him, rather than just copy his decisions. They are all in communication and what’s wrong with a second opinion- even from the fourth official? There have been a lot of high-profile decisions when the referee was duped by the theatricals of players. It’s all very well when the culprits are banned after TV evidence, but by then the damage has been done.

ANSWERS

Last week’s mystery picture featured a crowd gathering at Dens Park in Dundee.

TEASER

From which club did Falkirk sign Liam Craig?

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Congratulations to Craig Sibbald on winning two big Falkirk awards, but what went wrong with the nominations for the PFA Scotland Championship Team? Not one single Bairn, despite them finishing second top.

FALKIRK- WHO ARE THEY?

A well-known national newspaper features the SPFL top league teams and at the bottom of the column, they also do a preview of Hibs and Dundee United. Falkirk- the second top team- aren’t worth a mention- only the “big” teams.

BENCHMARKS

Match rating: 6

Team rating: 7

Opposition: 5

Referee: Robertson 5

Best Bairn: Luca Gasparotto