Jim Duffy said he was as pleased with Saturday’s victory over Dumbarton as he has been with any other three points his side have managed to pick up this season.
A Gregor Buchanan own goal and a Michael Tidser penalty saw off a stubborn Sons side at Cappielow as the Ton strengthened their play-off hopes with a 2-1 win.
And Duffy was particularly pleased considering the obstacles his threadbare squad had to overcome to achieve the desired result on the day.
He told gmfc.net: “I told the players before the game that Dumbarton don’t make it easy for anybody. They’re a very well-drilled side with a real physical presence all over the pitch really and they put in a shift.
“So, for us to win today under the circumstances we’ve had with the players missing and also having to change during the game was an absolutely outstanding result.
“I’m as pleased with the result today as I probably have been with any result all season, because we lost some fantastic players in the lead up to this game.
“Gavin Gunning had been outstanding, as everybody knows; big Ricki [Lamie] has been outstanding; Gary Oliver outstanding. Jamie McDonagh was suspended, Kudus [Oyenuga] got injured 15 or so minutes into the game.
“Michael [Tidser] came in, but we didn’t want him playing on the left as such; we wanted him narrowing in to allow Mark Russell to go. In the first half it worked very well. In the second half not so much.
“Then we had Jon [Scullion] and Aidan [Nesbitt] up front, and they’re not the biggest forwards in the world, so we had to be a wee bit more patient and take a little bit more risk.
“Because if you’re got the ball in midfield and you’re just going to lump it up to two big centre-halves, it’s not going to work. So we had to be cute with the passes – they to be slid down the sides or in to feet.
“When we got it wide we had to come back out because we couldn’t just throw a ball into the box, so we had to adapt during the game in terms of how we would play.
“So for us to win the game was a really fantastic achievement and I’m really delighted with the result and the performance. I thought it was a very tough match, but we gave everything.
“We matched the commitment of the Dumbarton players and I think we tested their goalkeepers a little bit more than Gats [Derek Gaston] was tested, so I think overall we deserved to win.”
Ton were awarded a penalty when Aidan Nesbitt went down under a Darren Barr challenge, which the away fans and players were adamant was not a spot-kick.
When asked for his interpretation, Duffy said he felt the Ton winger was clipped – but added that his side were overdue a break when it came to fouls inside the box in any case.
He added: “He just ran across him and you could see a wee clip – you could hear it – but we were here [in the dugout] and you can’t really see it.
“But the referee’s given it – and we should have got a stonewall penalty last week against St Mirren, and that’s the reason why Gary missed this game.
“Therefore, a manager will always say that it evens out over a season. I don’t think it evens out – I think we’re due about another five or six if truth be told, so if we got a break today, I’ll take the break because I think we were due one.”
Tidser successfully converted from 12 yards, and gaffer Duffy revealed that the 26-year-old was selected as the designated taker pre-match.
He explained: “We had a practice on penalties last week before the St Mirren game, and we had two or three possibilities. Before the game I said to Michael to take it, so we knew that.
“It was a great penalty, with great pace, into the corner, and I’m delighted for him to get another goal, because that is important.”
Images: David Bell