Decent start to the year

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It’s been a very decent start to my photography year – largely due to the guy pictured above – Kane Hemmings has been on fire in front of goal recently, 10 goals in his last seven games stretching back to the start of December.

He got me my first back page of the year after scoring Dundee’s equaliser in their New Year derby win over Dundee United, It was a bonus that he ran right towards me, and that I was the only photographer sitting on this side of the goal Dundee were attacking.

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It wasn’t all joy for Dundee that day though, defender James McPake picked up a nasty injury and the aftermath showed that footballers are decent people – United’s Ryan McGowan and Sean Dillon rushed to get help and comfort James.

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At a derby match I’m going to take lots of pictures of fans, of both sides, theres always raw emotion and I liked this pic – I’d have liked it even if it had just been the guy with the beard showing his despair – but it’s even better because of the lad with the hood giving me the middle fingers after spotting me taking pics – he grinned when I gave him a thumbs up – the guy with the beard made the paper – lad giving me the finger didn’t.

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And the end of the match showed the emotions of winning and losing a derby amongst the players too – I think this pic caught those nicely – It’s a pity that the United player is Sean Dillon though – he’s a good guy.

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The following week Dundee were due to play Falkirk in the Scottish Cup but a drainage problem meant the Dens Park pitch was unplayable and I got a rare Saturday off. I was working next day though as I photographed Dundee’s new central defender Darren O’Dea training with his new team-mates.

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And thanks to a phone call just as I arrived home I was heading straight back out – to Drumgeith Park, where I regularly shoot amateur football – here the pitches had flooded to seven feet deep in places and some people had taken the opportunity to jet-ski – ten minutes standing in the drizzle and I had a picture which featured in two national papers next day.

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From flooding we went to snow as Dundee took on Patrick Thistle at Firhill – It’s normally a tough venue to go to, but with Gary Harkins in sensational form Dundee ran out easy winners – Harkins celebration in the snow after he scored the fourth was my favourite pic of the day.

Next for Dundee was a trip Pittodrie on another night which promised to be cold – there was a stiff wind blowing as I arrived in the Granite City, but it actually turned out reasonably OK at pitch side.

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Aberdeen deservedly won but I liked this picture of former Don Nicky Low challenging for the ball with former team-mate Shay Logan.

That match was on a Friday night so I had a spare Saturday again, this time I headed for Arbroath to photograph their match against Annan Athletic.

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Arbroath player Bobby Linn had not long left Dundee when I started out in photography and I’m not sure I’d ever photographed him before – against Annan he claimed their second goal – but the reaction of the two visiting players behind his celebration gives a big clue that it was an own goal.

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It was a busy weekend as on the following day I headed to Dundee’s training again, this time to take photos of new striker Arturo – loved this pic of the players having a laugh.

Dundee eventually got their cup tie against Falkirk played last week and, while Falkirk looked very decent, in the end it turned out to be a comfortable win for the Dark Blues.

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Hemmings was man of the match, scoring twice and setting up the other goal for Gary Harkins.

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And Harkins cheered up James McPake by doing the injured defender’s goal celebration.

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The final Saturday of the month saw more snow as Motherwell came to Dens and it took a late penalty for Dundee to earn a point – earlier in the match had come a rarity – a Paul McGowan goal (pictured).

That wasn’t quite my month finished though as Sunday saw me shoot Forfar Farmington as they took on Hutchison Vale in their first pre-season friendly – I’ll be photographing Farmington from now until late in the year as they embark on their SWPL1 campaign.

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They’ve got a few new faces and this is one of them Julia Scott (centre) celebrating after scoring her second goal in Farmington’s 3-1 win.

So that’s pretty much my month – This weekend brings the Scottish Cup with a trip to photograph Dundee at Dumbarton before another Farmington friendly and some amateur football on Sunday – I can’t wait.

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