Raith Rovers v Montrose
Starks Park, Kirkaldy
Saturday 22nd September 2018
Kick Off: 3.00pm
League 1 Table 2018/19
CJ SIGNS FOR A SECOND SEASONCraig Johnston has pledged his future to the Gable Endies for a further season, keeping him at Links Park until the summer of 2019. Arriving at Links Park last summer from Cowdenbeath, the young striker took a while to settle in to Stewart Petrie’s side, but a run of 5 goals in 4 games saw him win the Ladbrokes League 2 Player of the Month in October. Craig featured 34 times last term and his raw enthusiasm, pace, and energy take fans to the edge of their seats.
WATSON EXTENDS STAY AT LPPaul Watson has agreed terms to extend his stay at Links Park for another 12 months. The 31 year old will enter his 7th season with the club and has made over 190 appearances and bagged an impressive 27 goals. As well as being a true professional and inspirational Captain for the last 2 seasons, Paul has been Mr Versatile over the years, playing almost every position bar goalkeeper. He is also one of the few players to have made the emotional journey from the Brora victory in 2015 to proudly lifting the Ladbrokes League 2 trophy just 3 years later.
BOLO SIGNS NEW 1 YEAR DEALMichael Bolochoweckyj has extended his stay at Links Park until the summer of 2019. The 33 year old joined the Gable Endies from Clyde in 2016 and was an ever present in the side that reached the promotion play-offs. However, the big defender missed the end of that season and the first half of last term after rupturing his Achilles against Forfar. Returning to the side in January, Michael brought great experience to a formidable back line that was instrumental in securing the Ladbrokes League 2 title.
FAMOUS FIVE MAKE TEAM OF THE YEAR
Many congratulations to Dillo, Steevsee, Cammy, Matty and Flem for all making the SPFL League 2 Team of the Year, thoroughly deserved.
⚽️ Check out our Ladbrokes League 2 Team of the Season!
Head to our website to read about why each player was selected! 👉 https://spfl.co.uk/…/article/league-2-team-of-the-season-51/
Stay tuned for our Team of the Season video! 🎥
Team in full:
GK - Allan Fleming - Montrose Football Club
RB - Cammy Ballantyne - Montrose Football Club
DC - Sean Dillon - Montrose Football Club
DC - Matty Allan - Montrose Football Club
LB - Andrew Steeves - Montrose Football Club
MID - Harry Paton - Stenhousemuir Football Club
MID - Thomas Reilly - Elgin City Football Club
MID - Willie Gibson - Peterhead Football Club
FC - Darren Smith - Stirling Albion FC
FC - Mark McGuigan - Stenhousemuir Football-Club
FC - Rory McAllister - Peterhead Football Club
STEP UP INTO LEAGUE 1 WITH THE MIGHTY MO!
Have your name immortalised at Links Park and support your club by joining the newly sponsored steps in the Bryan D Keith stand. A great gift idea for the Mo fan in your life!
COME AND WATCH THE WINNERS!!!
What better time to snap up a bargain and grab your Season Tickets for next year, with Early Bird discounts still available.
Tickets can be purchased through Regan in the Club office.
STAT UPDATEAhead of our most important game in recent years, here is a quick look back at how we ended our record breaking away campaign last week with yet another clean sheet and our two top goal scorers both getting in on the act...
MO BOSS ‘MOVES CLOSER’ TO LEGEND STATUS
Montrose Manager Stewart Petrie came face to face last week with Club Legend Ian Stewart, the only other man to bring Championship glory to Links Park.
For those with short memories, that was 33 years ago, back in 1985 when Phyllis Nelson topped the charts with Move Closer, Maggie ran the UK, Ronnie the USA and films such as Back to the Future and View to a Kill were box office hits.
In football, England saw Howard Kendall’s Everton do a League and Cup Winners Cup double, whilst in Scotland Sir Alex was edging out Celtic for his third title with Aberdeen – the last time a team out with the Old Firm has won the top honour.
Ian came to the Gable Endies in 1983 with the club bottom of the old Division Two. Within two seasons his astute signings, new fitness regimes and lots of motivation saw Montrose make history, piping Alloa Athletic to top spot in May 1985.
Déjà vu indeed then as when Stewart Petrie took charge in December 2016, the club was again bottom of the table but with signings such as Sean Dillon, the introduction of a Sports Scientist and positivity and optimism by the bucket load, just 16 months later and title success has returned to the small Angus town for only the second time.
Comparing the stats between the two sides shows amazing similarities, but what makes Petrie’s Class of ’18 all the more impressive is the number of long standing club records that have been matched or broken this term, such as;
- 12 away wins is a new club record
- 23 wins equals the best ever set in 74/5
- 2.14 average points per game slightly betters the previous best of 2.11 per game in 74/5 (adjusted up to 3 for a win)
- 77 points in a season betters the previous best of 76 in 74/5 (having upgraded that year to 3 for a win)
- 5 defeats in total betters the previous best of 8 in 84/5, 74/5 and 75/6.
- Least number of away defeats, 2 betters previous best of 4 in 94/5.
- Least number of goals against in away games, 13 betters previous best of 14 in 2007/8.
…and no red cards in 36 league games
Little wonder then that Petrie was awarded Ladbrokes League Two Manager of the Year last week, something he was quick to attribute to all those around him, saying, “This has been a fabulous season and I would like to thank everyone at the club for all their support.
“This is a special place from the Board to the supporters, from the backroom staff to the sponsors, but especially the players – they have been a magnificent group of lads and are a pleasure to work with!
“It was great meeting Ian and I was delighted he was here to see us lifting the trophy. I used his team of ’85 as motivation for our boys to go out and get the point we needed against Elgin.
“We have created a new chapter in the club’s history and let’s hope we can create more very soon.”
Next season, Ladbrokes League 1 will be an all Angus affair, with Brechin, Forfar and Arbroath all joining Montrose in the same division for the first time since 1992/93
GABLE ENDIES ENCOURAGE EARLY ARRIVAL FOR VITAL GAME
Montrose FC are encouraging supporters to arrive well ahead of kick off on Saturday for their final and pivotal Ladbrokes League 2 home fixture against Elgin City.
The Angus side currently sit 3 points clear at the top of the table ahead of rivals Peterhead, but the Blue Toon have a superior goal difference in their favour as they face a home tie against Edinburgh City.
A point for the Gable Endies will be enough to secure only their second league title in their 139 year history, the first one coming back in 1984/85 when the likes of John Sheran was Captain and David Larter was in goals.
Club Chairman John Crawford said, “There is a fantastic buzz about the town and we are expecting a bumper crowd on Saturday. As a result and in the interests of everyone’s safety, I would like to urge all our supporters to arrive in plenty of time to ensure everyone makes in through the gates in time for kick off.
“We will be operating extra turnstiles and will get people into the ground as fast as we can, but we would really appreciate the cooperation of our fantastic support in arriving early.
“Unlike the Brora game back in 2015, where we were able to delay kick off, the league will be keen, for obvious reasons, that we stick to our scheduled 3pm kick off time.”
“I hope everyone comes along and has a safe, enjoyable and memorable afternoon.”
The Club confirmed that normal league prices will apply, which are £13 for an Adult, £7 for an OAP/U16 and £16 for Family entry (1 Adult and 1 U16)
DOUBLE WIN FOR GABLE ENDIES AFTER TITLE SUCCESS
Just days after lifting the Ladbrokes League Two title, Montrose FC have received more silverware, with Stewart Petrie and Sean Dillon being announced as the sponsors League Two Manager and Player of the Year.
Sean joined the Club last summer from Dundee United as both Player and First Team Coach. His influence both on and off the park led the Links Park side to having the meanest defence last year, conceding on average less than a goal a game including 18 clean sheets.
With the Angus side bottom of the league, Stewart took up his first senior management role in Dec 2016, determined to bring success back to a club that had languished in the bottom tier for 22 years.
After just 5 months in the job, Petrie secured a promotion play-off place with a draw against Clyde in the last game of the season and whilst, ironically, Peterhead were to prove too strong in the play-offs, belief had been reborn.
This season, Stewart has guided his side to their first title in 33 years and only their second in their almost 140 year history. The level of consistency he achieved with his squad has seen many long standing club records broken, winning 23 games, losing only 5, spending 20 weeks at the top of the table and clocking up 77 points (only Rangers, with 83 points, have won the league with more).
Pre-season favourites Peterhead pushed the Gable Endies all the way, but a second half strike on Saturday from Jamie Redman proved to be a historic goal for the Angus side and secure a well-deserved and long awaited title for the 2,380 fans crammed into Links Park.
Club Chairman John Crawford said, "I would like to congratulate both Stewart and Sean on winning these thoroughly deserved awards. Stewart has completely turned the Club around since walking through the door with his infectious optimism and positivity. I am sure this went a long way to convincing Sean to join us in what was seen as a marque signing at the time, but nobody could have imagined the true influence he would have and the historic season that lay ahead.
"We have a great positivity at the club right now and everyone has played their part in our overall success, all of which I would like to sincerely thank.
"It is through this team effort, both on and off the park that accolades like this are won and I would once again like to congratulate both Stewart and Sean on winning these awards."
GET GEARED UP FOR THE BIG GAME
The Club shop at Links Park will be open on Saturday morning from 10am to 11:30am for anyone who wants last minute purchases of official merchandise ahead of our big game.
The shop will also be open during the match as normal.
LEGENDS PRESENT RAFFLE PRIZES AFTER HISTORIC WIN
After the excitement of winning the league title on Saturday following a nail biting draw against Elgin, Barry Edwards and Jenny Clark’s day got even better.
Not only did their names get pulled from the hat in the Corporate Hospitality raffle, but their prizes were presented by Club Legends Ivo den Beiman and David Larter.
Jenny won a football and Barry a home shirt, both signed by the newly crowned Championship winning side, making them even more special!
Well done to you both.
AND THE WINNERS ARE...Congratulations to Fotheringham Property Developments, who won today’s MFC Cel-Am ahead of Links Park Community Trust, who took second place with Green Park Garage in a close third. Yano took great delight on hearing the news to let brother Ross know his feelings with family rivalry alive and well...
SEAN MAKES SPFL TEAM OF THE WEEKCongratulations to Sean Dillon, whose solid performance at Stenhousemuir has earned him a place in this weeks SPFL Team of the Week.
GATES TO OPEN EARLY TOMORROW
With a bumper crowd expected tomorrow, gates will open early at 1:30pm and extra turnstiles will be in operation.
We would ask supporters to arrive in plenty of time so we can get everyone safely into the ground in time for kick off.
Parking availability within the cars parks at the ground will be very limited so we would encourage fans to make use of the ample on street parking adjacent to the Stadium.
Normal League admission prices will apply (£13 Adult, £7 OAP/U16, £16 Family)
MO CHAIRMAN THANKS TRAVELLING SUPPORT
Montrose FC Chairman John Crawford was full of praise for the huge numbers of travelling fans that made the trip to Stenhousemuir on Saturday, and encouraged everyone to come along to Links Park this weekend for what will be a nail biting title decider.
Between buses, trains and cars, more than 600 Gable Endies took over the local pubs and clubs in Stenhousemuir before the vital Ladbrokes League 2 fixture.
Filling the enclosure behind the goal, SP’s Barmy Army then created an electric atmosphere inside Ochilview turning the tricky away tie into more of a home day for the league leaders who were hoping to clinch the title.
Despite winning comfortably with 2 early goals, a late strike by Peterhead up north means the Mighty Mo will have to take at least a point from Elgin on Saturday to secure their first league title since 1984/85.
John said, “On behalf of everyone at the Club, I would like to thank our fantastic fans for all their support this season. Our away numbers in recent games has been incredible and I know how much it has spurred the players on at some difficult grounds.
“For a town our size to take 5% of the population to Stenhousemuir is just brilliant and the atmosphere they created was unbelievable.
“The Management and players have put us in a great position and we now just need one more result against Elgin.
“Days like these don’t come along that often and I hope everyone will come along to Links Park on Saturday and create a great and memorable day.”
TALKING WITH SP
Montrose set themselves up for a chance to create history tomorrow with a win over Stenhousemuir last weekend. It leaves Stewart Petrie’s men only needing a point from the game against Elgin to propel themselves out of League Two and start next season in League One.
Giving his opinion on last week’s game, the gaffer revealed he was happy with how the players managed the game in such a pressurised period of the season.
He said: “It probably went as good as we expected. To score the two early goals as we did, it settled us down against a strong side. To get the two-goal lead against a side like Stenhousemuir was excellent and I think the boys managed the game well from then on in, being honest.
Petrie has been at the forefront of the amazing turnaround in fortunes on the pitch since he took puts that down to the quality of player he inherited and the quality of player he has been able to add to his squad.
“We had a decent squad when we came in. But the board have backed us and allowed us to add significant quality to the squad, particularly this season. None more so than signing Sean, he has typified things with the experience and quality he’s added to the team.
“The competition for places has also spurred the rest of the guys on to become better and I think the team’s work in training cannot be understated; they work their socks off and their strength and conditioning work has probably made us the fittest team in the league.
“I think we have exceeded where we expected to be this season, but that’s all down to the players and the board.”
Whilst Petrie expects a tough match tomorrow, he is well aware if his team show the correct attitude they will achieve their goal.
“I think the game is going to be really tough. We are playing a team who have individuals who can win games. They are one of the few teams who have beaten us this season and beat us well but we will pick a team we think can win the game.
“It’s all about what we do. It’s been like that all season for us. We can only take care of ourselves and we will be doing the same in order to get the result we want come the end of the game.”
Read the full and exclusive interview in tomorrow’s official matchday programme, The Gable Ender.
DILLO SHORTLISTED FOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Congratulations to Sean Dillon, who has been nominated for the PFA League Two Player of the Year.
League 2 Player of the Year Nominations
Sean Dillon Montrose
Willie Gibson Peterhead
Rory McAllister Peterhead
Darren Smith Stirling Albion
Prolific Queen of the South hitman Stephen Dobbie finds himself back in amongst the nominations for this season’s Championship Player of the Year. He is joined on this year’s list by St Mirren’s title winning duo Lewis Morgan and Cammy Smith as well as Livingston’s centre half and skipper Craig Halkett.
Strikers feature prominently in the nominees for League 1 Player of the Year with Ayr United’s front pairing Lawrence Shankland and Michael Moffat up against each other alongside Raith Rovers Lewis Vaughan and Albion Rovers hitman Alan Trouten.
Peterhead’s Rory McAllister is aiming to clinch his fourth Player of the Year Award – having won it previously in 2010, 2011 and 2014. His competition includes Balmoor teammate Willie Gibson, Stirling Albion frontman Darren Smith and Montrose’s Sean Dillon.
The overall winners will be announced on Sunday 29th April at PFA Scotland’s annual Awards Dinner at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow.
GRAB YOUR SEASON TICKET BARGAIN
Season Tickets will be on sale tonight in the WJ Lounge at Links Park, so what better time to get yourself sorted for next year.
Directors will be on hand from 7pm-8pm to welcome you and discuss the big game tomorrow!