SATURDAY couldn’t have gone any better for Kilsyth Rangers.
After last week’s demoralising drubbing at the hands of St Anthony’s, it looked like the Duncansfield side had thrown away the chance to go up as champions.
However, Saturday’s workman-like 1-0 win over Blantyre Victoria, combined with Thorniewood United’s surprise 1-1 draw with Johnstone Burgh, has not only guaranteed Rangers promotion, it has also jolted their title hopes back on track.
Assistant boss Martin Mooney said: “The way Saturday worked out was definitely a big surprise, we didn’t expect them [Thorniewood United] to drop points, I thought if they were going to it would be in their next game against Shettleston.
“The title is back in our hands now which is a nice thing to know with one game to go, and to already have promotion assured as well is a great feeling.”
Of the performance against Blantyre Vics, Mooney added: “It was ok, it was the sort of performance you sometimes get at this stage of the season when the result matters more than anything else.
“First half we didn’t play particularly well but were one-up at half-time. The manager went in and gave them a bit of a grilling.
“Second half, we were a lot better. In the end we should’ve won by more. But performances are what get you here, it was just about getting three points.”
Meanwhile, Cumbernauld United boss Ian Currie was left bemused and infuriated when a 97th minute goal cost his side a point against second placed Ashfield.
The Guy’s Meadow side thought they had earned their share of the spoils when they drew level, three minutes into injury time.
However, the referee played four more minutes of additional time, and could only offer a somewhat contradictory explanation for doing so.
United boss Ian Currie said: “When we scored I asked the referee how long was left and he said, ‘Full-time’. He then kept it going and they scored again to make it 3-2 on the 97th minute.
“I asked him afterwards why he had added on seven minutes and he said it was because their goalkeeper was wasting so much time, but he should be penalising that, not rewarding it.
“I said to him, ‘You’re either Sir Alex Ferguson’s grandson or your watch isn’t working’. It’s frustrating because we dominated the game and at least deserved something - we kept them pinned in their box for long periods of time.”
The defeat leaves United one place and one point above the dropzone, with two games left. All but one of the four relegation spots are already decided.
Currie added: “We’ve got Whitletts away and then Kilwinning at home. I think a win would see us safe. It’s a bonus to still have to play Kilwinning as they’re down there as well. Our destiny is in our own hands.”
Kilsyth close the season at Duncansfield against Greenock on Saturday, knowing a win will see them crowned champions.
Mooney added: “Thorniewood play on Friday night so, if they don’t win, we would go into our game as champions.
“But having promotion secured has already taken the pressure off, the boys can go out and just enjoy the game.”