1984/85 - A Historic Season - by Barry Mitchell
· Manager Ian Stewart added four new signings to his squad for the start of the season. Alex Wright and Dougie Robb returned to Links Park from St Johnstone and Arbroath respectively. Aberdonian Steve Lennox was also recruited from Stoke City but the signing exciting most fans was that of ex-Partick and St Mirren centre-forward Doug Somner.
· Somner missed the league opener after being sent-off in a Forfarshire Cup tie but in his absence Martin Caithness led the line well scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Stirling Albion. He then had a major impact the following week in an emphatic 3-0 away win at Arbroath, courtesy of a Mark Bennett double and a great diving header from John Sheran.
· In between these games the club tumbled out of the newly sponsored Skol League Cup in the first round, going down 2-0 at Albion Rovers.
· The wheels came off the promising start to the league campaign when on August 25th they found themselves 4 -1 down at home to Dunfermline Athletic after only 17 minutes. Caithness rounded off a good month from a personal point of view when he pulled one back in the second half, but the defensive frailties exhibited in this game would take a few weeks to rectify.
· Ian Stewart announced that he was on the lookout for another defender in the wake of the defeat by Dunfermline and this need was underlined as September opened with two successive 3 - 1 away defeats, to Queen of the South and Alloa respectively. On the bright side, Somner opened his scoring account at Dumfries whilst Caithness' fine form continued with his third goal of the season at Recreation Park.
· After the Alloa match, manager Stewart was again critical of his side's defending and looking for an improvement in the next game at home to East Stirling. He certainly got it as Montrose went in 3 - 0 up at the break, Martin Allan setting up all three goals - one from Somner, sandwiched between another Bennett brace. However they contrived to make life difficult for themselves in the second half as Shire pulled one back through Charlie Gibson in the 58th minute, after a defensive lapse. The three goal lead was restored within a few minutes however, as a brilliant Allan-Bennett-Barr move saw Somner head home his second of the match. Goalscorer Gibson was then sent off following a skirmish with Sheran, but 10 man Shire pulled a second goal back through Steve Maskrey, who later hit the bar. Montrose held on though for a 4-2 victory. A better pleased Ian Stewart was quick to praise double scorers Doug Somner and Mark Bennett, but also gave credit to the creative genius of Martin Allan, although still disappointed with his defence.
· Stewart was to rue his decision to travel to Berwick the following Saturday with only 13 players, as Mick McManus and Martin Caithness missed their pick up at Kelty. Stewart was forced to name himself as an only substitute, but in an even and hard fought first half, he was relieved to see his side take the lead with a cracking 39th minute drive from in-form Martin Allan. With little incident in the second period, the manager even came on for the last ten minutes. The victory left Montrose in sixth place with eight points from seven matches
· However with the visit from Stenhousemuir on September 29th, they had the chance to go third in the table if they could secure victory and other results went their way. Montrose dominated the early stages and took the lead in the 34th minute. That man Martin Allan went off on a run on the left and then laid the ball inside to Steve Lennox who cracked home a beauty from 18 yards. From then onwards chances were few and far between, just as at Berwick the previous week, and the game ended 1-0 putting the side third in the table, three points behind Dunfermline and four adrift of Alloa.
· For the trip to Cowdenbeath on October 6th, Tony Duffy was ruled out by injury, his place being taken by Ronnie Cusiter. The "Kelty Two" McManus and Caithness were paying the price for their misdemeanours by being consigned to the bench, as the line-up took on what was to become a generally settled (and still instantly recollectable) form: Charles, Barr, McLelland, Cusiter, Sheran, Forbes, Allan, Bennett, Somner, Lennnox, Wright. Subs: Caithness, McManus. Bennett managed to blast a 7th minute penalty at least 10 yards wide and it looked as if Montrose would regret that miss until substitute Caithness sprinted down the right wing and crossed for Lennox to shoot home in the 88th minute (though it felt later) to keep up the challenge on the leaders.
· The following Saturday, Albion Rovers visited Links Park with the homesters seeking revenge for their first round Skol Cup exit. Montrose took the lead on the half hour mark. Alex Wright worked a 1-2 with Allan which took him in on 'keeper Burns and he coolly slotted the bell into the net. The Gable Endies went on to dominate the match but were continually denied by the Rover's defence and most notably the eccentric Burns. At the other end, the home defence for once coped comfortably with just everything Rovers could throw at them, helping to secure yet another 1-0 victory. .
· Montrose then travelled to Raith Rovers for what manager Stewart reckoned would be their toughest test of the season that far (didn't he always say that?). However on this occasion it was probably justified as Ray Charles kept the Gable Endies in the game with some wonderful goalkeeping. Just before half-time though, Somner touched a Lennox shot onto the post and John Sheran stepped up to knock the ball home and give Montrose the lead, somewhat against the run of play. As the second half progressed Montrose looked like holding on comfortably for victory. However in the final minute Raith striker Jim Marshall clashed with Ray Charles and when the keeper retaliated to his challenge, referee Sandy Roy red carded him, giving the Montrose traveling support an anxious few seconds until the final whistle as Les Barr took over in goal, though the Legend was never really troubled.
· On the eve of the trip to Lesser Hampden to play Queen's Park on October 27th (the match being played there as Hampden was being prepared for its first Skol Cup Final the following day involving Rangers and Dundee United), Ian Stewart announced that his keeper against Queen's Park would be David Larter, who he had had with him during his time charge at Arbroath. Larter trained with the Montrose squad on the Thursday night, but Stewart insisted that he would play only as a trialist and would not be signed (or at least not for another 3 years!) The keeper did his job well, though he was almost let down by the Montrose attack, as they left it late again. Ross failed to hold a shot from super-sub Caithness and Allan swept the loose ball into the net with less than two minutes left, to give the team a sixth successive 1-0 victory.
· The home game v Stranraer on November 3rd (with Charles back from suspension) was played in farcical conditions. It had rained heavily all morning and the match took place in a constant downpour. By the end, huge puddles across the pitch made football impossible. Referee Andrew Waddell later admitted that had the visitors not been as distant as Stranraer, he would either have abandoned the match, or never let it start in the first place. As it was the match ended goalless, which was not surprising given the conditions. The disappointing aspect of it all was that it brought a seven match winning run to an end, though they remained in third place and were able to look forward to the visit of new league leaders Alloa the following Saturday.
· Alloa travelled to Links Park as the only undefeated team in Britain, a distinction they would not return home with as Montrose ran out 2-1 winners extending their unbeaten run to nine games. A fantastic match saw both keepers in the thick of the action but it was 52 minutes before Allan opened the scoring for Montrose (though with some suspicion of handball). Sheran then doubled the lead with another controversial goal, reacting quickest after his challenge had caused Lowrie to drop the ball. Alloa later got a consolation via a wicked deflection which was an unfortunate way for Montrose to lose their first goal in 581 minutes of football. However it had been a great match for the 700 plus crowd with seven bookings and plenty other excitement. The result left Montrose, Alloa and Dunfermline all joint top with 21 points.
· For the match away to East Stirling on November 17, there was sufficient demand for a Supporters' Bus to be organised for the first time in a number of years. So as Montrose took to the field at Firs Park they were greeted by a band of 60 traveling fans. For such a distant match, this level of support indicated that good times were back for Montrose. Indeed, after the fantastic win at Alloa the week before, the Gable Endies were looking to extend their unbeaten run to a remarkable ten matches. Yet again though the side did just enough to ensure victory (and in doing so gave the fans more anxious moments), as Allan headed the only goal of the game from a Chic McLelland cross in the 52nd minute.
· Berwick visited Links Park the following week and on a soggy pitch, the teams were fairly evenly matched in the first-half, but neither keeper was seriously troubled. Montrose played plenty of good football, but their finishing was poor and in the 73rd minute, Berwick took a deserved lead. The Mo found it difficult to get back into the game and their unbeaten run stretching from September 8, looked to the coming to an end. But with only two minutes left, substitute Mick McManus burst into the box to drill home a valuable equaliser, preserving that unbeaten record, but much more importantly, salvaging a point to maintain the pressure on Dunfermline and Alloa.
· The cracks in the performances of the previous two weeks became chasms when Cowdenbeath visited on a wet and windy December 1st. Montrose actually took an early lead courtesy of an own-goal which was cancelled out by Ian Paterson (later to become a popular player at Links Park). Cowden killed off the game with three goals in the last half-hour and the 4-1 defeat well and truly ended what had been a magnificent unbeaten run. After the match, Ian Stewart conceded that Cowdenbeath were the better side but was consoled by the fact that the two teams above Montrose, Dunfermline and Alloa, along with fourth placed Stenhousemuir were also beaten.
· There was no match on Saturday December 8th, the club having received a bye in the first round of the Scottish Cup, but they waited with interest for news of the winners of the Queen of the South v Arbroath tie, who would host Montrose in the second round. Match fitness was maintained with a bounce game against Dundee on the preceding Thursday.
· On the 15th, Montrose travelled to Stenhousemuir for what was sure to be a tough encounter. The Gable Endies went behind on the half-hour but within five minutes Montrose were level, courtesy of Doug Somner - only his fourth of the season. Montrose has the home goal under constant pressure early in the second half but Lennox Wright and Allan all passed up scoring chances. However with twelve minutes left the visitors took the lead with a great individual goal from Alex Wright. He beat three Warriors defenders before driving the ball into the net for what turned out to be a vital score, the significance of which wasn't fully recognized until after the final whistle. With Dunfermline and Alloa both dropping points, Montrose went to the top of the league on goal difference.
· That really set things up for the match of the season so far, the trip to Dunfermline on December 22nd. A year previously both clubs had been languishing at the foot of the table but for this top of the table clash a crowd of up to 4000 was anticipated. The Gable Endies were seeking revenge for that 4-2 home drubbing in August Again Dunfermline opened strongly putting the Montrose goal under steady pressure. They were rewarded in the eighth minute when Steve Morrison's header from a corner gave Charles little chance. Dunfermline continued to dominate but Montrose came into the match more in the second half and equalised when Barr crossed from the right and John Sheran bulleted home a header from ten yards for another vital strike from the centre-half. The homesters came back strongly but the Montrose defence was now more composed and no further goals were forthcoming, with the visitors probably quite happy to take a point from the match. Afterwards Ian Stewart praised the efforts of his side and in particular Sheran who had a great game.
· Between Christmas and New Year, Montrose announced their first ever sponsorship deal. The club was delighted to secure a deal with Brechin motor dealer Ron Mackie and Renault. It was a great boost going into a New Year which would hopefully bring much longed for success to Links Park.
· The scheduled game at home to QOS on December 29 was postponed less than an hour before kick-off much to the frustration of the visitors.
· Montrose "welcomed" Arbroath as their first-foots on New Year's Day, Somner opening the scoring early on from a Barr free-kick. Thereafter, the match provided little to excite the fans until the 54th minute when Arbroath got a deserved equaliser. A Graeme Payne free-kick was headed out by the home defence but only as far as a young Allan Kennedy who beat Charles with a spectacular volley. Within eight minutes though Montrose had regained the lead. Neil Forbes sent in a trademark long throw to the near post, Somner headed on and Mark Bennett nodded the ball home to secure both points from what had been a rather disappointing match.
· Still, the Gable Endies could travel to Queen of the South for the Scottish Cup second round tie on January 5th with some confidence. Ian Stewart elected to play two wingers in the shape of Caithness and McManus and although both sides attacked with confidence, mistakes were frequent on a frost bound surface. Ronnie Cusiter gave Queen's a twelfth minute lead with a headed o.g. but parity was restored 20 minutes later Sheran heading home (again!) after a McManus corner had been flicked on. However two goals for the Doonhamers at decisive points in the second-half consigned Montrose to their second 3-1 defeat of the season at Palmerston and they tumbled out of the Cup at the first time of asking
· The away fixture at Stirling a week later succumbed to the weather and with Links Park looking in poor shape for the visit of Queen's Park on the 19th arrangements were made to switch the match to Hampden Park to avoid a backlog of fixtures building up. With conditions failing to improve by the weekend, Montrose travelled to Glasgow where Hampden's undersoil heating had the pitch in perfect condition and got off to a great start, scoring in the fourth minute, as Somner superbly headed home a Barr free-kick. The Spiders came back strongly and equalized through Nicholson. There was little action of note until Montrose were awarded an 80th minute penalty when Fraser handled a Somner shot on the line. Lennox stepped up to take it but Ross dived to save the shot. Lennox followed up only to drive the ball against the post and see it scrambled clear. The Gable Endies were to pay dearly for that miss and three minutes later Ward netted from close range to seal both points for Queen's Park. Montrose had now lost their last two away matches, for the first time since defeats at Dumfries and Alloa in September.
· Things got back on track the following week with a convincing 3-0 victory at Stranraer with goals from Somner who was now in the scoring groove, Lennox (his first since October) and Les Barr, his counter being just reward for all his recent assists from free-kicks and crosses.
· An emphatic 4-1 victory in the club's fourth away match in a row, this time at Albion Rovers on February 2nd suggested that normal service had indeed been resumed. Wright (later sent-off), Lennox and Caithness were on the score-sheet along with Gary Loch, making only his second sub's appearance of the season, due to the form of Somner, Caithness and Allan.
· Back at home the following week for the first time since New Year's Day, suspension and injuries were taking their toll and Montrose failed to get clearance from the SFA to make a hoped-for signing prior to the match with Raith Rovers. Therefore Neil Burke came in for a rare start in midfield and Tony Duffy made a re-appearance from injury on the bench. After soaking up a lot of pressure from Raith in the first period, Montrose started the second-half much more positively, and within 10 minutes Caithness was sent away on the left by McLelland and he lobbed over the advancing Blair to score a delightful goal. Further pressure eventually reaped its rewards in the 65th minute, when Lennox broke down the left, hit the bye-line and sent in a low cross which was hammered home by Caithness and their 2-0 victory left them two points behind leaders Alloa. Meanwhile Dunfermline were only able to draw 1-1 at bottom of the table Albion Rovers, leaving them seven points behind the Gable Endies but with a game in hand. Manager Stewart singled out Caithness, Lennox and Charles for special praise although it was Ronnie Cusiter who was voted Sponsor's Man of the Match, in another first for Montrose.
· Stewart had been working on a number of deals to bring new players to the club but there were no new faces by the time Cowdenbeath visited on February 16th, as injuries and suspension continued to test the depth of the squad. They appeared to be coping admirably though, taking the lead with a simple goal in the 22nd minute. Neil Forbes sent a long throw into the box and Martin Allan headed home. With Charles only occasionally called into action, a second goal eventually came in the 72nd minute, again from a long throw-in by Forbes. Mark Bennett saw his first time shot blocked but he followed up to crack a rising shot high into the net. However the Gable Endies had an anxious last quarter of an hour as Cowdenbeath replied quickly. Charles tipped a Williamson cross on to the bar and Kenny Ward was on hand to bundle home the rebound, which thankfully proved only to be a consolation goal.
· Montrose entertained Queen of the South the following midweek in a rearranged fixture and the visitors took a 14th minute lead despite a good start from the Mo, who worked hard to get back on level terms. In the 21st minute Neil Burke floated in a free-kick to the pack post and it was met by (inevitably) by John Sheran who rose to head home the equaliser. However within a minute Queens were ahead again, with the Montrose defence all at sea. Once again Montrose pressed hard and Allan leveled in the 29th when he slotted the ball home after a deft flick-on by Caithness. Amazingly there were to be no further goals but the draw put Montrose a point clear at the top of Division Two. After the match Ian Stewart completed the signing of former Dunfermline and East Fife winger Colin O'Brien from Berwick Rangers, his first signing of the season, after having tracked him for quite a few weeks.
· The league leaders travelled to Stirling Albion on the Saturday and went behind after only ten minute. Attempts to equalise proved fruitless until twenty minutes from time when Les Barr netted with a 25 yard drive. However that goal spurred on Albion more than Montrose and within four minutes, they had restored their lead through Willie Irvine, who sealed the two points with his second goal a further four minutes on. For Montrose, defeat at Annfield Park meant that their reign at the top of the league lasted only three days with Alloa returning to pole position after winning at Dumfries.
· Montrose were keen to get back on the promotion rails with the visit of Arbroath on March 2nd. They had received a boost in the midweek when Dunfermline defeated Alloa 3-1 at East End Park, leaving Alloa and Montrose on 39 and 38 points respectively, with the Pars on 33 but with a game in hand. The first-half provided little entertainment for the 800 fans but in its latter stages Montrose at least began to pose some semblance of an attacking force, though probably not enough to avoid a half-time roasting from Ian Stewart. Certainly they came out for the second-half like a side possessed and eventually went ahead on the hour through Sheran. With twelve minutes left, Montrose went two up with a superb goal started from left-back by Duffy. Man of the Match Lennox took over and sprayed a great crossfield pass out to Bennett who laid the ball back for Barr to cross for Somner to head powerfully home. Substitute Allan latched on to a Forbes through ball with two minutes left to put the match beyond doubt. Victory increased the gap over Dunfermline who surprisingly lost at home to Cowdenbeath.
· The following Saturday Montrose travelled to Dumfries, rarely a happy hunting but somewhat against the run of play the visitors took the lead, Somner sweeping the ball home after a careless back-pass rebounded from the bar. However Queens grabbed an equaliser in the 26th minute when Duffy pulled down Muir as he cut into the box from the wing and Cloy gave Charles little chance from the spot. There was no further scoring but Montrose had failed to beat the Doonhamers in four meetings that season.
· There was then a tough midweek trip to Stirling Albion to be faced and the visitors were behind within two minutes though they were level by half-time courtesy of that deadly combination, the Barr cross and Somner header. After the interval Montrose were the more dangerous side and looked like they were going to head home with a valuable point but Stirling, the form side in the league at that time, put paid to that with two late goals in the 87th and 90th minutes.
· The team was on the road again on Saturday 16th, this time to East Stirling. The match was hampered by strong wind and chances were few and far between. A disappointing 0-0 draw meant that Montrose had only taken two points from their last three matches. However they remained well placed in the Championship hunt, lying two points behind leader Alloa after 31 matches. Dunfermline were six points further adrift but had two games in hand For Montrose though, their next match would truly be the most important of the season, the visit of Alloa to Links Park on 23rd March.
· The Gable Endies took to the field v Alloa wearing the new strips sponsored by Mackie for Renault. Tensions were high in the opening stages and though Montrose dominated, Alloa had their chances. Goalless at half-time, Montrose eventually got the goal their pressure merited in the 61st minute. McLelland's free-kick was flicked on by Somner and Allan headed home from six yards. And only four minutes later the match was effectively sealed. A Wright header was handled on the line by a defender and Steve Lennox made no mistake from the spot. The victory took Montrose level on points with Alloa at the top of the league and a delighted Ian Stewart considered his team well-placed for the Championship with four of their last six matches at home.
· Inclement weather saw Montrose out of action until the visit of Stranraer on April 13th. Once again it seemed that a half-time rollicking from the manager was required to get the Gable Endies performing to the required standard. They returned to the field a transformed side and were ahead within a minute. Allan cut in from the left and smashed a shot against the bar but the rebound was picked up by Mark Bennett who steered the ball home. And it was 2-0 in 54 minutes, Les Barr yet again crossing for Doug Somner to send a diving header into the net. The visitors pulled one back on shortly thereafter Montrose had to hold on grimly for the last half-hour but the two points gained proved highly valuable, as Alloa had been thrashed at Albion Rovers and so the Gable Endies went two points clear at the top of the league and with a game in hand over the Wasps who had also last to Raith the week before.
· The following Tuesday there was a visit to Berwick for a match postponed from late March due to snow. Special arrangements were made to whisk Martin Allan from Edinburgh Airport to the ground after spending the day on a business trip to the south-east. Unfortunately despite the best efforts of director Glenn Millar, Allan failed to make kick-off. That did not seem to hinder matters early on and Somner put the Endies ahead from a Forbes cross. However despite dominating proceedings no further goals were forthcoming and by the end Montrose were resorting to time-wasting tactics, before Duffy was sent-off for a foul. After the match Ian Stewart expressed his concern that the team had not shown their normal discipline (with a couple of earlier bookings for dissent) - perhaps due to the pressure of being leaders?
· Looking at the run-in, there was one match which stood out as being particularly difficult - the trip to Dunfermline on April 20th. Montrose were leading on 48 points, with Alloa in second place on 44 and Dunfermline in third with 43 points, all sides having played 34 matches. Cowdenbeath and Stenhousemuir were held in fourth place with 41 points from 35 matches. Three supporters' club buses journeyed down the M90. Buses were also run by other organisations in the town and coupled with independent travellers, this ensured that Montrose were backed by their biggest away support in years. Both sides had their chances and if truth be told, the Gable Endies rode their luck a little in the first-half. For much of the second-half there was little for the 2,850 crowd to get excited about and Montrose were happy to return north with a point, especially as Alloa had lost 3-1 at home to East Stirling, giving the Gable Endies a clear five point lead at the top.
· Next up at Links Park were Albion Rovers in a rearranged match on the evening of Tuesday 23rd April. That same evening, Dunfermline were at home to Raith Rovers and third placed Alloa at home to Berwick Rangers. The Gable Endies knew that if they won and their two main challengers lost, it would be Division One football at Links Park the following season. The homesters had numerous chances to score but were denied on by good goalkeeping, the woodwork and shear hard luck. The game must have been one of the most exciting goalless draws the 850 in attendance will ever have seen. As the players trooped off the pitch, news came through that Dunfermline had been beaten 3-2 by Raith but Alloa had drawn 0-0, so it seemed that the Gable Endies had not yet secured promotion. Ian Stewart had been getting on to his players after the match when Doug Somner tumbled upon the fact that because Alloa and Dunfermline still had to meet each other, only one of those teams could exceed the Gable Endies points tally and so Montrose were promoted back to the First Division for the first time since 1979. Ian Stewart remained modest amid the victory celebrations stating his relief that promotion had been achieved. "I'm pleased for the clubs directors, delighted for the players and hope I've repaid the Montrose public for their support." Despite his modesty, there could be no doubt that Stewart was the main reason for the club's success, having taken them from second bottom of the league at the time of his appointment in December 1983 to promotion in the space of just sixteen months, having spent only £500 on players (Martin Caithness) and having picked up Doug Somner and Steve Lennox (now interesting Liverpool, Arsenal and Hearts) on free transfers.
· The visit of Queen's Park on 27th April gave Montrose the chance to secure the Second Division Championship. Traveling with the Queens Park party was the Second Division Trophy under the guardianship of David Letham, Queen's Park director and president of the Scottish Football League, ready to present the trophy if Montrose could get the necessary two points to clinch the title. As often happens in these situations, the visitors were keen to spoil the party and took the lead in their first attack. Montrose were showing untypical slackness at the back and the second-half opened exactly as the first, Nicholson rising to head home a within a minute. Stevie Ross was in inspired form in the Spiders goal and though Caithness pulled a goal back in the 71st minute, Montrose's hopes of taking anything from the match were scuppered when Carruth curled home a free-kick four minutes later. On full-time Queen's secured an emphatic victory with a fourth, leaving Montrose looking to take two points from their final two matches to be sure of the title.
· Montrose looked to clinch Second Division title at the second time of asking at home to Stenhousemuir on May 4th. They started the match in determined fashion but again they just couldn't find the net and for the third time in four matches, the Gable Endies were held to a 0-0 draw. However it mattered not as just as the game came to an end, chairman Willie Johnston emerged from the stand to give the thumbs up sign, following a telephone call to Alloa which confirmed that Alloa and Dunfermline had also drawn 0-0, meaning that Montrose were the 1984/85 Division Two Champions. As the crowd gathered in front of the stand, captain Chic McLelland stepped forward to receive the league championship trophy, the club's first major honour in its 106 year existence. Manager Stewart tried to deflect the attention from himself, reserving the major plaudits for his players. He said, "My players deserve a great deal of credit, as 1 think they are made to work harder here than anywhere. They have worked hard to become a fit and well organised side and it could not have been easy for them. They are a very level-headed bunch". The players' attitude was summed up by Ray Charles who played throughout the Stenhousemuir match with a foot injury but still kept a clean sheet, his 18th of the season. Only Jim Leighton had more with 20. After the match Charles and the rest of his team-mates headed to the Queen Street Social Club to celebrate with the fans.
· The pressure of securing the title now released, there was a real carnival atmosphere for the final match of the season at Raith Rovers. The game would be no formality though as Raith were looking to break a 38 year' old club record and record ten victories in a row. Despite this Ian Stewart rewarded some of his fringe players with a game. Both sides were keen to play attractive football and Montrose took the lead midway through the first-half.. Les Barr who had been a rock in defence all season and a very effective attacker too, swung in another excellent cross from the right and Tony Duffy bulleted home the header for his first goal of the season. Raith equalized from the penalty spot but the introduction of Colin O'Brien midway through the second half was to have a marked effect on the game. He made an early impact by creating space on the left before putting in a simple cross for Martin Caithness to head home. Bennett then put Caithness in to slip the ball past McLafferty for his ninth goal of the season, leaving him as second top scorer behind Doug Somner on 12. In the dying minutes, Ian Stewart sent on injury plagued former stalwart Dougie Robb to give him a taste of the victory celebrations and overall the 3-1 win was a fitting end to a marvellous and historic season.
© Barry Mitchell