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Credit to Montrose - but we have right to celebrate

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Chris Jardine | 15:16 UK time, Wednesday, 26 January 2011

We've come out of our two recent away matches with four points and I'm pretty sure we would have been happy with that beforehand.

On reflection, I think the only surprise in both games was that the results didn't happen the opposite way. I felt we were a wee bit lucky to come away with a victory at Montrose and, with the chances we had at Albion Rovers on Tuesday night, were disappointed not to pick up maximum points.

Everything coming out of Montrose at the weekend showed their frustration and disappointment - and rightly so. Although the chances created in the game were limited for both sides, they certainly enjoyed the better of the possession during large chunks of the match.

We have improved the defensive side of our game recently and if you can keep a clean sheet then you're always in with a chance and we were delighted when Kevin Neilson popped up with a late winner. For me, there's no better way to win a game and, although I headed up to Aberdeen with my partner, Laura, after the game, I'm told that it was a very enjoyable journey back down the road.

The game at Cliftonhill was fairly even, but there were more chances created by both sides. I'm sure Albion themselves will be as disappointed as we were, but I just felt that we had one or two better opportunities to get that winning goal, although ultimately it wasn't to be for either side.

I caught a snippet of what Rovers manager Paul Martin was telling reporters after the game in the corridor and I couldn't argue with it; although we did have a slight disagreement during the match. That's all I'm saying on the matter and I've given him the mention I promised when we had a laugh about things after the game!

We were buoyed after the draw on Tuesday night when we got news that East Stirlingshire had managed a fantastic 5-3 victory over Arbroath. Shire have struggled a bit this season, but I think that's them now won at least three on the bounce, including their Scottish Cup win over Buckie.

There is currently an investigation going on regarding an ineligible player during the tie and they may face possible sanctions that could mean they lose their place in the competition. That would be a huge disappointment for the club as they have Brechin waiting on them in the next round. I'm sure those troubles pulled their boys together as a team on Tuesday night and it showed with a great win and five goals against an in-form Arbroath side.

I'll finish this week with a clear-the-air message to Montrose player Stephen McNally (pictured). You will see from my blog this week that I agree fully that Montrose were hard done-by in our victory at the weekend and, as I shook the players' hands after the match, I said as much to a few of them, Stephen included. I've also said that we as players were delighted with the win and we were fully entitled to celebrate a hard and important victory.

As I was coming off the pitch, our chairman, Henry McClelland, was waiting above the tunnel congratulating the players as we headed to the changing-rooms. I looked up, clenched my fist and shouted "yes" at him.

I could see Stephen standing just outside the changing-rooms and he wasn't happy as he thought that I was taunting the Montrose supporters. I can assure Stephen and anyone else that this was absolutely not the case and I'm sure the chairman would back me up as he got the same from several of the players.

The only talk I ever give back is to the Montrose fans at the opposite side of the ground that give me constant abuse about this very column, but that's just banter and it works both ways. I'm sure they know who they are!


  • Comment number 1.

    Chris, it's nice to finally see a blog written to do with the other scottish teams in the Scottish Cup for once. Nothing ever get mentioned much about the smaller teams for example, Montrose or Brechin. It all seems to do with the SPL teams - it makes it all the more interesting to read. Keep it up please Chris. :)

  • Comment number 2.

    Good blog Chris, keep it up.

  • Comment number 3.

    It's great to see the lower leagues get some representation on the BBC. Good stuff.

  • Comment number 4.

    You are right you were completely outplayed, your centre-half should have had a straight red but yet again a card happy ref of the 3rd division bottled the big decision. Did it affect the match? Of course with 15 minutes to go down to 10 men you would have settled for the draw & would not have gone anywhere near the Montrose goal.

    Must admit would rather have had the woman who was running the line as the ref because she couldn't have done worse than the bloke in the middle....

    As for McNally - wise move he is a Cage-fighter in his spare time!!!!!

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Chris

    Another good factual blog, wasting your talents - vacancy @ Sky t.v. following departure of AG - interested?

    Best wishes

  • Comment number 6.

    Chris, Shire's expulsion from the Scottish Cup is going to be the spark that wins us promotion this season. We are livid about the joke that is the SFA. Again, they have decided to make up the rules as they go along.

    You couldn't make it up! At the same meeting today the SFA made the following decision:

    Scottish FA Youth Cup match fourth round match

    Coldstream v Livingston

    The above match is to be re played after Livingston were found to have fielded a cup-tied player. Michael Scott had previously represented East Fife in a first round match. Livingston were also fined £100. The match must be re played within 14 days. All misconduct decisions from the original match stand.

  • Comment number 7.

    4 points from 2 games on the road is a good return. As said, we had the better chances but in the grand scheme of things it's a good point.
    East Stirling can feel very hard done by given the alleged circumstances. But I think the SFA give themselves little alternative having set the standards having re-written the rules last season.
    Also, feel free to check out my blog discussing the joys of lower league football on my return to watch Annan in their recent home game against Elgin:

  • Comment number 8.

    not a huge follower of scottish football as i live in england but always have a soft spot for east stirling as it wasnt long ago they would lose every week. im totally gutted for them especially as they did everything they could to register the player. its a joke that in the internet age, scotland still uses snail mail for registration instead of online methods.
    anyway, a good 4 points for annan this week and im happy to see the play off place finish is still in perfect reach.

  • Comment number 9.

    Thanks to every one of you for taking the time to comment this week.

    jolomo - I was speaking to both McNally and Scooby after the incident you're referring to and I said at the time that big Peter would be lucky to escape a red card. However, Scooby did say to me that after the initial tackle he had kicked out at our player. I didn't really see that at the time, perhaps you did? Maybe both players could have been red carded?

  • Comment number 10.

    jpannan - very kind once again but I'm concentrating too much on this blog and chasing promotion for the time being!

    EastStirlingshire - everyone should be treated the same in my eyes and this must make the club even more frustrated. I also agree with d0ntask that it's incredible we don't have alternative methods for this type of thing.

    keith451 - I'll check out that blog of yours. Thanks for the post.

  • Comment number 11.

    It was a tough one to call for the double yellow however the ref did lose control of the situation a bit. He was the closest of the officals yet asked the linesman who didn't have a a great view of the incident.

    Thought you were winding up the home fans when you went off the pitch.

    As said its all good banter for your blog and I think there has been a fair few stick that in your blog Jardine shouted from myself.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    Jolomo is raging rofl.

    It's Montrose v Annan it means nothing.What was the crowd about 150 if that.

  • Comment number 14.

    Ach don't take any nonsense fae that McNally!

    Here's what to say to calm the troubled waters: "Stephen, I have a clear-the-air message for you - ah'm gonnae clear the air between ma fist an' your face! Noo geez peace!"

    Be nair mair trouble from him after that, you'll see.


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