LAST weekend, the Premiership title challenge effectively ended as Celtic moved nine points clear of Rangers with a game in hand thanks to a 3-2 win at Ibrox.
This Saturday, another two title rivals go head to head in Scottish football – this time in League Two as North East rivals Montrose and Peterhead go head to head at Links Park.
Whilst the game doesn’t grab even a fraction of the attention the Old Firm gets, the game has just as much riding on it with both teams level on points at the top of the table, albeit the hosts have a game in hand.
The sides are separated by The Blue Toons vastly superior goal difference, helped mainly by Rory McAllister’s goals. Jim McInally’s side have hit 66 goals in total, 24 more than their closest challengers, as they seek an immediate return to League One after their shock relegation last campaign.
Montrose, on the other hand, have had a remarkable rise under the management of Stewart Petrie. Taking over in December 2016 with the club bottom of the fourth tier, Petrie guided his side to the playoffs last season, losing in the Semi Finals to Saturday’s opponents, and has the club fighting full tilt to lift the League Two title this season. For a club who needed the playoffs to survive going out of the SPFL three years ago, the fact they are even talking about promotion is incredible.
For long parts of the season, it’s looked like a two way fight between these two and it’s turned out to be the case with third placed Stirling Albion a further ten points adrift, albeit with a game in hand over The Gable Endies. Peterhead’s flamboyancy and Montrose’s doggedness has saw the North East rivals pull away from the others going into the final round of matches.
So who is most likely going to win Saturday’s crunch match billed as a title decider?
If the head to head is anything to go by, it’s a difficult call with wins for either side and a draw in the previous three encounters so far. Before having a having a flutter on League Two’s game of the day, why not check out this review of matchbook.
There is different pressure on both managers to come out on top and take a step closer to moving up to Scotland’s third tier. For McInally, he admitted he was lucky to still be at the helm at Balmoor having overseen their relegation last season, especially when some had tipped them to go UP from League One. Petrie, on the other hand, has done a remarkable job in getting Montrose into this position and he wouldn’t need to buy another pint in the town should he take them up.
Montrose v Peterhead may not be the most prestigious game this weekend in Scottish Football, but it certainly is one of the most important as one of these North East rivals looks to take a huge psychological advantage in the race for promotion. Like any other game this weekend, it’s sure to be a nervy and action packed afternoon at Links Park.