Peter Grant dismisses Dunfermline vendetta as he targets promotion with Queen's Park after injury nightmare

There may have been an element of karma about Peter Grant helping Queen's Park to relegate the Dunfermline side who sacked his father earlier in the season.

But the former Falkirk defender insists his emotional celebrations on the final whistle after the 1-0 win at East End Park in the Championship play-off semi-final on Saturday were nothing to do with any personal vendetta against the Pars.

Peter senior was subjected to fierce criticism from the Dunfermline support to the extent that the board released a statement condemning fans for their "unacceptable conduct" before relieving the former Alloa boss of his duties in October and replacing him with John Hughes.

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However, Grant junior, who returned to action in February after a 10 month injury lay-off, was only interested in helping his own side take another major step towards promotion, which they did thanks to Simon Murray's 89th minute winner claiming a 1-0 aggregate win to ensure the Spiders progressed to the Championship play-off final, where they will face Airdrie for the right to play in the second tier next season, with the first leg taking place at Firhill tonight.

“My emotions at the end were nothing to do with what happened to my dad at Dunfermline. That’s nothing to do with me, it’s his career and this is mine," Grant explained.

“How I felt on Saturday was all about what was at stake in such a huge game of football.

“After having a tough ten months coming back from injury, after battling back to be playing football again, these are the moments it’s all about.

“But the real emotion was for how hard this team have worked, this fantastic bunch of boys with a staff who have great belief in us.”

Queen's Park defender Peter Grant slides into a challenge on Dunfermline's Liam Polwarth during the Championship play-off semi-final second leg at East End Park. (Photo by Sammy Turner / SNS Group)

Grant’s recovery from his latest injury nightmare would make promotion all the sweeter. The 28-year-old missed a large chunk of the season after getting injured on the night Queen’s won the League Two title last April. It was his third long-term absence having previously ruptured his cruciate as a teenager at Peterborough and with Falkirk in 2015.

“It’s never easy being injured, whether it’s for a month or ten months, but I always find a way to fight back. Some days you’re stuck in the gym, looking at four walls and it’s hard, but in your head it’s always about being back involved in the kind of situations we’re in now.

“I’ve had so much help from physio Ewan Duffy and the other fitness staff as well as the support of all the player and I’m forever in debt to all of them.

“A footballer career’s so short that you have to enjoy these moments, you have to put everything you have into them.

“Everyone knows the ambitions this club has and it’s great to be part of, you have too thrive on it. But first and foremost, you do it for yourself, to get the best out of yourself.”

Airdrie, who finished 21 points ahead of Queen's in the table, go into the tie on the back of a titanic battle against Montrose that saw the other play-off semi-final go to extra-time in the second leg before they prevailed 6-5 on aggregate.

Grant added: “We’re only halfway. We have a massive opportunity to replicate what we’ve achieved over the two games with Dunfermline. We dust ourselves down and we go again."

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