Montrose stars wrote themselves into the club’s history books with only their second title success in 139 years as they held on to a crucial draw against Elgin City to claim the League 2 trophy.
Jamie Redman’s second half strike – which cancelled out a Shane Sutherland opener – was enough to help the Angus side win their first piece of major silverware since they won the old Third Division in 1985.
And while the success will kick off the biggest party in the Angus town for almost four decades, manager Stewart Petrie revealed the stars from yesteryear were the inspiration behind this year’s success.
“Before the game we showed our squad the list of players from 1984-85 when we last won the league,” said Petrie. “We then turned the page round to show them how old they were and there are only four who don’t qualify for a free bus pass.
“That’s just how often league titles come round for clubs like Montrose and why the players have every reason to be bursting with pride right now.
“It’s been an incredible season for the club and I’m delighted for all the people at the club – both players and behind the scenes.
“It’s not about me or what I’ve done. It’s about them and the people of Montrose who can have one big party.”
The home side started well and only some superb saves from Elgin keeper Iain Ross blocked them from getting the early goals they needed to ease the nerves.
Firstly Ross got down to superbly turn around a 25-yard Lewis Milne free-kick. Then he was again the hero with an even better save to deny Terry Masson. This time Milne was the provider as his clever flick sent Masson clear. Masson aimed for the top corner but Ross somehow reached the ball and turned it round.
At the other end, Allan Fleming was keeping the hosts in it with some superb blocks of his own.
He twice denied Elgin’s Brian Cameron. He got his body behind a 15 yard strike from Cameron then turned round the midfielder’s 20 yard strike.
The hosts appeared to grow in confidence as the first half wore on, knowing that Peterhead’s lead over Edinburgh City meant they needed at least a draw to win the league.
However, they were dealt a major blow with the final kick of the first half as Sutherland’s curling free-kick found the bottom corner.
At that stage, the SPFL helicopter was heading to Peterhead with the title trophy, leaving Montrose 45 minutes to divert it back to Links Park.
And they needed just five second half minutes as Redman pounced on a loose ball in the 18 yard box to blast home and spark huge celebrations amongst the 2,000 Montrose fans.
Suddenly the hosts began to believe again and it took more heroics from Ross to turn round a Liam Callaghan strike.
Montrose peppered the Elgin goal with corners but with man-of-the-match Masson coming closest with a 15-yard strike they couldn’t end the day with a win.
It didn’t matter, though, as a point was all they needed to cap a historic title success and they will be playing League 1 football next term.