13th November 1988
Rangers 2 Queen's Park 4 at
Our first season in the Scottish Supporters League saw us finish fourth after being the only team to complete all our games.
Having learnt from our debut season we started off well second time around and had won six out of our first seven games before a huge test arrived, Champions Rangers at
Rangers had won every game they had played the previous season, including 7-2 and 9-2 against us, and were unbeaten in two years at home in all games when we made the journey to Glasgow’s west end.
Our team had been fairly settled over the previous few games but
The team lined up as follows:- Kevin Devine; Stephen Fox (David Wilson), Robert Graham, Ronnie Burns (c) and John Donaldson; David Nisbet (Alan Raeburn), Stephen Stormonth, Gordon Hunter and Stephen McGilp; Kenny McLellan and Paul Stormonth.
“Both teams started well and, with Dawsholm being a lot tighter than Burnhill (our home pitch that season), we decided not to build from the back but instead play the ball early all the time.
“The Rangers midfield gradually got on top and, after twenty minutes, they took the lead. A quick one-two left a Rangers player free but his shot hit the bar. A forward was first to it and his shot also hit the bar. The second rebound was headed home from what looked an offside position.
“We began to push forward more and more and were putting the Rangers defence under pressure. Kenny (McLellan) wasn’t running freely due to a leg knock but was still faster than Jeff Holmes and John Peters in the home central defence.
“At last a break as we earned a penalty. Big Boab Graham found Nisby and he sent Jazza (Paul Stormonth) free only for him to be pulled down by the keeper. Stevie McGilp stepped forward but fired the ball over the bar.
“Thankfully the miss didn’t unsettle us, not even Stevie, and we kept going forward.
“Rangers were trying to unsettle Foxy’s weakness in the air due to a back injury he received early on but John (Donaldson), Ronnie (Burns)and Big Boab were there to see him through.
“At half time Foxy was forced to come off and
“Ten minutes into the half and Kenny’s knock was forgotten as he scored the equaliser. An early ball was played up the park and Kenny outpaced the defence to fire a low shot into the net to bring us level.
“This was just the boost we needed and a great run by Nisby ended with a cross to Kenny but his header came off the post and was scrambled clear for a corner. The corner was played to the front post and Jazza somehow got the ball past a pile of bodies and into the net. Jazza screamed with joy and tried to run away to celebrate but ended up slipping in the mud and his team mates piled on top of him.
“Rangers weren’t Champions for nothing though and they pushed forward in numbers and put us under pressure. Our team spirit was shining through though and we were battling for every ball.
“You could feel the tension but it became too much for Scott McKechnie of Rangers who was involved in a scuffle with Big Stormy (Stephen Stormonth). McKechnie must have snapped as he set about Stormy, head butting him, punching him then kicking him in the face. It was a nasty incident and it was a blessing that it didn’t spill over into anything worse.
“After it had all calmed down both players were sent off which was very harsh on Stormy.”
Once the incident started the Rangers crowd on the sidelines came onto the pitch and had a go at a few of our players with sly punches and kicks. Naturally nobody come on from our side !
Scott McKechnie later received a sixteen week ban due to previous indiscretions, Stormy got one week.
“Both teams forgot about the incident and kept playing the way they had been.
“Jazza was moved back into midfield and we nearly got a third when a quick break set up
“The third goal wasn’t delayed for long though as the ball was played to Stevie McGilp who glided past full back Alex Ross then brilliantly lobbed the keeper to make it 3-1.
“Rangers were still trying hard to get into the game and Maxi (Brian McElroy) was running himself into the ground but getting nothing out of Ronnie and John at the back. Beany (Gordon Hunter) was complimenting them well at right back although he was being sorely tested.
“Another Rangers attack was mopped up by Donzo (John Donaldson) who, instead of passing back to Dizzy (Kevin Devine), turned with the ball and, from inside our half, sent a wonderful seventy five yard pass to Kenny. The defence was caught out and Kenny ran on to fire the ball home to make it 4-1.
“I’ll never forget Kenny turning, punching the air and looking up to see nine white jerseys running towards him. It was all too much even for the Captain (Iain Campbell) who was seen celebrating the goal.
“Most teams would have chucked it but not Rangers and they kept going. They were still trying and John Peters ran to get the ball after the goal and returned to see the game restarted with another ball and a sub on for him !
“With only eight minutes left Maxi got his head to a cross to pull a goal back and the remaining minutes seemed to last for ever.
“In injury time Tubsy Raeburn was brought for Nisby (“good decision, by the way”) who had run himself into the ground.
“At last the final whistle blew and a famous victory was ours.
“The result against Rangers was sheer magic and everyone played their part. Special mention however must be made of the so called “old heads” Kenny, Ronnie, Davie (Nisbet) and John who held the team together because they all know the story and have been through games like this before.”
After this game we went on a fantastic run over our remaining fifteen League games, winning thirteen, drawing one (a controversial 1-1 draw with Rangers) and losing one (2-1 to Patrick Thistle).
Eventually we became Champions on Tuesday 30th May when we defeated Dundee United 2-1 at Saughton in
The following Sunday we were presented with the League Trophy at Newtongrange Juniors after we’d won the Meadowbank Tournament (a three way tourney along with Meadowbank Team’85 and
Plenty more celebrations followed this tournament but that’s a story in itself for another day.
Davie Nisbet and Neil McAllister show what winning the Championship means to them
The final words on the Rangers game go to Higgy.
“I hope this result is a stepping stone to something big. However, win, lose or draw we still look forward to a drink with the opposition after the game. As long as we remember this we will always be the winners.”