Rovers return for Waugh in Play-Off Final showdown

Posted on Friday, May 12th, 2023

All roads lead to Ainslie Park on Saturday in the latest stop in the journey for Douglas Samuel’s Spartans side in their quest for Pyramid promotion.

One man keen to get back on the pitch and put his 180 minutes of hard yards to help the cause is Vice-Captain Kevin Waugh.

The talismanic centre back is set to return to the heart of the home defence after suspension following his dismissal against Brechin City two weeks ago in the opening tie of the play-off semi final.

Waugh, a former Scotland Age-Grade Internationalist, was forced to watch the pulsating second leg at the Hedge from the stand – an experience that he’s not keen to replicate any time soon.

“It was a real mix of emotions last week as you can imagine.  I started off the day feeling ok but became more and more nervous as kick-off approached.  Not because of any lack of belief in the boys going out to the job required, but because I couldn’t affect or impact the outcome of the game. 

“My heart rate was through the roof and I’m convinced I’ve lost about three years of my life watching that game!  It was a rollercoaster of emotions and I’m just glad in the end that we got over the line. We never do anything the easy way!

“I think the character of the boys when it went to 3-2 Brechin was incredible.  To lose two goals in quick succession and to be able to turn the tide in the game when they’re on the front foot with such a big home crowd behind them was incredible.”

Undoubtedly one of the first names on the Gaffer’s mind come team selection each week, Waugh, who moved to North Edinburgh from Berwick Rangers in the summer of 2021, is looking forward to another incredible atmosphere inside Ainslie Park in one of the club’s biggest games in it’s history.

“We’re going to need that big local, vocal support on Saturday with the crowd behind us again.  We are under no illusions that Albion Rovers are a good side.  I believe they’ve got the highest points tally for ‘Club 42’ since the start of the play-offs so we know it’s going to be tough but the bottom line is that we know what we’ve got in our changing room, so we don’t really want to be focussing too much on anything other than ourselves and what we can do.”

Whilst the travelling Spartan Army were singing and banging their drums at Glebe Park long after the whistle last Saturday, the celebrations in the sheds were a little bit more subdued and, for Waugh, rightly so.

“There was a sense of us only being at a half-way stage in this journey at full time last week but you have to enjoy those moments though.

“Over the course of the two games and after me getting sent off in the first half of the home leg, the work put in by the boys with just 10 men to get the 1-0 win was exceptional but we couldn’t celebrate that win really at all.

“To then go through the wringer almost in a tough game in Brechin, you have to celebrate victory what with it being such a hard tie, but not too much however as the task is only half done.

“We have to go through that work rate, if not more to get through this next one and put the club into where we believe it should be and where we really want to go.”

The 25 year old, who started his footballing career across the capital with Hibs, offered a smile as he added, “I can’t wait and I’ll be making sure I don’t get sent off, that’s for sure, as I can’t sit in the stand and watch another one of those games!!  

Supporter News

Ticket prices for the Play-Off Final are £10 Adults and £7 Concessions (OAP, student and 16 to 18).  We continue to offer affordable football for all and all U16s can watch for free.  Season Tickets are not valid for this play-off fixture.

There will be a pay at the gate option however advance purchases via Fanbase here will save time at the turnstiles.  With a bumper crowd anticipated, please do help fan flow by coming along early. 

Match Programmes are £2 and there will be a chance to get lucky with our half time raffle too.

Weather forecast is for 18 degrees come kick-off time so please remember your Factor 40!  Spartans t-shirts and sports caps will be available at the merchandise hut.

We want all supporters to enjoy the game in a grown-up fashion and no segregation is in place. The Newtown Roofing and Building Stand will be our family space.

Mascots are being provided by the Under 10 Douglas (girls), 2014 Dishington and 2013 Allan (boys) teams.

Kick-off is 3.00pm. 

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 27th April
Opponent: Peterhead
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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