Club Communications

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Rovers unbeaten in last 6 home games

Albion Rovers’ 2-0 victory over Annan Athletic at Cliftonhill closed the gap on Arbroath at the top of the League 2 table to just four points. Darren Young’s side are now unbeaten in their last six home league matches, something they had managed just once in the last four years. Rovers have also recorded three consecutive clean sheets in the league in Coatbridge for the first time since 2011. Saturday’s game was the 10th time the sides had faced each other in the league at Cliftonhill, and Rovers strengthened their grip on the head-to-head record by picking up their fifth win, to Annan’s two.

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Albion Rovers 2-0 Annan Athletic

Albion took advantage of leaders Arbroath’s slip to close the gap at the top to four points with a 2-0 win against Annan.

Darren Young’s men were pushed all the way by their fourth-placed opponents, though, with victory only assured when Joshua Mullin scored on the break in stoppage time.

Annan goalkeeper Alex Mitchell denied Marc McKenzie in one-on-ones twice in the first half while Stuart McColm forced a save from Neil Parry at the other end.

McKenzie made it third time lucky when he went through on goal and slotted past Mitchell in the 51st minute.

Ryan McStay’s free-kick was kept out by Parry soon after while Kieran Brannan also made the home keeper work.

But when Annan pushed numbers forward for a corner in the dying stages, Albion broke quickly and John Gemmell set up Mullins to stroke in from close range.

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Return of ‘Pay What You Can

Albion Rovers are bringing in the New Year with the return of their much acclaimed Pay What You Can scheme this Saturday.

As a goodwill gesture to not just our fans, but also Annan’s and any neutrals out there, we are welcoming in 2015 by throwing open the gates of Cliftonhill for this Saturday’s crucial clash with Annan Athletic and asking fans to pay what they can afford or what they think the match is worth.

With the Rovers involved in a three way challenge at the top of the table for the League Two title, we’re hoping football supporters – our own and those from further afield – will be both honest and generous.

We are placing a minimum of £2 as entry and anything you want to give above that sum is entirely at your discretion – we’re even asking our incredibly loyal and generous season ticket holders to please get involved.

We rolled out the Pay What You Can initiative last season in a match against Montrose and again when we put this campaign’s Season Tickets on sale last summer – it was an overwhelming success and we thank you all for your wonderful support.

We hope you agree there have been a number of changes for the better at Albion Rovers/Cliftonhill in 2014 and we want that to continue into 2015 and beyond – we’d love to see everyone involved in this great club of ours plays their part.

We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday, but in the meantime please accept our Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2015 when it comes.

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East Stirling 1-4 Albion Rovers:- Chaplain at the double for Albion

Scott Chaplain’s first-half double helped 10-man Albion hold on to win 4-1 at East Stirling. Mark McGuigan put the visitors into an early lead and it was doubled after quarter of an hour, when Chaplain fired across goal and past Richard Barnard.

David McKenna pulled one back for the home side from the penalty spot before Chaplain found space in the box to slot in his second of the match.

The Wee Rovers’ Jamie Pollock was dismissed before the interval for abusive language and East Stirling nearly capitalised on the man advantage as Neil McCabe thrashed a good chance wide in the early stages of the second half. McKenna could have had another when he found space in the box but he sliced his effort off target. McGuigan doubled his tally eight minutes from time to seal Albion the win, which takes them up to second in Scottish League Two.

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Albion Rovers 0-0 Montrose

Albion stretched their unbeaten run to three games after playing out a 0-0 draw with Montrose in Scottish League Two.

Forward Leighton McIntosh created the first chance of the match when his rasping shot tested the hands of Rovers goalkeeper Neil Parry.

At the other end Scott Chaplain had the ball in the net for Albion but his strike was ruled out for offside.

Stuart McKenzie then had to be alert to parry away Ross Davidson’s left-footed effort inside the penalty area.

Ross McCord wasted a great opportunity to nick all three points for Montrose late on when he blazed over from close range as Albion held on for a draw.

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Terrace plans will almost double capacity

AMBITIOUS Albion Rovers hope the section, which has been constructed at the ‘Airdrie end’ of the ground, will be in use by the end of the season.

CLIFTONHILL’S capacity looks set to almost double – with new terracing built at the stadium.

Ambitious Albion Rovers hope the section, which has been constructed at the ‘Airdrie end’ of the ground, will be in use by the end of the season.

There will be space for an additional 1000 spectators, taking the capacity to just under 2500.

It’s a major development for the Main Street facility which appears to have a solid future following years of concern and patch-up jobs.

And it’s the latest in a string of improvements carried out since the summer with a disabled section built and now being utilised by fans.

Vice-chairman Michael Savage hailed the work being done by the management team of Darren Young and Sandy Clark with the players on the park and insists things are going well off it.

He said: “This season has been going well for us and let’s hope that continues.

“We’re diversifying and there are a lot of things in the pipeline which will make our fans really happy.

“The standing area is nearing completion and we’re hoping to be able to utilise it by the end of the season.

“The section will allow for 1000 extra supporters and this is one of a number of positive things happening within Albion Rovers just now. The place is buzzing.

“If we can accommodate fans and let them see the game from different perspectives, and enhance their matchday experience, then we will.

“We want to get them in the door so they can see what we have to offer.”

He added: “The disabled section has been open for a couple of games now and it is fantastic. We’re starting to see an increase in the numbers and our door is open for everyone.

“There are about 10 spaces for people to come in and be able to watch the game comfortably.”

Meanwhile, Rovers community manager Pat Rolink hopes a new club anthem will be penned thanks to a link-up with New College Lanarkshire in Coatbridge.

A 10-week project is being funded thanks to the SPFL trust and will see young people aged 14 and over learn to use instruments and write lyrics with Monklands music man Ian Strefford.

Pat said: “We all love a song and what would be great is that if it is created by our fans for our fans.

“Who knows? There might be a budding Liam or Noel Gallagher out there and we’re going to try and find them.”

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Clyde 0 – 1 Albion Rovers

Liam Cusack’s goal proved to be enough as Albion Rovers held out for victory against Scottish League Two strugglers Clyde.

Cusack opened the scoring just before the quarter-hour mark, firing home a crisp strike from a tight angle.

The hosts almost replied immediately, Euan Smith’s stinging effort kept out by goalkeeper Neil Parry.

Rovers lost the influential Cusack to injury after the break but had chances to score through Scott Chaplain.

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Young picks up League Two top boss prize

YOUNG collected the accolade just a day and had words of praise for his former coach Tommy Craig who parted company with St Mirren.

ROOKIE boss Darren Young picked up his first award yesterday – then admitted his heart went out to axed St Mirren gaffer Tommy Craig.

The Albion Rovers chief was named League Two’s manager-of-the-month for November after his side went unbeaten through five games.

Young collected the accolade just a day after former coach Craig parted company with the Buddies following a dreadful start to the season.

The 36-year-old was cutting his teeth as a young player at Aberdeen when Craig was No 2 to Roy Aitken.

The midfielder knows getting the sack is an occupational hazard no manager is immune from.

But Young had nothing but praise for Craig – and admits he picked up some pointers which are helping his own fledgling managerial career.

He said: “I’ve played under a few managers – and seen a few off!

“Going back to the start with someone like Tommy Craig and remembering things that he done when I was 16 or 17 at Aberdeen.

“It’s about using things and picking up wee ideas from guys like that which could help improve yourself and the boys and try and make better players.

“I feel for Tommy this week. It’s sad.

“He’s a great coach and a good guy but it happens all the time. It’s just the way of the world.

“It will be the same for me if we don’t win as well. The same situation comes to me and managers like myself.”

Motherwell and St Mirren are both in the market for new managers.

Young thinks the struggling Premiership pair could do worse than look down the divisions and pick up a gem from a part-time club.

Dumbarton’s Ian Murray, Stevie Aitken at Stranraer and Alloa Athletic’s Barry Smith are all highly rated and doing good jobs on tight budgets.

And Young reckons top-flight teams should stay close to home when searching for the new man to turn around their fortunes.