ECSTATIC fans joined Rovers players and coaches on the pitch at Cliftonhill yesterday to get the party started after their final home game of the season.
DARREN YOUNG insists champions Albion Rovers showed what they are all about – by fighting back before getting the title party started.
Supersub Ally Love earned Rovers a share of the spoils on the day they lifted silverware after Bobby Linn looked to have won it for Arbroath.
Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’ was played over the tannoy system at full time with the squad introduced individually to the crowd before skipper Mick Dunlop hoisted the trophy into the air.
Ecstatic fans ended up on the pitch with the players who happily posed for selfies – and Young was delighted to avoid defeat before they hit Glasgow last night.The rookie player/manager said: “We were disappointed to concede the goal but showed great heart and desire to get an equaliser.
“That’s what we have been about all season. We’ve worked hard and I think our success is well deserved.
“I think there is a sense of relief that we have got over the line and also a realisation at what a great achievement this is for us.
“Getting the trophy is what this day has been all about. We’ve been looking forward to it and it’s great to be able to celebrate with the fans and see how happy everyone is.
“It has been a great season for the club and we’re all looking forward to going up a division.”
Hitman Mark McGuigan was part of Partick Thistle’s First Division title-winning team in 2013 – now he’s pocketing a second championship medal.
The 26-year-old smiled: “This is brilliant – absolutely incredible. I’m a bit lost for words just now.
“At Thistle, I was a squad player so this one means that wee bit more as I’ve played a lot of games and you feel as if you’ve contributed.
“This is what it is all about and it’s great to have the fans on and get them involved.
“We will enjoy this. People have said that we’ve got to soak it all in and I can assure you we will!”
Rovers had waited 26 years for this – and they were determined to make the most of the occasion.
Red-and-yellow flags fluttered from lampposts outside the ground while bunting was draped along the roof of the main stand.
Arbroath’s players formed a guard of honour for the champions before kick-off with a near-capacity crowd keen to get the shindig started in the Coatbridge sunshine.
Both sides were industrious during a game which lacked a spark with the home fans counting down to the title presentation.
Rovers came close through TJ McCluskey and Eddie Ferns before keeper Neil Parry pulled off a good save to deny Simon Murray at the other end.
Linn broke the deadlock with just four minutes left when he converted at the back post.
But Love fired home in the first minute of injury time to deny Arbroath a first win in seven games.
Smokies boss Todd Lumsden said: “The objective was to not get beat and it’s all about the play-offs for us.”