Tayport reflect on successful 12 months

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TAYPORT’S Scottish Junior Cup tie against Petershill was postponed for the fourth time last Saturday.

Indeed, the entire junior football card was frozen off, and with Christmas Day and New Year’s Day to come, there is no prospect of any fixtures taking place until January 8.

So, Tayport’s 2010 is at an end. Looking back, it must be said that while not matching the glory years, the club had a successful 12 months.

Most importantly, ‘Port managed to achieve their main goal of promotion back to the top flight of the East Region set-up.

Not having made a great start to their promotion campaign, ‘Port hit real form after the turn of the year, collecting an astonishing 34 points out of 39.

After a draw at Arniston in early May, prospects of had remained rather bleak, but five successive wins took Willie Garner’s men beyond rivals Kinnoull and Forfar West End.

DRAMATIC

A 2-1 win at Tulloch Park, with goals from Ronnie Kenneth and Mark Whatley, took Tayport to within touching distance of ‘Noull.

Then came a dramatic evening on the Canniepairt, when St Andrews United visited for a pivotal league match.

After a hailstorm, the visitors took a 79th minute lead and looked set to dent Tayport’s promotion hopes.

A 90th minute equaliser from Lee Bryce was the first step in what was probably Tayport’s most dramatic ever comeback.

Deep into injury-time, skipper Roberto Morris popped up to head home the winner, effectively sealing a return to the Super League.

The mission was completed at Strathmore Park on the Saturday afternoon when ‘Port met Forfar West End in a title decider.

Again, Willie Garner’s men ran out 2-1 winners, with Stefan Elvin and Ronnie Kenneth on the scoresheet.

So, Roberto Morris was soon in a position to lift the East Premier League trophy, to the loud acclaim of the Tayport contingent.

Another positive aspect to the year was the run to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Junior Cup.

After an idle January, ‘Port came out of cold storage to win a tie against Renfrew at Western Park.

The following week, Newtongrange Star were defeated on the Canniepairt, setting up a last-eight encounter against Lochee United.

STYLE

Having forced an own-goal to take the lead, Tayport went down to 10 men when David Black was red-carded.

Momentum shifted in Lochee’s favour and Gary Middleton equalised.

In the replay, the Bluebells turned on the style, to end Tayport’s run.

As far as 2010-11 is concerned, Willie Garner’s men have eased back into Super League life.

There have been some disappointing results, but ‘Port are holding their own.

The most impressive performance probably came in their last match when Kelty Hearts, with Keith Burgess in charge, were beaten 4-0.

Unfortunately, the weather has prevented Tayport from building on that win, but there is evidence to suggest that the can certainly look forward to 2011.