The battle to avoid relegation from the East Super League has now reached a critical stage, and tomorrow’s fixture at Newtongrange is, to all intents and purposes, a must-win match for Tayport.
Both clubs recorded draws last weekend and, at the time of writing, Newtongrange sat one point above bottom-placed ‘Port, although Star had a midweek game at title-chasing Bo’ness.
If the Canniepairt outfit could record a victory on Saturday, it would only be one small step towards safety, but making that step is vital.
New manager John McGlashan certainly believes in his squad.
“Ahead of the Forfar West End game, what Paul Reilly and I had to try to do was cram a month’s work into a couple of training sessions, without overloading the players with information, and they responded really well,” he said.
“They’re intelligent footballers and quick learners.
“That meant that we were able to introduce a new style and formation for the match.”
The gaffer was satisfied with the spirited way in which his new charges responded.
“We had a good shape throughout and the back-four were terrific,” he said.
“There was a good level of solidity there and we were never carved open at any stage.
“Our midfield dominated for at least 70 minutes, while in attacking areas, we caused them problems.”
McGlashan was also keen to pay tribute to Grant Paterson and Steven Stewart, both of whom had been part of Willie Garner’s management team.
“It must have been strange for them this past week, with the change of manager, but they’ve both been brilliant to work with and they’ve continued to show tremendous enthusiasm,” he said.
In addition, the new boss took time to praise the ‘Port support.
“The fans deserve credit as well,” he said.
“The efforts they make to follow the club shouldn’t be taken for granted and it was great to see and hear the backing they gave us.
“Some of the players commented on it afterwards, so it is appreciated.
“I look forward to seeing them again at Newtongrange on Saturday.”
Kick-off is scheduled for 2.30pm and supporters requiring further details should ‘phone the club’s newsline, on 01382 552755, or visit the website, at www.tayportfc.org
Last Saturday’s East Super League results:
Newtongrange Star 1, Bathgate Thistle 1; Bonnyrigg Rose 2, Camelon Juniors 3; Forfar West End 1, Tayport 1; Hill of Beath Hawthorn 2, Linlithgow Rose 1; Lochee United 1, Kelty Hearts 1.
Newtongrange Star v Tayport; Kelty Hearts v Musselburgh Athletic; Camelon Juniors v Hill of Beath Hawthorn; Bonnyrigg Rose v Lochee United; Bo’ness United v Forfar West End.
n Forfar West End v Tayport match report on page 46.