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Super Ally ends Ten-in-a-Row

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It was a goal celebrated wildly in a small corner of Ibrox – as well as on the other side of Glasgow.

Twenty-two years ago, Celtic and Rangers were going head-to-head in the race for the Scottish Premier League title.

And Kilmarnock would have a big say in the eventual destination of the championship trophy as they continued their own pursuit of a European place.

On Saturday, May 2, 1998, Bobby Williamson’s men faced Rangers in what was, at the time, Light Blues boss Walter Smith’s Ibrox farewell.

Rangers trailed leaders Celtic by a point and knew a win would put huge pressure on their rivals 24 hours later when they travelled to Dunfermline Athletic.

Depending on what side of the divide they were sitting, it was all about setting a record-breaking 10-in-a-row – or stopping it.

For Killie, and the huge travelling army of fans who made the short trip up the A77, another taste of European football was the prize if a successful end to the season could be delivered.
 
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Killie players celebrate (Image: Daily Record)

Gers star Brian Laudrup dragged a shot wide in the first half with Mark Reilly off target for Killie at the other end.

In the second half, Gus MacPherson, of all people, was clean through but his low shot was saved by keeper Antti Niemi.

Mark Roberts then came close with a flashing drive across goal.

Meanwhile, Gordon Marshall pulled off a brilliant save to deny Laudrup, who later crossed for Richard Gough but his header was well held by the Killie No 1.

The key moment arrived in injury time when supersub Ally Mitchell carefully adjusted his footing to guide Kevin McGowne’s cross into the far corner of the net.

Killie’s players and fans were jubilant in the afternoon sun – and, ultimately, victorious.

Speaking to BBC Scotland after the match, delighted Killie boss Williamson said: “It’s great.

“The supporters were out in their numbers, the players did their job and we’ve got a great three points in our Euro quest.

“A lot of people suggested we would lie down to Rangers but we’re professionals and we can’t do that, Dunfermline won’t do that and they will make it hard for Celtic.

“If you’ve got to defend, you’ve got to defend properly and we defended well. When we were allowed to attack, we made the most of it.”

Killie captain Ray Montgomerie added: “We had a little taste of glory last year when we won the Scottish Cup and tasted Europe for the first time in a long time and we’d like more of that.

“I suppose there was a lot of pressure on Rangers but as I said earlier, I wasn’t too concerned with Rangers, I was more concerned with how we done.”

 

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(Image: Daily Record)

For the record, Wim Jansen’s Celtic fluffed their lines the next day as they drew 1-1 with the Pars.

Another sub, this time Craig Faulconbridge, popped up with an equaliser for Dunfermline to cancel out Simon Donnelly’s first-half opener.

There would be no slip-ups on the final day, however, as goals from Henrik Larsson and Harald Brattbakk ensured a title-winning 2-0 victory over St Johnstone, rendering Rangers’ 2-1 success at Dundee United meaningless.

Defeat for Saints clinched fourth spot and a UEFA Cup place for Killie, who wrapped up with a 1-1 draw at home to relegated Hibernian.

Interestingly, all top-flight final-day games kicked off at 3pm on the Saturday with no live television coverage. You had to be content with following every kick of the ball on the radio.

Won’t see those days again!

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/ayrshire/rangers-saw-10-row-dreams-21959191

 

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45 minutes ago, Jimmy Superscot said:

If I didn’t know he was on the pitch, that looks awfully like Gary Holt in the yellow away strip!

That is Stuart in the yellow strip. Was in my year at school. Decent guy, and was always at Killie games.

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1 hour ago, Lions13 said:

That is Stuart in the yellow strip. Was in my year at school. Decent guy, and was always at Killie games.

Yep, one of the Bosnian Bus Boys! 

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