Football fervour is set to reach fever pitch in Arbroath this week as the town’s football club eyes a money-spinning promotion to the Scottish Championship.
Fans were put through the wringer at home to Montrose on Saturday when they thought their side had all but won the League One title thanks to a Ricky Little goal against their Angus rivals.
But celebrations at Gayfield were short-lived when title rivals Raith Rovers spoiled the party by scoring an equaliser against Stenhousemuir in the dying seconds of their crunch tie.
The result meant the champagne had to be put on hold but loyal supporters are now preparing for a mass exodus through Angus to Brechin, and hoping the corks will be popping in their favour at Glebe Park.
With four games remaining, it is all to play for for the Lichties, who need only one point to secure the title and elevation to the second tier of Scottish football for the first time since 2003.
Tutties Arbroath Supporters Club chairman Allen Innes is rallying the troops to get behind the team.
And with the supporters’ bus full, he is hoping there will be a convoy of cars ferrying the faithful.
He said: “We have a very loyal travelling support of between 100 and 150, but we normally have between 500 and 600 who go to Brechin, Forfar or Montose.
“I think we could have over 1,000 supporters on Saturday.”
Promotion to the Championship could see the Lichties coming up against full-time sides Dunfermline, Morton and Queen of the South and with the enticing possibility of both Dundee and Dundee United spending next season in the second tier.
Allen continued: “We would be up among the big boys. It is good for supporters to tick off football grounds they have never been to.
“If the team goes up, it is good for the town, everybody benefits as there is a real buzz.”
Club chairman Mike Caird stressed victory was “not quite there yet” and said the club was taking “one game at a time”.
“We are keeping our heads together,” he said.
“We have been there before a number of seasons ago and have had two spells in the old Scottish First Division, the last under John Brownlie from 2001-03.
“We hope the supporters will get behind the club and cheer the boys along next week.”
Arbroath FC is also laying on a supporters bus – those interested can contact the club via its website or phone 01241 872 157.