Last December, Stirling Albion appointed Greig McDonald as manager, making the former East Fife player Scotland’s youngest manager, aged just 29.
Just a few weeks earlier, McDonald had got engaged to his fiancée Jen and life could barely have been rosier for the rookie gaffer.
When this season’s fixture list was announced in June, McDonald realised that he would have to miss Stirling’s game against Stranraer since his wedding was already booked, but in the part-time amateur world of the Scottish Third Division, this was just one of those things.
Then, in July, the whole of Scottish football changed.
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Rangers were liquidated and denied immediate re-entry into the SPL. Instead, they were allowed to take up residence in the SFL’s bottom tier, meaning that Stranraer were promoted with Ally McCoist’s team taking over their Division Three fixtures.
So now, as McDonald should be preparing for the biggest day of his footballing career, he is instead preparing for the biggest day in his personal life in the knowledge that his Albion team will have to take to the field without him by their side.
It is the sort of farcical situation that merely serves to highlight the depths to which Rangers have plummeted this season.
But, while it is the wedding-day nightmare that just about all men fear, McDonald might see it as a blessing in disguise, having presided over a start that has seen Stirling lose five of their opening six matches and slump to the bottom of the Division Three table.
Those five defeats have come consecutively in the last five matches and so Rangers will not have a better chance to banish their away-day blues than they do this weekend.
Nevertheless, Saturday’s game is one that Rangers and their fans need no incentive to win. Stirling Albion’s chairman Dick King caused outrage among the Ibrox faithful last month when he openly posted derogatory remarks about their fans on an Albion supporters’ forum, so a first away victory in Division Three at Forthbank would be seen as sweet revenge in the eyes of many from Govan.
If Rangers can’t pick up that elusive first victory on their travels against a managerless side officially ranked as the worst in the senior game and on a run of five defeats on the spin, then you have to wonder whether it will ever happen.
Despite this, Stirling have managed to score in all but one of their league matches this season while Rangers are yet to keep a clean sheet on the road, so backing both teams to score at 5/4 could be worth a punt.
New customers who sign up with bwin qualify for a free £20 bet and using that to back both teams to score at 5/4 will return £45 if successful.
In the 3way betting market, the Gers are 3/20 to pick up all three points, while the hosts are 19/2 and the draw is 6/1.
Recommended bet: Both teams to score @ 5/4
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