Bo’ness United midfielder Ross Philp believes the Super League title challengers have to go out and win all of their remaining ten league games to have a chance of ending the season as champions.
The Newtown Park men are a point ahead of Bonnyrigg Rose at the league summit, although their title rivals have three games in hand. Last season’s champions Kelty Hearts are also in the hunt for the championship, they sit third, six points behind Bo’ness but they too have three games extra.
The BUs visit the Fife outfit tomorrow, and it’s a match which has taken on more significance according to former Kelty man Philp after Bo’ness were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Musselburgh Athletic last weekend with both of their title challengers on cup duty.
He said: “It’s an even bigger game for us now after dropping points last week. We are six ahead and they’ve got three games in hand, so at least if we beat them it cancels out that game in hand. We need to win anyway, if they were to beat us it would certainly be an uphill task. I think we certainly need to win all our remaining games [to have a chance of winning the league].
“We’re going to need Bonnyrigg to drop points anyway. I don’t think we can afford to drop any more points, especially in the next couple of weeks. It was a missed chance last week especially with them both playing in the cups.”
The 24-year-old departed Central Park prior to Kelty’s historic title-winning campaign as they won the top tier for the first time. Philp had to endure taunts from his former team-mates as they lifted the title, the midfielder having been bombarded by texts and phonecalls as Bo’ness lost out in the race.
Former Alloa youth player Philp did enjoy three victories over his former club last season, twice in the league and once in the Scottish Junior Cup and he’s eager to prove that he made the right decision in making the switch by getting another victory tomorrow.
“It’s one of those ones you want to win because it’s your former team and I obviously left then they won the league, so you are sort of trying to prove yourself that you’ve made the right decision,” he said. “I’m quite happy that I moved, it was the right thing to do at the time. I’ve not been beaten since I left so that kind of vindicates my decision a wee bit.
“I still speak to three or four of the boys, it’s always a laugh before the game but then it gets serious. I never left having fallen out with anyone or anything like that. It was probably the first team I had gone to where I wasn’t the youngest one in the team and I knew folk when I went. When I was at Alloa before, although you are part of the team it’s a totally different feeling – it probably comes from a lot of nights out and because I was in the first team early at Alloa I wasn’t old enough to go out half the time so I sort of missed out on all of that.”
Kelty will still be smarting from their Junior Cup exit to fellow Super League side Camelon last week, with the Mariners securing a 4-1 win over Tam Courts’ men. The sides drew 0-0 at Newtown Park earlier in the season and Philp is expecting another close encounter.
He added: “It’s always tight, we generally don’t concede many goals and they are sort of the same – it’s always going to be close. The games last season were like that. We won one of the games 2-0, we scored one then scored another right after it but there weren’t many chances in the game.
“It’s not what you think it’s going to be, it’s not going to be a 3-3 or a 3-2 or whatever. We’re probably going to be more cautious because we can’t really afford to lose but in a way they are probably going to be the same. We cancelled each other out earlier in the season, it was one neither team wanted to lose.”