James Craigen says Spartans are in a good place ahead of promotion decider

James Craigen hit the crossbar for Spartans in the first leg at Dumbarton. Picture: Mark Brown.James Craigen hit the crossbar for Spartans in the first leg at Dumbarton. Picture: Mark Brown.
James Craigen hit the crossbar for Spartans in the first leg at Dumbarton. Picture: Mark Brown.
Spartans' James Craigen is predicting a titanic battle as the Capital outfit aim to overturn a one-goal deficit and secure League One football next season.

Dougie Samuel's men host Dumbarton at Ainslie Park tonight in the second leg of the play-off final following Tuesday's narrow 2-1 loss at the Rock.

The Sons had amassed a two-goal first-half advantage before Ayrton Sonkur's spectacular effort just after the interval sparked Spartans into life. The visitors had a legitimate penalty claim waved away with Craigen also striking the crossbar as they went agonisingly close to an equaliser.

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However, former Dunfermline and Partick Thistle midfielder Craigen insists the squad are in a good place as they eye up a coveted berth in Scottish football's third tier.

The 33-year-old said: "We're happy where the tie is at. To be quite honest we're just enjoying the whole experience and living in the moment. You can get caught up in things with all the pressure that these situations come with. But with where the club has come from - the Lowland League to League Two and now with a chance to go up to League One, just the season as a whole has been great. If we go up then brilliant but if we don't we've given it a right good go.

"If we can do it, it would be right up there as one of the best moments of my career. I've had play-off heartache before so I know what it feels like. In terms of seasons, it's been incredible and I've loved every minute. Playing for a manager I've had a relationship with over 12 years - same with the chairman (Craig Graham) and I've also got some real good friends in the team as well. I think when you're coming towards the latter stages of your career and you have a good season, they tend to mean a bit more.

"Dumbarton will be desperate to get promoted too as I remember playing against them in the Championship. But we're confident in our own ability, although it's so hard to predict which way it's going to go but I know we'll give it absolutely everything and I just hope it's enough.

"To get down to the final game of the season and still be within a chance of going up, that's all we can ask for. You've got to enjoy playing in these kinds of games."

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