Apr 6 2011 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge
PAUL MARTIN dedicated Albion Rovers’ stunning win over Arbroath to stricken striker Iain Smith, writes Colin Paterson.
The Coatbridge gaffer admits the 31-year-old’s season is over after he suffered a serious head injury in training recently.
Ex-Fauldhouse United hitman Smith, who has scored three goals this term, was accidentally whacked in the face and sustained a shattered jaw and a broken nose.
He was due to go under the knife yesterday (Tuesday) but was at Cliftonhill on Saturday to cheer on his teammates to a resounding 3-0 win.
Martin told Advertiser Sport: “I have never known or seen an injury like it and I feel really sorry for him. He broke every bone in his face and has had to have it all pinned.
“It’s hard for us all to take as Iain is a really popular player in the dressing room and been an important part of the squad.
“For his first season as a professional to end like this is hard to take.
“We dedicate this win to Iain who is getting ready for a serious operation and anything we do over these next few weeks will be dedicated to him.”
Martin was delighted with his side as they notched up a 15th league win of the season but admits there is a lot of work to be done if Arbroath are to be overhauled.
“I felt confident that we were going to win the game and that’s what we did,” the manager added.
“This is an excellent result and it’s great for a club of our size to still be up there.
“But Arbroath are in the box seat although we’ve opened the door a wee bit for ourselves.”
Rovers always looked comfortable at the weekend but Martin reckoned his side’s overall performance wasn’t anything to write home about.
However, he paid tribute to a sterling defensive effort with Smokies player-boss Paul Sheerin and the prolific front pairing of Gavin Swankie and Steven Doris kept quiet for the 90 minutes.
He said: “I thought we were bang average in the first half but managed to take some of our chances.
“Big Derek Gaston made a good save at 1-0 and that was important as goals change everything.
“I felt Arbroath had more possession in this game than they did in the previous two games but we were able to snuff out their two strikers – and their manager.”