Published: 01/05/2007 00:00 - Updated: 25/11/2011 21:25

Leitch quits after County go down

Ross County boss Scott Leitch has left the club after defeat to Gretna condemned his side to Second Division football next season.
Ross County boss Scott Leitch has left the club after defeat to Gretna condemned his side to Second Division football next season.

ROSS Countys seven-year stint in Scottish footballs First Division is over and so is Scott Leitchs tenure at Victoria Park. The 37-year-old, who only took charge of County just over 12 months ago, resigned yesterday morning less then 48 hours after Saturdays defeat by champions Gretna consigned the Dingwall side to Second Division football next season. Leitch had confirmed over the weekend he would speak to the board about his future on Monday, but after a meeting with the clubs director of football George Adams, he decided to hand in his resignation. A short statement sent out by Ross County confirmed the former Motherwell midfielder had quit Victoria Park, with Adams citing private and personal reasons behind Leitchs decision to go. I had a meeting with Scott this morning and he intimated his wish to resign his position due to private and personal reasons, he said. I respect his decision and thanked him for his time at the club. Despite leading County to Challenge Cup success the first national cup trophy the club had won since it joined the Scottish League Leitch was unable to prevent automatic demotion to Division Two. Requiring a victory over Gretna to have any chance of reaching the relegation play-offs on Saturday, the Dingwall side suffered defeat as James Gradys last-gasp winner ensured the visitors ended the season with the title. Victory for County, however, would have been in vain as fellow strugglers Airdrie United ran out convincing 3-0 winners at Queen of the South. Yet it had all started so well for the home side as on-loan Celtic midfielder Michael Gardyne scored to put County in front on the half-hour. Four minutes later and Gretna were back on level terms, with Nicky Deverdics scoring from close range to keep their championship hopes alive. With three minutes to go until half-time, a composed finished by veteran striker Grady sent the visiting support delirious, but they were silenced on 49 minutes when Diarmuid OCarroll scrambled home an equaliser for County. By then, however, it was all but certain that County were doomed to Division Two and Gretna piled on the misery as Gradys injury-time winner sparked off mass celebration amongst the visiting contingent, their cheers ringing in the ears of a dejected home support as they trooped out of Victoria Park. For Gretna, the future looks bright with SPL football now secured, but it is far more uncertain for the Dingwall side. Despite having a successful youth system in place, they may have to consider a return to part-time football in order to survive. ROSS COUNTY Samson; McCulloch, Moore, Dowie, Keddie, Adams (Gunn 87), Gardyne, OCarroll, Shields (Higgins 65), Cowie, Morgan (Scott, 46). Subs unused: Tomei, Robertson. Booked: Moore, Keddie, Dowie. GRETNA Malkowski; Cowan, Skelton, Nicholls (Paarpalu 59), Canning, Grainger, McGill (Baldacchino 74), ONeil, McMenamin (Graham 59), Grady, Deverdics. Subs unused: MacFarlane, Fleming. Booked: Nicholls. Attendance: 6216. Referee: I. Brines.

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