THAT sound you heard shortly after Euan Robertson’s full-time whistle on Saturday was the collective chorus of the country’s bookies shuffling nervously in their seats. Suddenly the story of the rank outsiders, Scotland’s own footballing fairytale, is back on again. 

Arbroath, the part-timers of Gayfield Park and Dick Campbell, are just two wins away from trips to Celtic Park, Tynecastle and Ibrox, games on the telly and, at the very least, a season in the country’s top flight.

If you’re trying to figure out just what kind of miracle this is - and it’s apt timing for one of those - think Gretna without the financially doomed shenanigans and you’re on the right sort of lines. 

No one gave Campbell’s men a sniff at the start of the season, but now, just a point behind the hot favourites Kilmarnock, they head to Rugby Park on Friday for a do or die clash that will go some way to deciding the Championship title. 

“We were odds on to go down,” said midfielder Nicky Low. “When I came in for the last six games of last season, we did really well. Then from this season we have been really brilliant.

HeraldScotland: Jack Hamilton scored a brace in Arbroath's impressive Queen of the South rout Jack Hamilton scored a brace in Arbroath's impressive Queen of the South rout

“I don’t think many teams are better than us in this league. When the fixtures came out, they’d have all been looking for part-time Arbroath. Which is fair enough. 

“We have played a season and we’re up there. So why are we not as good as anyone?”

Friday night’s footballing feast falls well and truly under the ‘mouthwatering’ category. In one corner, you’ve got Derek McInnes, the respected former Aberdeen manager, and his full-timers, featuring players of such considerable reputation it’s a wonder they’ve ended up at this level. 

In the other, you’ve got Campbell’s men, proving week-in-week-out they’re more than the sum of their parts. For Killie’s Kyle Lafferty, there’s Arbroath’s Jack Hamilton. Stephen McGinn matched by Low. Even Ash Taylor wouldn’t be a certain pick ahead of Thomas O’Brien or Ricky Little. 

Still, it remains in Killie’s hands. But the momentum could be in Arbroath’s come the last day of the season if they were to win for a second time in-a-row at Rugby Park. 

“The last few weeks we’ve been looking to claw back a couple of points to give ourselves a chance at Kilmarnock,” said former Aberdeen man Low. “We’ve beaten them twice and drawn against them. But that’s in the past now.  

“They’ll be hurting after Friday night.  

“They [Killie] started the game really well but Inverness made a few changes and deserved the win.  

“I know Derek as a friend and as a previous manager, he’ll have them fired up.  

“They’ve got a really good squad and their home form is incredible. It’s going to be a really tough game but it’s one we’re all looking forward to.”

Arbroath find themselves in such an enviable position after fighting back from 1-0 down on Saturday to defeat Queen of the South. An Ally Roy header could so easily have been too much for the nervy hosts to handle, but they proved their metal, a Jack Hamilton brace the pick of the goals as Campbell’s men saw off the Doonhamers. 

“I don’t know if it was nerves in the first 20 minutes,” said Low. “Queen of the South were a lot better than us – they got their goal deservedly.  

“I think that gave us the kick up the backside to get going. After that I thought we dominated.  

“In the second half, we were sensational.

“We started shockingly. Once we scored, you saw the backing we got. That gave the boys a lift and the nerves went.”

HeraldScotland: Dick Campbell's Arbroath have given themselves every chance of winning the Championship Dick Campbell's Arbroath have given themselves every chance of winning the Championship

While the win sets up an enticing Friday night encounter, it all but doomed the Doonhamers to League One. With just three games left in the season, they sit nine points and five goals behind both Dunfermline and Ayr United. 

In all likelihood, Queen of the South will be playing third tier football for the first time in a decade, barring their own fairytale finish to the season. What was that about miracles? 

“We’ve basically got three cup finals left and we need to win every single one of them,” said Roy. “We need to go out there and we need to believe that we can get the points.”