SFSA League One review

Date: 29th May 2015

HERE it is. The second part of our four-part season review for 2014/15. This season saw the title be decided on the last day of the season, as well as an exciting end to the campaign at the bottom end in the play-offs. Let’s take a look at each club individually.

AIRDRIEONIANS: Finished sixth last term and improved slightly to end the season fifth this time round, missing out on the play-offs by one point. Very strong in defence and no lack of goals saw the Diamonds end the season with a solid goal difference record; it was their inability to grind results out that saw them miss out narrowly. While Brechin were drawing games, Airdrieonians were unable to level their scores and lost three more games than City over the league campaign which ultimately cost them.

AYR UNITED: A play-off place last season meant that fans would have been optimistic of achieving a similar result this time, especially as Rangers were no longer in the division. However, the loss of Michael Moffat to Dunfermline last summer was never fully addressed and the Honest Men struggled for goals and finished eighth — with only relegated Stirling Albion and relegation play-off participants Stenhousemuir finishing with less goals.

BRECHIN CITY: Fans were not sure what to expect at the start of the season, but the club excelled and scraped in to the play-offs this time round. Ray McKinnon’s exploits as boss this season has already led to better things, as he has already departed to take up the reins at Raith Rovers. A strong league campaign, along with a fifth-round exit in the Scottish Cup, made this a season to remember for City fans. They will be looking forward to next season, but will be anxious over how the club will cope when a new manager comes in.

DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC: An extremely disappointing season for the Pars. Tipped as promotion contenders at the start of the campaign, the club did not fulfil their potential this term. After signing Michael Moffat, who was the division’s top scorer the season before, the club were not expected to struggle for goals — but they did; scoring just 46 goals over the season. Six goals from 41 appearances from Moffat was a disappointing return for the club, but John Potter will have to improve on this season next time.

FORFAR: Another club who may have exceeded the start-of-season expectations, finishing third and keeping their title challenge until the last day. However, their strong league form may have impacted on their Cup results, with no cup results to note; being knocked out at the first hurdle in each of the domestic trophies. Loons fans will still be happy enough with their league finish, something they will look to do again next season.

MORTON: Title winners and what a season it was for the Ton. Jim Duffy has done a tremendous job getting the club direct promotion after being relegated last season. Declan McManus scored 23 goals in all competitions this term and his goals proved key in the league as the club had the best goal difference record in the division. A fourth-round exit to surprise package Spartans in the Scottish Cup was a low-point in the season, but that won’t matter to fans as the club won the title.

PETERHEAD: Runaway winners of League Two last season, Peterhead were expected to push on up the League One table and did that to a degree, finishing sixth. A quarter-final exit in the Challenge Cup to Livingston, coupled with a first-round thumping at the hands of Dundee in the League Cup and third-round loss to Stranraer in the Scottish Cup meant that the club only had to focus on their survival in the division. In the end, it was never a worry for Jim McInally’s men.

STENHOUSEMUIR: A disappointing campaign for the Warriors. After narrowly missing out on the play-offs last term, it was expected that the club should be pushing for a similar result this time round. Despite never being in any danger of being directly relegated, the fans would have expected a much better showing that second bottom, surviving via a play-off. However, the club has survived and will look to improve greatly on this campaign.

STIRLING ALBION: The club which came up via the play-offs last season found it extremely difficult making the step up a division and were the only real contenders for relegation this season. An epic 13-12 penalty shoot-out win over Hurlford United in the third round of the Scottish Cup was something positive to remember this season, but defeats by Alloa in both the League Cup and Challenge Cup meant that it was not a season fans will want to be reminded of.

STRANRAER: At the start of the season, Stevie Aitken was expected to deliver at least a play-off place again this season and he dully delivered, steering the club to second in the table, missing out to Morton on the last day; although the handed the Ton the initiative on the penultimate day of the season after the sides met, resulting in a 2-0 win for Jim Duffy’s men. A fifth-round exit to Dundee United in the Scottish Cup, as well as a semi-final loss on penalties to Livingston in the Challenge Cup meant it was a season to remember for the fans. Aitken’s exploits this season earned him a job at Dumbarton, where expectations will be just as high.

So that is it. The end of our 2014/15 League One season review. Up next, we will be looking at the Championship, so keep an eye out for that!

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