Date: 27th May 2015
SO, the season is drawing to a close and the SFSA have decided to look back on every SPFL club’s season and see how they have done compared to fans’ expectations at the start of the campaign. Here is our first part of the four-part feature. League Two.
ALBION ROVERS: Fans had high expectations at the start of the season of at least a play-off place, however, the club under Darren Young, exceeded expectations and won the division by a staggering 10 points. After the previous season’s mid-table finish, fans felt that the Coatbridge side had to improve and Young brought an attacking style of football and solidity in defence — being second-top goal scorers and having the best defence in League Two.
ANNAN ATHLETIC: Jim Chapman led the club to second in the table for the 2013/14 season and at the start of this season, fans may have expected a similar result. However, things just did not work out as planned this time round, with the club just missing out on the play-offs. A first round thumping by Dunfermline and Hearts in the first round of the League Cup and Challenge Cup, respectively, were low points of the season, however, a sustained run to the fourth round of the Scottish Cup, including a 3-2 win over Livingston, where they were eliminated via a replay by Brechin City was a high point of the season.
ARBROATH: The club which came directly down from League One last season would have had high hopes of immediately bouncing back and gaining promotion, despite a major overhaul of the squad. Allan Moore was in charge at the start of the season, but things just did not work out and Todd Lumsden ended the season as boss. The Red Lichties ended the campaign third in the table and first round exits in the Challenge Cup and League Cup made this a season to forget for Arbroath.
BERWICK RANGERS: It was a season for mixed expectations for many fans this season. After finishing fifth in 2013/14, some fans would expect the play-offs and others may have been looking at a similar position. This time, however, the club could only finish eighth. Their magnificent run in the Scottish Cup — reaching the quarter-finals before being knocked out by Hibs — was a joy to behold for every fan and this may have impacted on their league form with the additional fixtures. Colin Cameron will have a higher finish in the league on his mind for next term.
CLYDE: The introduction at the start of the season with Barry Ferguson as boss brought a spotlight on Clyde. After making the play-offs the previous year, some fans wanted the same again this term, but after losing several key players, as well as an unproven manager, the club struggled to assert themselves in the league. Goals were a problem for the Bully Wee this season, being the joint-lowest scorers in League Two, and if they are to improve for next season, this is something they shall have to remedy.
EAST FIFE: The club which came down from League One via the play-offs and, like Arbroath, had to do an overhaul of their squad. Some fans expected to bounce straight back up, but others would have been happy with a mid-table finish. However, the club managed to reach the play-offs, but were eliminated in the semi-finals by the eventual winners, Stenhousemuir. With no cup runs to note, this season was one to focus on the League and, despite the failure to gain promotion, fans will be happy with the campaign as a whole and will be looking forward to next season.
EAST STIRLING: A perennial struggler in the division, Shire fans would be looking to avoid that bottom place, which they did and in some style. 10 points clear of Montrose, the club had a season to forget in the cups, but the main objective would have been to avoid bottom place. Only Montrose had a worse goal difference than Craig Tully’s side, so that will be something they will look to focus on next campaign.
ELGIN CITY: Following their second-bottom finish in League Two for 2013/14, the fans would have been expecting much better this time round, and with several key signings last summer, the club showed an ambition not to let that happen again. However, with such competitiveness throughout the league, the club could only manage seventh place. First-round exits in the Challenge Cup and League Cup, as well as a third-round defeat after a thrilling 5-4 replay with Bo’ness United made this another season of woe for the club.
MONTROSE: The club which finished bottom of the SPFL this season were expected to struggle at the start of the season, and clearly they did. First round defeats in the Challenge Cup and League Cup, as well as a second round loss in the Scottish Cup made this another season to forget. However, the club survived a scare in the play-off against Brora Rangers, who may have not wanted to qualify for League Two. The club lives to fight another day in League Two, but fans, as they showed against Brora, will get behind the club when needed.
QUEENS PARK: Finally, after finishing bottom of the table 2013/14 (as well as producing top-notch young talents like Andrew Robertson and Blair Spittal the season before) fans were not sure what to expect this term. The club excelled in the league, finishing best of the rest before losing in the
Play-Off Final to Stenhousemuir. Difficult draws in the cups made progression there hard, but a successful League campaign made this term a success for the club.
Stay tuned for the next part of our feature looking at League One.
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