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A Hearty Welcome to the least-read Scottish football website in the world. Dunno where ye've been till now and don't care; the important thing is that you're here now.

Hey. COME BACK! Just because you don't like fitba it's no reason to leave. Other subjects are covered as well so all you need to do is to skip this page and the next two.  

 

Really close to the climax of a season that's been like no other. Miraculous that so many clubs have survived without fans, and, I suppose, an indication that actually getting supporters to pay at the turnstiles isn't the be all and end all, which is just as well for my local favourites who, at the best of the times, rarely attract as many as 400 to a home match. Regardless, well done to every club that's made it this far.

 

19 December was the start, and by the look of it also the finish, of my season. I got a ticket for Stranraer v Albion Rovers at Stair Park. I'm lucky to be staying somewhere that was, for a week or so, in Tier 1. I'd guess that about 100 spectators were at the match, all wearing masks. It seemed a bit weird, but in retrospect it now feels like a rare treat indeed.

By the way, football is just a game. It's meant to be fun. If people are going to take it so seriously that they start fighting and protesting when their team doesn't win, or risking the further spread of Covid-19 when they do, then they are missing the point. I doubt very much that Willie Shankly ever made that comment about football being more important than life and death but if he did say it I'm sure he was only joking. 

PREMIER LEAGUE

1 MAY

DUNDEE UTD  0-2  ROSS CO

HIBERNIAN  0-1  St JOHNSTONE

LIVINGSTON  1-2  ABERDEEN

MOTHERWELL  2-0  KILMARNOCK

St MIRREN  1-2  HAMILTON

2 MAY

RANGERS  4-1  CELTIC

12 MAY

ABERDEEN  0-1  HIBERNIAN

CELTIC  4-0  St JOHNSTONE

DUNDEE UTD  2-2  MOTHERWELL

KILMARNOCK  3-3  St MIRREN

LIVINGSTON  0-3  RANGERS

ROSS CO  2-1  HAMILTON

15 MAY

HIBERNIAN CELTIC

RANGERS  v  ABERDEEN

St JOHNSTONE  v  LIVINGSTON

16 MAY

HAMILTON  v  KILMARNOCK

MOTHERWELL  v  ROSS COUNTY

St MIRREN  v  DUNDEE UTD

                          P       GD       Pts    PPG                             

Rangers          37      +75      99     2.68

Celtic               37     +49       76     2.05

Hibernian        37     +13       62     1.68

Aberdeen        37       +2       56     1.51

St Johnstone  37     -11       44     1.19

Livingston       37     -12       44     1.19

Motherwell     37     -15       45      1.22

St Mirren         37       -7       44      1.19

Dundee Utd     37     -14      43      1.16

Ross County   37     -32       36      0.97

Kilmarnock     37     -13       33      0.89

Hamilton         37     -31       30      0.81

Barring a stewards' enquiry, it's all over for Hamilton Accies after their defeat in Dingwall. 

CHAMPIONSHIP

Hearts, as expected, won the division easily in spite of not always being at their best. In a way, Alloa and Arbroath were the most impressive two sides, flying the flag for part-time football in Scotland's second tier. Alloa went down but were never disgraced, while Arbroath hit a consistent spell in the second half of the season and deserved to stay up.  Morton could bear witness to the above; failure to beat either Alloa or Arbroath in their final 2 games condemned them to the play-offs.

FINAL TABLE

                             P        GD      Pts      PPG

Hearts               27      +39       57      2.11

Dundee             27        +9        45      1.67

Raith                  27       +9        43      1.59

Dunfermline     27       +4        39      1.44

Inverness         27        +5        36      1.33

QoS                    27      -13       32      1.19

Arbroath           27        -6        30      1.11

Ayr                     27        -6        29      1.07

Morton              27      -11        28      1.04

Alloa                  27      -30        22      0.81

LEAGUE ONE

The Jags came through on the rails to take the title, with Airdrie also finishing strongly. The Big Story was the collapse of Falkirk, who led the table and were odds-on favourites to win the division, only to hit relegation form and drop out of the picture altogether on the last day. Forfar hit the bottom early and never managed to catch up.

FINAL TABLE

                      

                          P      GD     Pts       PPG

Partick           22     +22     40        1.82

Airdrie            22     +11     38        1.73

Cove               22     +10     36        1.64

Montrose       22        0      33        1.50

Falkirk            22      +3      32        1.45

East Fife         22      -3      33        1.50

Peterhead      22      -3      29        1.32

Clyde               22    -11      26       1.18

Dumbarton     22    -10      25       1.14

Forfar              22    -19      17        0.77

 LEAGUE TWO

Top and bottom positions were decided long before the last day. Brechin never won a home match all season long, finishing with 10 points and in last place once again, while newly full-time Queen's Park were never challenged and won the title easily.  The teams in the top half were all clearly superior to those in the bottom 5, though Albion Rovers deserve praise for fighting their way out of the bottom two in spite of the usual financial problems at Cliftonhill. 

FINAL TABLE

                         P       GD      Pts       PPG

Queen's Pk    22     +30       54       2.45

Embra C         22     +13       38       1.73

Elgin               22     +11       38       1.73

Stranraer       22     +11       38       1.73

Stirling           22     +10       36       1.64

Stenny            22    -10        26       1.18

Albion R         22    -12        25       1.14

Annan             22      -2        22       1.00

Cowden          22    -13        21       0.95

Brechin          22     -33       10        0.45

PLAY-OFFS

CHAMPIONSHIP/PREMIERSHIP

4 MAY

DUNFERMLINE 0-0  RAITH

8 MAY

RAITH  2-0  DUNFERMLINE

12 MAY

RAITH  0-3  DUNDEE

15 MAY

DUNDEE  v  RAITH

 

LEAGUE 1/CHAMPIONSHIP

 

8 MAY

 

COVE  1-1  AIRDRIE

MONTROSE  2-1  MORTON

11 MAY

AIRDRIE  3-2  COVE (aet)

MORTON  3-1  MONTROSE (aet)

18 MAY

AIRDRIE  v  MORTON

 

LEAGUE 2/LEAGUE 1

8 MAY

 

ELGIN  0-1  EDINBURGH C

STRANRAER  0-0  DUMBARTON

11 MAY

DUMBARTON  1-0  STRANRAER

EDINBURGH C  2-2  ELGIN  (aet)

17 MAY

EDINBURGH C  v  DUMBARTON

HIGHLAND LEAGUE/LOWLAND LEAGUE/LEAGUE 2

4 MAY

BRORA  0-2  KELTY

8 MAY

KELTY  4-1  BRORA

The 2021 SCOTTISH FA CUP couldn't start till November, and was affected both by cold weather and the Covid-19 pandemic. Sometimes, a summer season in Scotland looks to be the way forward. For myself, I'd definitely rather sit in the stand at Stair Park watching the sunshine over the loch than freeze through the winter months in the Cou Shed and go home in the dark.

 

The number of sides competing this season was significantly fewer than usual. 

(* = won on penalties)

PRELIMINARY ROUND 1

28 NOVEMBER

LOTHIAN THV  2-1  St CUTHBERT (aet)

PENICUIK  2-3  MUSSELBURGH (aet)

PRELIMINARY ROUND 2

12 DECEMBER

BANKS o DEE  6-1  VALE of LEITHEN

BLACKBURN UTD  1-1  CS STROLLERS* 

BSC GLASGOW  2-3  HADDINGTON

CLACHNACUDDIN  1-2  CAL BRAVES

DEVERONVALE  1-4  CAMELON

DUNDONALD  4-2  EASTHOUSES

DUNIPACE  1-3  BERWICK

E STIRLINGSHIRE  5-0  INVERURIE

EDINBURGH UNI  1-2  TRANENT

GALA FR  6-0  WIGTOWN

HILL of BEATH  2-1  WHITEHILL

HUNTLY  3-0  DALBEATTIE

JEANFIELD  3-1  STIRLING UNI

KEITH  5-1  FORT WILLIAM

LOTHIAN THV*  4-4  LOSSIEMOUTH

NAIRN  4-0  THREAVE

NEWTONGRANGE  0-4  ROTHES

NEWTON STEWART  0-3  BROXBURN

SPARTANS  2-1  EAST KILBRIDE

STRATHSPEY  0-4  BUCKIE

TYNECASTLE  2-3  CUMBERNAULD C

13 DECEMBER

GLASGOW UNI  1-2  LINLITHGOW

16 DECEMBER

PRESTON  ATH 3-2  HAWICK RAU

COLDSTREAM  0-2  BO'NESS

21 DECEMBER

FORMARTINE  2-1  TURRIFF

WICK  3-1  MUSSELBURGH (aet)

ROUND ONE

26 DECEMBER

ALBION R  0-3  BUCKIE

BERWICK  0-3  STIRLING A

BRECHIN  2-3  LINLITHGOW

COWDENBEATH  2-0  WICK

EDINBURGH C  3-1  CAL BRAVES

ELGIN  4-0  CS STROLLERS

GALA  1-2  ANNAN

HADDINGTON  1-2  FORMARTINE

KEITH  4-2  HILL of BEATH (aet)

KELTY  2-1  JEANFIELD

LOTHIAN THV  0-3  BANKS o DEE

NAIRN * 0-0  BROXBURN

ROTHES  1-3  FRASERBURGH

 STENHOUSEMUIR  4-1  PRESTON ATH

STRANRAER   5-0  SPARTANS

TRANENT  4-1  E STIRLINGSHIRE

28 DECEMBER

DUNDONALD  1-3 QUEEN'S PARK  (aet)

1 JANUARY

BONNYRIGG  5-2  BO'NESS

6 JANUARY

HUNTLY  3-1  CUMBERNAULD C

ROUND TWO

8 JANUARY

QUEEN'S PARK  0-3  QUEEN of the SOUTH

9 JANUARY

 ALLOA   2-3  COVE

DUNDEE  3-2  BONNYRIGG (aet)

EAST FIFE  5-1  TRANENT

FORFAR  4-1  LINLITHGOW

FRASERBURGH  2-1  BANKS o DEE

KELTY 2-3  STRANRAER

10 JANUARY

AIRDRIEONIANS  0-1  EDINBURGH C

23 MARCH

ARBROATH  1-2  FALKIRK

BRORA  2-1  HEARTS

BUCKIE 2-3  INVERNESS CT

 DUMBARTON   4-0  HUNTLY

ELGIN 0-4  AYR UTD

FORMARTINE*   1-1   ANNAN 

KEITH  0-2  CLYDE

MORTON*  0-0  DUNFERMLINE

NAIRN   1-7  MONTROSE

PARTICK  3-0  COWDENBEATH

PETERHEAD  0-1  STENHOUSEMUIR

STIRLING A   0-2   RAITH

ROUND THREE

2 APRIL

ROSS CO  1-3  INVERNESS CT

3 APRIL

AYR UTD 0-1  CLYDE

BRORA  1-3  STRANRAER (aet)

CELTIC  3-0  FALKIRK

 DUMBARTON   0-1  ABERDEEN

DUNDEE  0-1  St JOHNSTONE

DUNDEE UTD  2-1  PARTICK

EAST FIFE  1-2  MORTON (aet)

FORFAR*  2-2  EDINBURGH C

FORMARTINE  0-5  MOTHERWELL

FRASERBURGH  2-4  MONTROSE

HAMILTON  0-3  St MIRREN

 LIVINGSTON   2-1  RAITH (aet)

STENHOUSEMUIR  0-4  KILMARNOCK

4 APRIL

RANGERS  4-0  COVE

5 APRIL

QUEEN of the SOUTH  1-3  HIBERNIAN

ROUND FOUR

16 APRIL

FORFAR  0-1  DUNDEE UTD

MOTHERWELL*  1-1  MORTON

St MIRREN  2-1  INVERNESS CT

17 APRIL

ABERDEEN*  2-2  LIVINGSTON

KILMARNOCK  3-1  MONTROSE

St JOHNSTONE  2-0  CLYDE

18 APRIL

RANGERS  2-0  CELTIC

STRANRAER  0-4  HIBERNIAN

ROUND FIVE

24 APRIL

HIBERNIAN*  2-2  MOTHERWELL

25 APRIL

ABERDEEN  0-3  DUNDEE UTD

RANGERS  1-1  St JOHNSTONE*

26 APRIL

KILMARNOCK  3-3  St MIRREN*

SEMI-FINALS

8 MAY

DUNDEE UTD  0-2  HIBERNIAN

9 MAY

St MIRREN  1-2  St JOHNSTONE

NON-LEAGUE SEASON ROUND-UP

The 2020/1 Highland League season was already planned to be much shorter than usual. Each team was scheduled to play 15 games and Forres Mechanics weren't there because they opted to take a gap year. It was the first time in over 100 years that the Can Cans were missing. 

The season had barely begun before it stopped again, but there was enough time for Brora and Fraserburgh to run up double-digit wins against Fort William and Turra respectively. Grantown's Strathspey Thistle never managed to play a League match at all.

                            P      GD       Pts       PPG

​Brora                  3      +19        9         3.00

​Fraserburgh     3      +15        9         3.00

Buckie                2       +5         6         3.00

Formartine       2       +5         6         3.00

Inverurie           2       +4         6         3.00   

Rothes                2       -3          3         1.50

Huntly                3        -1         2         0.67

Lossie                 2        -2         1         0.50

Deveronvale     2        -5         1         0.50

Clach                   1       -2          0         0.00

Keith                   1        -2         0         0.00

Nairn                  2        -2         0         0.00

Wick                    2        -5         0         0.00

Fort  W                1      -10         0        0.00

Turriff                 2      -16         0         0.00

Strathspey         0

The Lowland League kicked off on 10 October even though the virus was causing more problems in the Central Belt than in the Highlands.

Kelty won every game but one, a home defeat against East Kilbride. ​Had the season reached a natural conclusion Vale of Leithen's only hope would have been to beat Embra University twice, because there was little chance of them getting any points against anybody else. Much as I'm fond of the wee town of Innerleithen it seems a bit off, to say the least, for Vale to escape relegation because of the pandemic for 2 seasons running when they are obviously not as good as the teams in the top halves of the feeder leagues. 

                           P        GD       Pts       PPG

Kelty                 13      +36       36        2.77

E Kilbride        12      +26       29        2.42

Bonnyrigg       12      +21       29        2.42

BSC                   13      +22       30        2.31

E Shire              12      +18       26        2.17

Gala                  12        +2        22        1.83                                           Bo'ness  Utd   10       +9        18        1.80

Stirling Uni      14       +7        23        1.64

Spartans          12        +5       18        1.50

Berwick            13       -4        16        1.23

CSS                    14        -2       17        1.21

C Braves           14       -6       13        0.93

Gretna               11      -10       10       0.91

Cumb Colts     14      -13       11        0.79

Dalbeattie       10       -12        5        0.50

Embra Uni        15      -47        5        0.33

Vale                   12       -53        0        0.00

At Step 6, the East of Scotland League was well under way, with all three divisions settling into a pattern.

It was looking a good year for Perth, with both Jeanfield and Luncarty topping their respective divisions as well as St Johnstone winning the League Cup. The Swifts set the pace all season, while their rivals were nicking points from each other. The bottom three seemed to be a long way adrift but all three were showing encouraging signs before the season came to a halt.

                                 P        GD       Pts      PPG

Jeanfield            9       +20       23       2.56

Tranent              12       +19        28       2.33

Camelon            10      +20        20       2.00

Lithgae  Rose  11       +10        22       2.00

Penicuik              8       +10         16       2.00

Musselburgh    11        +7         22       2.00

Dundonald          8        +4         16       2.00

Lothian  THV    10       +2          19        1.90

Hill o Beath       10        -2          15       1.50

Broxburn            11        +1           16       1.45

Nitten  Star       12       +2          16        1.33

Sauchie               11        +5          14       1.27

Tynecastle        11          0          14        1.27

Crossgates       11        -10         10       0.91

Dunbar                13       -18          11       0.85

Inverk'ing  HS  10       -26          3       0.30

Blackburn          12      -23          3       0.25

Whitehill              9       -21           1         0.11

DIVISION 1 A

Leith had a 100% record after 9 games. It's a pity that the pandemic  robbed them of the chance to keep that proud run going.

                               P       GD        Pts        PPG

Leith                    9      +31        27         3.00

Haddington      9      +20       23        2.56

Kennoway SH  8      +15        18         2.25

Embra Utd        10     +10        19          1.90

Embra Sth        10      +2         18          1.80

Thornton            9       +7         16          1.78

Rosyth               10      +10        16          1.60

Craigroyston    9       +4        14          1.56

Coldstream       8       -3         12          1.50

Dunipace            9      +14        13         1.44

St Andrews       9      -13         10          1.11

Dalkeith             12       -8         10        0.83

Arniston             9       -18          7        0.78

​Kirkcaldy          10      -22          7        0.70

Ormiston            8       -19          3        0.38

Tweedmouth    7      -31          0        0.00

DIVISION 1 B

Luncarty were looking too good to be stopped till Glenrothes took a trip to their bonnie ground by the railway viaduct and beat them 2-1. Inconsistency dogged their nearest challengers, while down at the bottom poor Eyemouth's only purpose seems to have been to ensure guaranteed points for their opponents.

                                P       GD      Pts      PPG

Luncarty             7      +18       18       2.57

H-W Uni              11      +20     24       2.18

Oakley                  8      +11        17       2.13

Kinnoull               8     +15        16       2.00

Burntisland       8      +11        16       2.00

Glenrothes         8      +4        14       1.75

Newburgh          9       +4        15       1.67

Stirling U II        10        0        15       1.50

Easthouses       8       +7        11        1.38

Peebles               8        +1        11        1.38

Preston               8       -4         6        0.75

Lochore              8       -5          6       0.75

Lochgelly           8      -14         5       0.63

Hawick RAU      8       -9          3       0.38

Eyemouth           8     -59         0       0.00

Hawick deducted 3 pts. Glenrothes awarded 3 points.

The West of Scotland League looked likely to be of high quality. Auchinleck Talbot were, once again, probably the best non-league team in the country in 2019/20. Unfortunately, coronavirus in the West of Scotland scuppered the plans for the new season, and several clubs, including Auchinleck announced that they were taking the year off. The new-style WSL is a welcome development but arrived just at the wrong time.

 

Clydebank were the pace-setters and Cumbernauld United the stragglers, but United deserve some sympathy. Earlier in the season they had 3 points, only to lose them again when Benburb decided they preferred to give the season a miss after all and had their results wiped out.

                         P         GD        Pts       PPG

Clydebank       7        +17         19        2.71

Darvel              5        +12         12        2.40

Troon               7          +5         16        2.29

Kilwinning       7          +5         15        2.14

Irvine M            6         +2          10       1.67

Largs                7         +4          11       1.57

Blantyre           7           0          10        1.43

Hurlford           7          -4          10        1.43

Beith                5          +1           7        1.40

Rossvale          9          -1           9        1.00

Kirkie RR         7          -6            6        0.86

Bonnyton         8        -12           6        0.75

Glencairn         6          -8           3        0.50

Cumb Utd         8        -17           0        0.00

The South of Scotland League (aka the Sooth) is the weakest of the three potential feeders to the LL but it was up and ready to begin on schedule on 10 October.

The League was due back from its 2 week winter break on 9 January, but all the games were postponed because of the weather, and that turned out to be the end of a truncated season. 

                          P       GD      Pts       PPG

Threave            7      +23      18       2.57

Stranraer II     11     +27      26       2.44

St Cuthbert      7      +10      16       2.29

Nithsdale          8       +3       15       2.14

Abbey Vale       8       +6       14       1.75

Newton             9        +7       15       1.67

C Braves II        6       +5       10       1.67

Wigtown           8        -5       12       1.50

Uppers              9        -2       12       1.33

Lochar             11       -6       10       0.91

Lochmaben      8      -15         6       0.75

Mids                  7      -11         4       0.57

Creetown          7      -21         4       0.57

Heston             10     -21         4       0.40

BIG CHANGES FOR 2021/22

Circumstances permitting, Step 6  of the Scottish men's game is up for a big reorganisation in time for next season, with potential feeder leagues to the Lowland and Highland Leagues organised according to geography. The easiest explanation is to show this diagram, with the dividing line between Low and High represented by a kind of Caledonian Mason/Dixon line roughly running through Dundee's northern suburbs and a "There Be Monsters" grey area to the West. 

In a nutshell, teams in the new Midlands League, along with the North Juniors and the North Caledonian League, are intended to join the pyramid and feed into the Highland League, with the WoSL, EoSL and SoSL likewise, as now, invited to have their champions play off for the chance to join the Lowland League. 

The East of Scotland will include the following new clubs in 2021/22: 

 

Armadale Thistle
Bathgate Thistle
Bo'ness Athletic (formerly Bo'ness Utd Juniors)
Edinburgh College
Fauldhouse United
Livingston United
Pumpherston
Stoneyburn
Syngenta
West Calder United
Whitburn

Eyemouth United have taken the pragmatic decision to withdraw from the EoSL and enter amateur football, where they will play against other small town and village teams in the Borders. Sixty years ago Eyemouth reached the quarter finals of the FA Cup, but that was a very different era. After taking a year out the team returned to the EoSL last summer but were merely cannon fodder for teams with much greater resources.

New to the West of Scotland League:

Broomhill Sports Club

Campbeltown Pupils

Finnart 

Glenvale

Harmony Row

Harthill

Kilsyth Athletic

St Peter's

Westerton United

Broomhill Sports Club is apparently the equivalent of the club that BSC Glasgow used to be before they went semi-professional and play in Glasgow whilst BSC Glasgow continue to play their home games in Alloa in spite of bearing the city's name. The revelation that Shettleston's owner plans to change his club's name to Glasgow United is maddening, not least because women's club United Glasgow is actually trying to unite women and girls in the city, regardless of their religion or ethnic background, in playing sport and taking part in community activities. 

The latest twist in the saga of Celtic and Rangers "Colts" is that, having been given short shrift by the clubs in the SPFL, the Auld Firm are attempting to enter the Lowland League, by-passing the West of Scotland League along the way. Strong objections were  registered by the committees of the East, South and West of Scotland Leagues.

On 10 May, after announcing that a majority of LL clubs had provisionally approved the deal, Chairman George Fraser gave a statement which is such obvious mince it needs no further comment: 

"Our league is fully committed to the integrity of the pyramid and we have shown this time and time again, so any suggestion we are not is ill-judged and misplaced. With all the tier six leagues opting to go 'null and void' this meant there was no champion club put forward to join the SLFL. If there was then the champion club would be taking part in the SLFL league next season."

The five clubs in the Lowland League to vote against the sell-out were Bo'ness United, Bonnyrigg Rose, Civil Service Strollers, Dalbeattie Star and Edinburgh University. Well done to all five. For obvious reasons, Kelty Hearts abstained. 

The arrangement has still to be ratified but should the Celtic and Rangers teams take part then the PY will not be printing the Lowland League table next season nor the results of any of the teams that voted in favour. That'll bloody teach 'em! Aye, and Shettleston FC will still be referred to as Shettleston an aw. 

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