Saturday, October 11, 2014

With practically all outstanding players in England, Scotland had little to offer. Struggle was firmly setting in – most pronounced in the Second Division, where a handful of clubs tried to recover top flight status, but had in the same time difficulties coming in terms with new realities. Mostly financial ones... Thus, unlike the English Second Division, the Scottish one was not competitive – since the reform in 1975, two or three clubs were obviously above the rest. Pretty much was the situation at the bottom of the table. As for the leaders, they were former first division clubs – recently relegated too. Third Division – called Division 2 now – was no different: three clubs fought for 2 promotions. Falkirk lost by 2 points. Second finished Dunfermline Athletic with 52 points and the champions were Berwick Rangers with 54 points.
Up in Division 1 – the second division of Scotland – most clubs had no worries: they were not going neither up or down. At the bottom, Queen of the South and Montrose were hopeless outsiders, saving the other clubs fears of relegation. The combined record of the bottom club gave 49 points – good enough for 4th place without coming even close to the top three... The only real intrigue was about promotion: a battle between three clubs. Clydebank was relegated the previous season and wanted to climb back. Kilmarnock was relegated in 1977 and also wanted back among the best. As for Dundee FC, they were 'old-timers' – relegated in 1976. They finished 3rd two years in a row, missing promotion by a point the previous season. The most distinguished club playing second-tier football, they desperately wanted to return to the top league. But it was not easy... ambition is one thing, reality – quite another. No club had outstanding squad, so the race was tight – and exciting because of that – decided at the end of the season by tiny differences. Clydebank and Kilmarnock ended with 54 points each. Clydebank had the best strikers in the league, but leaky, if not atrocious defense. Kilmarnock had the best defense this season – and that was the whole difference: with better, much better goal-difference ( +37 to Clydebank's +28) they clinched second place and promotion.

Victory for Kilmarnock, however chancy.
The champions were no different – Dundee fretted to the end. They won 24 matches – but so did Clydebank too. Kilmarnock lost one less game than Dundee. Their attack was 5th in the league; their defense – second. Dundee did not excel in anything, but they squirreled 55 points – one more than rivals.

Champions by a single point – Dundee FC coming back to top flight after three years of second division misery. Hail the winners, but nobody saw the newcomers as sensation, going to challenge the status quo. Both Dundee FC and Kilmarnock were pretty much fodder... if they survived the next season would be just great.