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[FM11]Deltablue Rising II: Delta's Darlings.

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Nice to be on the top side of the table :) Much better season so far :thup:

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Nice to be on the top side of the table :) Much better season so far :thup:

It's a bit crazy, we're in the second half of the season, we're currently leading (not saying by how much), and I have a chasing pack of 6 teams (in a 10 team league) all on the same points!

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Dec 2053

Stirling p3-3 Dunfermline (SC)

We went to Stirling in the cup replay, and looked good to start with. Evans gave us the lead in the 14th minute, and after a few minutes Thompson headed in a corner to make it 2-0. They got a goal back 5 minutes later but we immediately hit them with a 3rd from Welsh. They scored a second goal in the 55th minute, and out of the relatively few chances in the half, they had most of them, which was unfortunate as that included an equalizer with 5 minutes left. Adam Ryan saved a Stirling penalty (showing that English keepers could save them well though in this game, as my Milan keeper Puncheon was pretty good at it), meaning he’d face more in the shootout. Surprisingly de Jongh (who had a penalty attribute of 16, possibly the highest in the division, and had been our best player in the match) missed the first penalty, and all the others were scored to send us out.

Queens Park 0-3 Dunfermline (SD3)

We were on the back foot for the first half an hour at Queens Park, however that changed when Evans gave us the lead in the 27th minute, following it up 10 minutes later. A Welsh header finished it off in the 55th minute, in what I hoped was a welcome return to league form.

Dunfermline 3-1 Kilmarnock (SD3)

We took advantage of being at home against Kilmarnock. Evans put us ahead (which seems to be this season’s catchphrase) in the 9th minute, assisting a 16th minute own-goal. They got one back in the 20th minute, and we were saved by the ref blowing for offside later in the half as they pushed very hard and seemed to have equalized. We gathered ourselves in the second half with Welsh giving us a 3-1 win after an hour.

Dunfermline 3-1 East Fife (SD3)

We took the lead in the 40th minute against East Fife, I don’t think I need to say who got that one, though we had survived a disallowed goal earlier. Walsh extended it in the 51st minute, but they pulled one back a couple of minutes later, followed by de Jongh having more Dutch idiocy when he got sent off, but McDonagh made it another 3-1 12 minutes from time, and a Stirling defeat put us 6 points clear.

East Stirlingshire 1-3 Dunfermline (SD3)

We had another tough start at East Stirlingshire, this time actually going behind in the 33rd minute. However denied the chance to give us the lead for a change, Evans branched out into equalizing, which he did in the 39th minute, Marsh giving us the lead before the break. As Stirling were on their way to another defeat, Johnston finished off yet another 3-1 in the second half.

My Milan players still ruled the roost, Clement was player of the year again, Richter was 3rd, and interestingly Schmiedel (now at Bayern) was 2nd. Puncheon was European keeper of the year for what seemed like the 10th year running, and I think you can guess who was best forward (sadly now at 33). Normally the AI tears apart our beloved squads but it was good to see that even with players getting old, a lot of players had been kept this time (16 players who were there when I left, which admittedly included the later signings that weren’t truely ‘Magical Milan’), still when you’re heading for the club’s 10th title in a row (the last one was reasonably close but otherwise the domination had continued) even an idiot would know not to change things too much.

League Table

Jan 2054

Dunfermline 2-0 Stirling (SD3)

For the first time ever, I entered 2054 on FM. We were now 9 points clear of Stirling, ahead of playing them next at home. While we had little to worry about for now, I was determined not to take any chances. The first half was a very tight affair, but Marsh gave us the lead a minute into the second half, and Babu gave is another with 10 minutes left as we went 12 points clear.

Dunfermline 3-1 Albion Rovers (SD3)

We even managed to extend it to 14 after playing Albion Rovers. Marsh gave us the lead in the 4th minute, followed by McDonagh in the 17th. Unfortunately this team had decided that clean sheets were for other people (In terms of league games, Stirling had only been the 5th clean sheet of the season and 8th of my entire Dunfermline career) and conceded 22 minutes later, but nerves were eased by Evans scoring unusually late for him with 15 minutes left, giving us our 4th 3-1 in 5 games. At Milan I’d noticed that certain results seemed to crop up a lot each season (even 5-0 one time) and this seemed to be the result ‘in fashion’ right now.

Ross County 2-1 Dunfermline (SD3)

The run ended at bottom side Ross County of all teams. All seemed well when Marsh gave us the lead in the 2nd minute, but they equalized after half an hour, and got a winner in the 68th minute, though we still should have grabbed a point. Oddly we retained our 14 point advantage over 6(!) teams (that’s over half the league), but it was a warning that we still couldn’t take anything for granted.

Dunfermline 5-1 Stenhousemuir (SD3)

I faced one of those 6 teams, Stenhousemuir, next, and we bounced back in style. Young defender Baxter got his 1st goal for the club in the 3rd minute. Johnston gave made it 2 in the 19th minute, and a Bradshaw penalty made it 3-0. In the second half Porter and Evans made it 5-0, though we couldn’t quite get a rare clean sheet.

Stranraer 2-1 Dunfermline (SD3)

It still looked like we were wobbling again, at Stranraer we went behind in the first half and only a great performance from Ryan in goal stopped it being more. An own-goal levelled it with 10 minutes left and we might just have snatched a winner. Still 12 points clear was better than 11.

League Table

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Infinitely better season this time even with some lapses in consistency here and there, which is normal at such a low level.

I liked the bit you said you turned down Barça for Dunfermline. :D

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Infinitely better season this time even with some lapses in consistency here and there, which is normal at such a low level.

I liked the bit you said you turned down Barça for Dunfermline. :D

Indeed it is normal as there's so little between the teams, took a look at the league table (in case I did what I did in the previous update and mix the last two league tables up) and saw that aside from Albion Rovers' goals conceded and our goals scored everyone's scored and conceded a similar amount of goals (23-28 scored and 26-32 conceded), and just 5 points between 3rd and last. We'll probably be going up as the only team that's been at all good, and even then not that exceptional.

As for Barca, I'm determined to make a long-term thing out of Dunfermline, but it very nearly tempted me otherwise.

Much better than last season!

Back to looking at the top of the table again :D

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Feb 2054

Dunfermline 3-1 Queens Park (SD3)

We went behind after 3 minutes against Queens Park. Thankfully Albion Rovers weren’t winning (and nor would they), and we also came back. Porter equalized in the 35th minute, Evans gave us the lead on the hour mark, and though they had some good chances to equalize, Marsh made it yet another 3-1 win in the last minute.

Kilmarnock 3-0 Dunfermline (SD3)

Away-day blues continued at Kilmarnock. They took the lead in the 14th minute, and got another later in the half, we looked like we might have a comeback push in the second half but didn’t even score, and conceded a late 3rd. Thankfully Albion Rovers drew again.

East Fife 1-0 Dunfermline (SD3)

We were on course to win fewer away games than last season, and lost again at East Fife to a 37th minute goal. Albion actually won so the gap was 10 points. Unfortunately we had them as one of 4 away games out of 5 after the following game.

Dunfermine 1-3 East Stirlingshire (SD3)

Unfortunately that didn’t go well. East Stirlingshire scored in the 35th minute. Thompson gave us an equalizer deep in stoppage time, but while we looked good for a winner in the 2nd half, they hit is by retaking the lead after 75 minutes, with another 5 minutes later as we lost 3-1 for a chance. Thankfully Albion Rovers seemed to keep drawing, but it was odd that a 9 point lead seemed potentially fragile now.

Mar 2054

Stirling 1-2 Dunfermline (SD3)

The first of these ‘4 away games in 5’ was at Stirling, who were our closest challengers in the first half of the season but were now bottom. I was very worried when a penalty gave them the lead in the 23rd minute. Babu equalized just before the half-time whistle and we got a very lucky late winner when an Evans header went in off the bar and the Stirling keeper. With only 1 win in the last 4 games, Albion followed it up with a defeat to go 12 points behind.

Albion Rovers 1-1 Dunfermline (SD3)

We went to Albion hoping to avoid defeat. It looked good when Evans gave us the lead in the 15th minute. Sturridge’s own goal 13 minutes later levelled it, and neither side did enough to get a winner, with East Fife closing the gap slightly by winning (something Albion had been incapable of doing) to going 2nd.

Dunfermline 1-1 Ross County (SD3)

Our only home game in 5 was against Ross County. We pushed hard for a goal and finally got it from Porter in the 65th minute, however we threw it away when gifting them an equalizer 8 minutes later, which was very frustrating. Albion retaking 2nd and closing the gap by one more point.

Stenhousemuir 1-3 Dunfermline (SD3)

We returned to the 3-1 wins at Stenhousemuir. Welsh gave us the lead in the 12th minute, but I was worried when they equalized 5 minutes into the second half. Evans responded with 2 goals in 10 minutes, and missed a penalty that would have given him a hat-trick.

League Table

Apr/May 2054

Queens Park 1-2 Dunfermline (SD3)

Evans gave us the lead in the 4th minute at Queens Park. They equalized in the 22nd minute and I was worried we’d have to settle for a point, but de Jongh’s penalty gave us the win in the 84th minute.

Dunfermline 3-0 Kilmarnock (SD3)

We had a chance to secure promotion and the title if we beat Kilmarnock and other results went our way. It was done without too much difficulty. Baxter gave us the lead in the 6th minute, Porter made it 2-0 in the 35th minute, and by that point it was clear that neither Albion nor East Fife were going to win. Thompson even sealed it with a 3rd in added time.

Dunfermline 4-1 Stranraer (SD3)

We celebrated against Stranraer, Evans giving us the lead (for what seems like the 15th or 20th time this year) in the 22nd minute. That was soon followed by a de Jongh penalty. Welsh made it 3-0 in the 57th minute, and 10 minutes later Porter took it to 4-0. We still couldn’t get a clean sheet as they scored with a couple of minutes left, but that didn’t take the shine off the day.

Dunfermline 0-0 East Fife (SD3)

Things were quieter against East Fife, not helped by a few injuries, but we very nearly snatched it at the end.

East Stirlingshire 2-0 Dunfermline (SD3)

We had managed to match our 7 away wins from last year after all, though a poor showing at East Stirlingshire ensured we wouldn’t do any more. They scored in the 5th minute, and finished us off in the 70th.

Dunfermline 2-1 Stirling (SD3)

The final game was against Stirling, and we took the lead from Marsh in the 28th minute. They equalized after an hour, and it looked like a draw was the best we could hope for, but McDonagh popped up to round off an excellent season to give us a winner in stoppage time.

Final League Table

I wish I could remember what our promotion odds were, as we were probably least-favourite, which makes it even more pleasing to bounce back from finishing bottom to going up as Champions immediately after a massive overhaul of players. It wasn’t as easy as the gap made it look, and it was simply because we had a few short but good runs of results in the season while everyone else played musical chairs. Still, I was no stranger to winning leagues comfortably and it was nice returning to that. It was also the first time in ages (almost a year in real time, which amounts to rather a lot of seasons) that I had got promoted as champions instead of playoffs or automatically. It was also only my second promotion of the career, and I’m sure everyone remembers the other.

It’s a great feeling, the reason why my next career will be (pretty much) lower-league only (which I had decided on when I started this one, and even have had the name sorted for over a month), you get the excitement of reaching another level, the nerves about whether you can survive, the great pleasure at being comfortably ahead of the drop-zone... Dunfermline should be in Division 1 at least, and I’m hoping to take them up there before too long (reaching the SPL will be far tougher but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it). Having never had back to back promotions before this is as good a chance as I’ll ever have to do it, not that I expect us to but I’ll definitely be eying the playoff places while we can.

Squad Stats

Star player: Johnston ruled the ratings roost with another strong season but it was Welsh's goals that proved the key factor and gave him the Division's player of the year award.

Welsh

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Great work on going up, hopefully you can do well in the second division, maybe even get consecutive promotions :p

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Congrats on promotion :thup:
Good stuff on promotion. :thup:
Excellent work to win it in such dominating fashion!

I think I was gifted the dominance but if you exclude my 'gap year' after Milan that makes it 8 easy titles in 9 seasons.

Great work winning promotion! It was never in doubt :D

It still was for me until late on, we were still dropping a lot of points and it wouldn't have taken that much consistency to really close in on us.

Great work on going up, hopefully you can do well in the second division, maybe even get consecutive promotions :p

Best chance I'll ever get at that I think.

Summer 2054

There was far less activity ths year, after 13 and 15 signings respectively in my previous 2 years, there were just 6 this time, and I probably didn’t need a couple of them. Free Agents weren't yielding so much any more I had to start making a few more paid signings, thankfully having almost 1.5M and a wage budget over double the wage bill meant that I was hardly worrying about money. Hopefully my team hadn’t gelled last year as continuity would be my main weapon in my quest to push on. I wasn’t counting on going up again but certainly hoped to challenge for the top half or playoffs, though as usual anything beyond survival would be a bonus in our first year up, and I was anticipating a very good one.

Morrison

Murray

Sinclair

Wylie

Transfers

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Not thats the way to bounce back! Congrast on promotion :thup:

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Not thats the way to bounce back! Congrast on promotion :thup:

Thanks, wondered where you've been. Anyway I admit I've been rubbish recently since an exam last week I've not felt motivated to do anything at al (even clearing my room up a bit and playing with dog, which is just as well as I quickly lost the ball when I did) and when I have felt like gaming it's mostly been giving Civ V a bit of a bash after months on the sidelines, hopefully getting a bit back into the FM groove now, though not quite satisfied my Civ curiosity.

Jul/Aug 2054

Albion Rovers 4-1 (aet) Dunfermline (SCC)

We kicked off at Albion Rovers in the Challenge Cup, with Wylie as the only newcomer in the team. I had lost all 4 opening cup ties (In both this and the league cup), and an early Albion goal didn’t look promising. Despite a mediocre showing, McDonagh equalized after 70 minutes. Anderson had a goal disallowed in the 2nd minute of extra time, followed by Albion scoring and going on to win 4-1!

Dunfermline 1-2 Elgin (SLC)

We didn’t break the run against Division 1 Elgin either. Thompson scored in the 28th minute, but they equalized soon after and got a winner in the second half.

Dunfermline 1-0 Partick Thistle Nil (SD2)

The first league game was against Partick Thistle. Marsh got us off to a good start wih a 35th minute penalty. We had a few close calls in the second half but got the win.

Cowdenbeath 0-1 Dunfermline (SD2)

The first away game was at Cowdenbeath. Evans gave us the lead, and a red card limited their threat, but we still were a little lucky, if not quite as much as in the first game, but what mattered was that we had won both opening games (the only side in the division to have done so).

Dunfermline 2-1 Forfar (SD2)

We looked like edging another 1-0 win when Baxter headed us into the lead against Forfar in the 52nd minute. They equalized in the 70th minute meaning we actually had to do something for a change, and Marsh gave us the win with 8 minutes left.

Brechin 0-0 Dunfermline (SD2)

We couldn’t quite make it 4 from 4 at Brechin. After a slow first half we raced out of the blocks in the second, but they very much had the late pressure that we survived.

League Table

Sept 2054

Dunfermline 1-2 East Fife (SD2)

We faced fellow promoted side East Fife, who had also started well, and had oddly been the free flowing entertainers compared to our uncharacteristic functionality. They pounded us throughout, scoring in first-half stoppage time and getting another in the 68th minute, shortly before a Marsh consolation.

Ayr 3-0 Dunfermline (SD2)

This was followed by 3 away games in a row, starting at a strong Ayr side. That went very badly. They scored in the 29th minute, and instead of coming back in the second half we got worse, condeding two more. So much to cruising to another promotion (yes I was dreaming after the start we had).

Annan 0-2 Dunfermline (SD2)

We needed to improve at Annan, and survived a first half where we showed as much life as a typical Emirates crowd. However Evans came on and woke everyone else up by giving us the lead at the start of the second half. There were decent chances for both sides before he scored another in the 75th minute.

Alloa 0-0 Dunfermline (SD2)

We said ‘allo’ to Alloa, and did a good job on holding firm, though rather less good a job at looking like winning, so 0-0 was inevitable.

League Table

Oct 2054

Dunfermline 1-1 Montrose (SD2)

Parent club Hearts gave us a very good young French forward, Ranguin, on loan, and he made his mark by giving us the lead in the 28th minute against Montrose. Marsh had a goal disallowed well into the second half, so it looked like we’d edge it but they got an equalizer in stoppage time.

Partick Thistle 2-1 Dunfermline (SD2)

Having lucked an opening day win it wasn’t surprising that we struggled at Partick Thistle. They took the lead after 15 minutes, and again after an hour. Babu got a goal back a couple of minutes later, soon followed by another costly disallowed goal as Ranguin was denied an equalizer.

Dunfermline 1-1 Cowdenbeath (SD2)

He did get an equalizer at the end of the first half against Cowdenbeath, and we were unlucky not to get a winner.

League Table

Ranguin

Great start, though griding out results felt odd, not surprised form dipped a bit since as luck pendulum shifted but having just come up there's not much pressure to do it again so just enjoying the fact that we're managing fine at this level.

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Solid positive season so far, although with 6 points from promotion playoff to relegation playout (? not sure how the rules are out there, looks like the penultimate row in the league is highlighted hence playout?), everything's open so be careful not to drop into a relegation battle if there's a bad run of form.

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Solid positive season so far, although with 6 points from promotion playoff to relegation playout (? not sure how the rules are out there, looks like the penultimate row in the league is highlighted hence playout?), everything's open so be careful not to drop into a relegation battle if there's a bad run of form.

Yep, for both the 3rd and 2nd Divisions the 2nd-4th sides and the 9th team from the league above enter a playoff, so either 1 or 2 teams go up and down each year. We're mostly safe now, and looking to be playing off to go up instead of down but that's still very open.

Nov 2054

Forfar 2-1 Dunfermline (SD2)

We went behind after 20 minutes at Forfar. We pounded them to try and equalize, finally managing it from Evans in the 64th minute, but fell to a 75th minute winner.

Dunfermline 0-2 Brechin (SD2)

Brechin was always going to be a tough game. It was even until they took the lead in the 28th minute. A second goal in the 64th minute sparked us into life but we failed to come back.

East Fife 3-2 Dunfermline (SD2)

We were still just as close to the promotion playoffs as the relegation playoff (2 points either way) but losing at East Fife would tip the balance in the negative direction. Ranguin showed his value by giving us the lead in the 34th minute, but they equalized in the 50th and took the lead a few minutes later. Johnston equalized with a few minutes left but they still got a winner to put us just 1 point and 1 place above Forfar in the relegation playoff place. However with Brechin and Ayr fighting for top spot, the other 8 sides were split by just 8 points so plenty to play for.

Dunfermline 4-1 Ayr (SD2)

We went behind early on against Ayr, however Ranguin equalized in the 41st minute, giving us the lead a few minutes later. Evans gave us another a few minutes into the second half, and after 3 goals in 6 games before now, Ranguin finally ended up on the winning side when he completed a hat-trick with 5 minutes left. Incredibly it was our first win in 8, but the style easily made up for it.

Montrose 3-3 Dunfermline (SD2) 100th Dunfermline game!

Going to Montrose was my 100th Dunfermline game. McDonagh gave us the lead in the 6th minute, but they equalized a minute later. Sturridge restored the lead in the 15th minute. In the second half they came back to lead 3-2 but Welsh gave s a point with a couple of minutes left.

Partick Thistle 1-3 Dunfermline (SC)

We went to Partick Thistle in the cup, and Ranguin gave us the lead in the 26th minute, shortly followed by another disallowed goal. Sturridge gave us a second goal in the 65th minute, and while a Partick goal gave us a bit of jitters Baxter headed in a 3rd in the last minute.

League Table

Dec 2054

Dunferline 2-1 Alloa (SD2)

We had 3 home games in a row, starting with Alloa. I was worried when they took the lead in the 18th minute, but inspired by Johnston we clawed it back. Evans equalized after 41 minutes, and while we weren’t that impressive, de Jongh’s penalty in the 64th minute gave us the win.

Dunfermline 2-2 Annan (SD2)

Annan seemed to have the measure of us though. They took the lead in the 25th minute, and we never really threatened before they made it 2-0 after 80. However Welsh hit back just afterwards, and it seemed like too little, too late but Thompson headed in an equalizer in the 5th minute of added time!

Dunfermline 3-1 Partick Thistle (SD2)

We went behind in the 3rd minute against Partick Thistle, but we hit back 30 minutes later from Welsh. They was quickly followed by an own goal, and in the second half Ranguin had a goal disallowed before finally making it 3-1 in the 84th minute.

Cowdenbeath 2-1 Dunfermline (SD2)

We conceded early again in out first away trip for a while at Cowdenbeath. Ranguin had an equalizer disallowed before managing to do so with a chip a minute before half-time. Annoyingly they got a winner from one of a few late chances.

Dunfermline 1-0 Forfar (SD2)

Sturridge helped us bounce back with an early goal against Forfar, and we were dominant enough that it was amazing there weren’t more. We were definitely challenging for the playoffs but only 1 point separated 2nd from 6th so as usual in this league (as well as the one below) so we just had to wait and see where the great footballing river carried us.

Meanwhile the power of the Magical Milan was fading, over half the surviving members were 30 or over (Richter was 33, Eweka and Sebastiao were 34) and Clement as world player of the year being the only thing of note in the end of year awards, though they were still heading Serie A (just) in the quest for title number 11.

League Table

Jan 2055

Brechin 2-2 Dunfermline (SD2)

Brechin away was a tough first game of the year. They took the lead in the 28th minute, but Welsh immediately hit back to equalize, then gave us the lead. They equalized before the break, but had a late winner disallowed to give us a point. Unfortunately Ranguin got a torn calf muscle to rule him out of pretty much the rest of his loan period (though he might be alright for the playoffs if we made them).

Dunfermline 1-3 East Fife (SD2)

Welsh gave us the lead in the 33rd minute against East Fife. However they equalized in the 50th minute and they easily went on to win 3-1. Having been 2nd while we were leading we dropped to 8th.

Clyde 2-1 Dunfermline (SD2)

It didn’t bode well for the trip to Clyde in the cup. They took the lead in the 23rd minute, then turned up the heat, getting another before the break.We managed to sneak a goal from Bradshaw in the 82nd minute, but the scoreline looked much closer than it deserved.

Ayr 0-1 Dunfermline (SD2)

We had a very surprising win at table-topping Ayr. Johnston gave us the lead in the 14th minute, but we got very lucky that they had an equalizer disallowed early in the second half. It was a good sign that if we could rise above the inconsistency at this level we were capable of going up next year, if not this.

Dunfermline 2-2 Montrose (SD2)

We went behind after a minute against Montrose. Evans equalized a couple of minutes before the break, followed by Porter having a goal disallowed, but Bradshaw gave us the lead in the 58th minute. We couldn’t quite hold on to win as they equalized with a minute left and might have snatched a winner.

Annan 0-0 Dunfermline (SD2)

We had a rather less-interesting draw at Annan, though a solid 0-0 was a decent result.

League Table

Feb 2055

Alloa 2-4 Dunfermline (SD2)

We returned to winning ways at Alloa. Marsh gave us the lead in the 20th minute, followed by Porter 6 minutes later. Marsh scored his 2nd goal after 50 minutes, completing his hat-trick with a 79th minute penalty. They had already got a goal back, scoring a second just afterwards, and had a 3rd disallowed so it could have been much closer in the end.

Partick Thistle 3-0 Dunfermline (SD2)

We completely blew it at Partick Thistle. They took the lead in the 24th minute and we later collapsed as they got 2 more goals in the last 5 minutes.

Dunfermline 2-1 Cowdenbeath (SD2)

Marsh gave us the lead in the 17th minute against Cowdenbeath. They soon levelled it but the 51st minute saw Marsh score again. The final minutes were very hairy but we survived to get an important win.

League Table

It was a poor Autumn but since December we've managed to push up slowly, hopefully the playoffs beckon.

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Thanks, wondered where you've been. Anyway I admit I've been rubbish recently since an exam last week I've not felt motivated to do anything at al (even clearing my room up a bit and playing with dog, which is just as well as I quickly lost the ball when I did) and when I have felt like gaming it's mostly been giving Civ V a bit of a bash after months on the sidelines, hopefully getting a bit back into the FM groove now, though not quite satisfied my Civ curiosity.

Yeah, work has been getting busy, plus trying to plan for the 1st anniversary with my wife. Haven't had much time for FM :(

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Yeah, work has been getting busy, plus trying to plan for the 1st anniversary with my wife. Haven't had much time for FM :(

Thats a shame, well hope it goes well and you can get back on soon.

Mar/Apr 2055

Forfar 0-0 Dunfermline (SD2)

We had an occasional chance at Forfar, but later on they upped the pressure and we had to hold on hard to get a point.

Dunfermline 1-0 Brechin (SD2)

Marsh had a goal disallowed in the 8th minute against Brechin. We had most of the chances and finally got a deserved winner with a few minutes left from sub forward Sinclair, dumping them out of the top 4, giving us a 4 point safety margin in the playoffs with 5 games left.

East Fife 0-1 Dunfermline (SD2)

East Fife were also challengers, though they were a further point behind in 6th, which made an away game with them one that it would be potentially costly to lose. Porter headed us into the lead in the 32nd minute, slightly against the run of play. We were more dominant in the second half but thay looked like they might snatch a late equalizer. The win took us up to 2nd (though Ayr had 1st place almost mathematically secured) and with a 6 point cushion in the playoffs with 4 games left. Everyone above the bottom two had a reasonable chance.

Dunfermline 1-0 Annan (SD2)

3 of the last 4 games were at home, starting with Annan. It was a hard-fought first half, but Welsh gave us the lead in the 58th minute. As usual there was a lot of late tension but we won to pretty much secure our playoff place (7 points ahead of 5th with 3 games left.

Ayr 0-0 Dunfermline (SD2)

A point in an even (though uninteresting) game against Ayr was enough to give them the title and secure our playoff place, and having beaten them twice it was a good sign that we could get a result against anyone we needed to.

May 2055

Montrose 3-2 Dunfermline (SD2)

The sole remaining away game was against Montrose, and that was a bit of an off day as they were 2-0 up at half-time. They got another after 50 minutes, but Marsh and Welsh got a couple of goals back in just over 10 minutes. Despite the defeat we were still on course to be 2nd.

Dunfermline 3-1 Alloa (SD2)

We finished the regular league season against Alloa. Sturridge was back from suspension and headed us into the lead in the 32nd minute. Johnston extended it 6 minutes later. Welsh made it 3-0 early in the second half, and a late consolation couldn’t stop them going down.

Cowdenbeath 0-1 Dunfermline (Playoff Semi)

We went to Cowdenbeath for the first playoff game (though the town seemed to have relocated to New York as we played in Central Park). They generally had the chances, especially either side of half time, but a Johnston shot was deflected in for an own-goal in the 65th minute. They were still on top but we could have snatched a second on the break, but escaping with an away leg win was great.

Dunfermline 2-3 p(3-3) Cowdenbeath (Playoff Semi)

We had the home leg a few days later. We were far from safe in this leg either, but a penalty allowed Ranguin (who had returned in the away leg) to extend the aggregate lead in the 20th minute. They converted a free-kick 15 minutes later to open the tie up again. They levelled things (no away goals) in the 50th minute, quickly getting another from an own-goal. Opportunities to equalize were few and far between, but Ranguin got one just in time to give us extra time. We had a few extra-time chances but it went down to penalties. They missed the first penalty while de Jongh scored ours. We both missed the second penalties but they missed their 3rd as well with Welsh scoring. They finally scored their 4th but Murray made up for the fact that it was his-own goal that gave them the aggregate lead by slotting home to send us into the final. It was tight stuff, and harsh on Cowdenbeath who had definitely been the better side in both legs. Yet again the rules (no away goals in this case) fell my way.

Queen of the South 1-1 Dunfermline (Playoff Final)

In the final we faced Queen of the South, who were battling to stay in Division 1. They were actually a stronger side than I expected, especially a veteran Slovak midfielder who would manage fine in the SPL. Again the away leg was first. Unsurprisingly they were on the front foot and took the lead in the 29th minute. Marsh equalized in the 72nd minute but it was very much a survival mission, and somehow we managed to avoid losing.

Dunfermline 2-0 (3-1) Queen of the South (Playoff Final)

That left the home leg as a very tight decider. We had been on the back foot in every playoff game and this was no exception, however Morrison gave us the lead in the 26th minute. Wylie also scored against the run of play with a few minutes left in the half. We kept them mostly quiet in the second half, though they still could have come back, or give us a massive fright with a goal.

Playoff Final

Final League Table

Oh yes!!!! Having played FM very consistently (though earlier there were gaps of weeks or months) since Christmas 2004, and must be close to 1000 seasons, I’ve finally done back to back promotions!

It was a tough road, and 'somehow surviving/scraping through' was the order of the day for rather a lot of games. We had a good start, if rather lucky, then fell off badly to the point that I didn’t know which playoff to be expecting more. We managed to have a much better second half of the season to rise up to a comfortable (eventually, it was surprisingly late on that I was able to pinpoint an actual target what with the tightness and inconsistency of the lead) 2nd. The playoffs were a massive challenge, relying on the lack of an away goals rule and a stoppage time equalizer just to reach penalties in a semi final where we were out played, and being far more on the back foot in both legs of the final. It was an incredibly lucky promotion, but what matters was that we did it, not how. Not bad considering we were at the bottom of the entire Scottish League in my first season. I could barely believe it, not just the achievement but the very lucky way in which we did it.

My enthusiasm had very much been revived as well. I’m all for unpredictability and tight competition but the Scottish lower leagues take that to an absurd level that was getting rather depressing, and it’s no coincidence that when the mess cleared and we were able to focus on the playoffs I felt much better with that sense of purpose, which normally would be survival but in this case I needed more to satisfy me. While even in the 3rd Division I knew we’d manage alright in the Second Division, the First would require a lot more work, and survival (or more) would genuinely be a nice bonus this time.

Squad Stats

Star player: Yet again our most reliable performer, but may struggle in Division 1.

Johnston

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Congratulations!!!

Brilliant end to the season. :thup:

Out of interest, what is your target for time it will take to reach the top flight?

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Congratulations!!!

Brilliant end to the season. :thup:

Out of interest, what is your target for time it will take to reach the top flight?

There isn't one. A mixture of having been a First Division club for a while in reality, and the single promotion spot (not least how far and fast we've come back up) means its an 'if', not a 'when'. We probably won't be challenging for a couple of years at least. The squad needs a massive upgrade now, then the many vital reinforcements need to gel, and having had the lowest rep (I think, pretty much anyway) even in the season when we went up from Division 3, we'd probably need to keep upgrading for a bit as our rep improves to allow us to attract enough good players for the job. 3-5 years perhaps but it'll be a tough task indefinitely.

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congrats on finally achieving double promotion! you got plans to dominant Scotland like you did Italy or are you likely to leave if a decent offer comes from elswhere?

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Congrats on your promotion and all the best in Division 1. You just need to consolidate slowly and surely, then push on! Whats the difference in quality between your side and the rest of Division 1?

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congrats on finally achieving double promotion! you got plans to dominant Scotland like you did Italy or are you likely to leave if a decent offer comes from elswhere?

Probably not dominate, will stay in Scotland for a while to try and reach the SPL, which I expect to take a few years at least, though when I was getting frustrated last year I must admit I was thinking about when I might like to leave, still vaguely keeping track of Brighton (who looked like they might drop back to the BSS but didn't) and seeing Barcelona vacant again, but not in a 'definitely want to leave soon' way, just entertaining thoughts.

In the case of the former I had already found my long-term quest at Dunfermline and there was no point leaving it only a part of the way in to try and start another, and while I've never managed Barca in a career save and would very much like to, I still wanted to focus on this (and indeed was rewarded with promotion, just like the previous year), plus their expectations (1st and 2nd in the previous 2 seasons) is still high compared to their 'struggling to make europe' form so not only would it be potentially a shorter challenger than Milan, with plenty more 'underachieving' likely I imagine that having been available the past 2 seasons, it'll be open more times in the near future.

As I'm getting my long-term/lower league fix now (that I felt I needed after the easy Milan dominance), I definitely want to return to a reasonably big club or league next, but that's something for a few years at least, while I work on trying to get to the SPL. However if we do reach it, I would be more open to moving then if an interesting vacancy appeared in my inbox, though outside of Barca I can't think of many that are likely to come to my attention like that. I'm certainly linked to most Serie A jobs but it's unlikely to be there. Generally I manage titles (or cups) in a range of places in my careers, however both this career and last have just seen 2 each (Hungary and Germany, and Slovakia and Italy, the only other thing being the cup in Belarus) so I fancy trophies from a few more nations. Still that's some way off in the future.

Congrats on your promotion and all the best in Division 1. You just need to consolidate slowly and surely, then push on! Whats the difference in quality between your side and the rest of Division 1?

Yep, will definitely need a while to get to grips with the division. I haven't looked in depth at the other teams but Queen of the South were much stronger in quite a few areas which isn't a good sign (and were much better in the playoff final, I'm amazed we somehow won) same with Clyde who we played in the cup recently. We're probably a bit weaker than the other promoted side Ayr, so there's definitely a bit of a gap, I need to do a lot of strenghening if I can over the next year or 2 or we'll be in trouble.

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Back-to-back promotions is awesome, never done it myself neither, even if I would think it's what you'd expect of a manager with a massive international pedigree attained with Milan like you. :p However it certainly didn't seem like it was anywhere near likely after that poor first season at Dunfermline, so well done there for shocking everyone in Scotland, or erm, everyone in Scotland that actually cares about scottish lower league football. :D

Surviving after back-to-back promotion is going to be tough, particularly looking at the league tables over the seasons your sides have been built on trying to score loads of goals and hoping you'll concede less, that doesn't tend to be a very good strategy in a league packed with superior sides - so am looking forward to see how you're going to handle this.

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Things coming together nicely now; well done on the double promotion. Things will definitely get tougher now though!

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Back-to-back promotions is awesome, never done it myself neither, even if I would think it's what you'd expect of a manager with a massive international pedigree attained with Milan like you. :p However it certainly didn't seem like it was anywhere near likely after that poor first season at Dunfermline, so well done there for shocking everyone in Scotland, or erm, everyone in Scotland that actually cares about scottish lower league football. :D

Surviving after back-to-back promotion is going to be tough, particularly looking at the league tables over the seasons your sides have been built on trying to score loads of goals and hoping you'll concede less, that doesn't tend to be a very good strategy in a league packed with superior sides - so am looking forward to see how you're going to handle this.

You'd be amazed, it is a bit hit and miss but Brian Clough said never to worry about the opposition, just do your own thing and let them worry about you, and while it doesn't always work, staying ambitious no matter what has delivered a lot of successes over the years, and epic wins agains some very big sides.

I believe it was you who also thought my Portuguese forward at West Brom was a bit slow (he didn't seem too bad to me with pace of 12/13) who proved to be a great goalscoring success in the Premier League as well as the Championship, and when I was at Milan suggested resting some players in a busy Spring. I decided to keep faith with those who were playing well and ended up getting 2nd in the league and a cup double (Including beating Lyon 4-1 in the CL final in our first season in the competition, not to mention winning both legs in both the quarters and semis, hardly a team that was getting tired), trust me, I know what I'm doing (most of the time) ;)

Even switched from 4-4-2 (with wingers) to 4-3-3 (admitedly due to buying a lot of excellent midfielders and forwards I didn't want to waste, not as a very brave response to the challenge of promotion, or as a deliberate exploit) and we've had a very good start to the season (admitedly just a couple of league games in).

Anyway if Mourinho or Capello made a similar move I'm sure people would take notice, I've thought a bit about how lucky they must feel having me, and being able to keep me, and it's certainly worked out really well for both manager and club. I've made a few poor career choices but generally I'm very good at knowing the right place to go, and this has to count as one of my best ideas for a while.

Things coming together nicely now; well done on the double promotion. Things will definitely get tougher now though!

It hasn't started as badly as I expected, not just results wise but having grafted (even lucked) our way to so many results last year we're more comfortable so far despite a very busy summer. It's 4 points from the first 2 league games, and mostly very well deserved (far more than promotion itself that's for sure). Perhaps I won't have to worry so much after all, but we'll see how things progress.

Summer 2055

Upgrading and survival were the orders of the day. Even when beating Queen of the South to take their First Division place they were far superior on paper and even on the pitch, and while only losing 2-1 away to Clyde in the cup didn’t seem too bad it was nowhere near as close in reality, which demonstrated that we were some way off the rest of the league. We needed a lot of reinforcements to avoid struggling, and I essentially just wanted 8th. Thankfully we had Ranguin on loan again from Hearts, and moneywise we still had 1.5M in the bank and were using under half of a 12.8kpw wage budget, so as long as we cound find the players we needed, affording them wasn’t an issue. However finding them would be, as having had the lowest rep (probably) when we went up from Division 3, you can imagine how far we were lagging behind the rest of this division now, so I was anticipating having to strengthen over a couple of years instead of being able to get everyone we needed now.

I decided to hold off using my scouting capacity on free agents until the English were released, and it paid dividends as there were a wealth of good players I had missed out on before, though there was also a 200k+ signing (and another was cancelled when a superior free agent came just in time) as I was essentially freeloading on all the players I could get my hands on that looked good enough to improve the squad. Inevitably there were a few signings already released as having stacked up I needed to trim the squad down. It was tough on some of the players who had earned the 2 promotions, but too many of them couldn’t cut it so I needed to take a chance and hope the newcomers were good enough to help us survive while they were still a bunch of strangers, plus being overloaded with good midfielders and forwards there would be a formation change. If we did then I doubt we’d have too much to worry about once they gelled, as they would be capable of so much more than whatever we managed this year.

There were 21 signings (including Ranguin’s loan), and 22 departures (though a few players figured on both lists), so having built and used a team for Divisions 3 and 2, it was time for pretty much a whole new side to hopefully push us forward, and we were even running a lower wage bill (under 5kpw) than before all that activity. You can’t accuse me of doing nothing that’s for sure.

Anderson

Birch

Blyth

Hulse

Marsh

McNeil

Phillips

Thomas

Transfers

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You'd be amazed, it is a bit hit and miss but Brian Clough said never to worry about the opposition, just do your own thing and let them worry about you, and while it doesn't always work, staying ambitious no matter what has delivered a lot of successes over the years, and epic wins agains some very big sides.

I believe it was you who also thought my Portuguese forward at West Brom was a bit slow (he didn't seem too bad to me with pace of 12/13) who proved to be a great goalscoring success in the Premier League as well as the Championship, and when I was at Milan suggested resting some players in a busy Spring. I decided to keep faith with those who were playing well and ended up getting 2nd in the league and a cup double (Including beating Lyon 4-1 in the CL final in our first season in the competition, not to mention winning both legs in both the quarters and semis, hardly a team that was getting tired), trust me, I know what I'm doing (most of the time) ;)

Even switched from 4-4-2 (with wingers) to 4-3-3 (admitedly due to buying a lot of excellent midfielders and forwards I didn't want to waste, not as a very brave response to the challenge of promotion, or as a deliberate exploit) and we've had a very good start to the season (admitedly just a couple of league games in).

Anyway if Mourinho or Capello made a similar move I'm sure people would take notice, I've thought a bit about how lucky they must feel having me, and being able to keep me, and it's certainly worked out really well for both manager and club. I've made a few poor career choices but generally I'm very good at knowing the right place to go, and this has to count as one of my best ideas for a while.

I do have a very suspicious track record of FM advice to you, yes. :D Was just trying to spark some debate here, I find threads are more interesting that way.

Personally I've gone very reactive lately in terms of tactics, tweaking things in a game-per-game basis to try to nullify the opposition or get around the opposition's defense, and I feel that has improved my results immensely. Also had success when managing in Belgium by playing very defensive football against bigger sides. Albeit obviously it's the job of every manager to exploit his side's best weapons.

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Fantastic progress - congrats on the back to back promotions.

A season of consolidation to come - either that or you'll win the league.

Some super young players brought in too.

GL in the 1st :thup:

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I do have a very suspicious track record of FM advice to you, yes. :D Was just trying to spark some debate here, I find threads are more interesting that way.

Personally I've gone very reactive lately in terms of tactics, tweaking things in a game-per-game basis to try to nullify the opposition or get around the opposition's defense, and I feel that has improved my results immensely. Also had success when managing in Belgium by playing very defensive football against bigger sides. Albeit obviously it's the job of every manager to exploit his side's best weapons.

Of course, anyway for me consistency is the best policy, messing about with things leads to bad things. I have tried doing a bit of game by game tweaking, but found a couple of things that people may find odd given the usual wisdom is not to be as tactically consistent as I often am (doesn't mean I've never changed things to try and improve form, but it's a rare thing), when I have players getting tired at the same point each season (usually early January in England, especially when in the League cup Semis) keeping the players in is probably a bit better than continuously switching, and I used to do alright putting in a youth player in a position when I had no one else available rather that mess the formation around, though haven't done that much in the past year. That's the joy of FM though, different things work for diferent people.

Fantastic progress - congrats on the back to back promotions.

A season of consolidation to come - either that or you'll win the league.

Some super young players brought in too.

GL in the 1st :thup:

While still really unlikely, 'win the league' isn't quite as silly as it seems right now...

Jul/Aug 2055

Kilmarnock 2-1 (aet) Dunfermline (SCC)

The first test of the new team was at Kilmarnock in the Challenge Cup. This time last year we had just one new player in the side that started the first game. Now Bradshaw was the only starter who wasn’t new. We hadn’t won in 6 challenge or league cup games at it looked like it would make 7 when we went behind after an hour. Ranguin’s second loan spell started with him coming on and equalizing in the 89th minute to sent it to extra time, however they struck a winner half-way through.

Partick Thistle 2-3 Dunfermline (SLC)

We hoped for better at Partick Thistle in the League cup, and indeed Blyth and McNeil gave us a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. They fought back to 2-2 before half-time, but McNeil gave us a late winner, our first win in either the League or Challenge cup.

Dumfermline 2-0 Ayr (SD1)

The first league game was against fellow promotees Ayr. It was one of our more confident performances for a while, especially in contrast to a lot of our Second Division games, but we failed to take the lead before half-time, however Green made the breakthrough on his debut (as a sub) in the 51st minute, and McNeil gave us a 2-0 win in the 69th minute.

St Johnstone 1-1 Dunfermline (SD1)

Things were obviously tougher at St Johnstone, and we eventually went behind at the start of the second half. However 5 minutes later Birch was the second player in a row to come on as a sub and score on his debut to equalize. They were the only team that looked like winning but we held firm alright to draw.

Dunfermline 3-1 St Mirren (SD1) 1,800th career game!

St Mirren was my 1,800th career match. They were a bit of an SPL/Division 1 yo-yo side, having last been in the SPL the season before last, and had won both games so far, however while they were a bit better early on, it didn’t last, and an own-goal gave us the lead in the 24th minute. Blyth converted a free-kick 10 minutes later, and McNeil made it 3-0 a few minutes into the second half. That was misleadlingly comfortable, and after a lot of pushing they got a goal back with 10 minutes left, but little more.

Berwick 2-1 (aet) Dunfermline (SLC)

We went to Berwick (last season’s Division 1 champions) in the League cup. They were unlucky to have a goal disallowed in the first half, as they had been on top. That was balanced by Blyth also having one disallowed in the second half. It looked like they got their win in the 82nd minute but McNeil forced extra-time. A few minutes into extra-time they got the winner they should have had ages ago.

Dundee 0-3 Dunfermline (SD1)

Dundee away was another of the tougher games, however Birch gave us the lead in the 13th minute. We somehow pushed on, McNeil extending the lead in the 57th minute, and we even got another from Thomas in the 79th minute.

League Table

Sept 2055

Dumfermline 5-0 Elgin (SD1)

Birch gave us the lead again in the 7th minute against Elgin. McNeil scored 2 more before half-time. Blyth had a goal disallowed early in the second half, and it happened again after McNeil completed his hat-trick in the 61st minute. He even got a 4th from a penalty in the 76th minute.

Dumbarton 3-0 Dunfermline (SD1)

We faltered a bit at Dumbarton, gifting them their first points. The first half was pretty even, but we simply stopped playing in the second half and they got 3 goals.

Dunfermline 0-0 Clyde (SD1)

We didn’t shine against Clyde either, perhaps having a few chances to win but a dull 0-0 was what it turned into.

Livingston 0-2 Dunfermline (SD1)

We then had to go to Livingston, who were relegated from the SPL last year and clear front runners this time. However McNeil managed to give us the lead in the 42nd minute. Birch extended it a few minutes after the break. We managed to hold them off to get a great win, which for a while put us top, though we ended up behind Greenock Morton, the one team we hadn’t played yet (though they weren’t next).

League Table

Aside from a couple of games we had an excellent start. Not getting carried away but looking promising for next year probably.

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Great work on back to back promotions! Looking good this year as well, is it just one promotion spot, or are there play-offs as well?

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In a good position so far, looks tight but if you can keep winning the early starters usually fall away.

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Nice start. Pity about the cup form

Since we got our first win in either of those two competitions that's actually progress!

Great work on back to back promotions! Looking good this year as well, is it just one promotion spot, or are there play-offs as well?

It's just one spot which is always frustrating, though it does mean if we do go up at some point we just have to avoid bottom.

In a good position so far, looks tight but if you can keep winning the early starters usually fall away.

That would be quite incredible if we could, no pressure though having come up so fast already.

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It is harder considering you have risen so fast but I think you will be somewhere around the top come end of season.

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Nice start so far. You and a couple others may start pulling away in the table, so long as you're leading the charge :thup:

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Congrats on the promotion from the second division and well done in making a very impressive start in the first division.

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It is harder considering you have risen so fast but I think you will be somewhere around the top come end of season.

Somewhere around? Maybe. Almost certainly not top though, not now.

Very encouraging start, so far.
Nice start so far. You and a couple others may start pulling away in the table, so long as you're leading the charge :thup:

We were always going to be odds on favourite to be the team that dropped away, and we have but it's not quite as bad as I feared.

Congrats on the promotion from the second division and well done in making a very impressive start in the first division.

Even if we're a bit off the promotion pace, it's still an excellent season if we can keep it up.

Oct 2055

Dunfermline 3-0 St Johnstone (SD1)

Birch gave us the lead in the 32nd minute at home to St Johnstone. Thomas scored another a few minutes later, and Birch’s second gave us a 3-0 win just before half time, taking us top on goal difference.

Greenock Morton 2-1 Dunfermline (SD1)

We then had a top of the table clash at Greenock Morton. Moffet was suspended and without him we couldn’t keep them out (though we might not have been able to even with him). They easily and deservedly went 2-0 up after half an hour, and while Blyth got a goal back in the 74th minute we couldn’t grab a point.

Ayr 1-0 Dunfermline (SD1)

It was the first of 3 away games in a row, and we struggled in the next one at Ayr, surviving a disallowed goal in the first half. We were a little better in the second half but fell to a 67th minute goal.

St Mirren 0-2 Dunfermline (SD1)

We held firm better at St Mirren, but it looked like that was the only positive until Blyth gave us a surprise lead in the 64th minute, they hit us incredibly hard afterwards, but having found a good keeper in Anderson, he did his job to keep them out, and once the pressure was relieved, a St Mirren defender made a tackle on McNeil which ended up putting the ball in his own net for 2-0. When they did score in stoppage time it was disallowed, as well as having been too late anyway. You have to feel sorry for them.

League Table

Nov 2055

Dunfermline 2-3 Dundee (SD1)

McNeil gave us the lead against 2nd placed Dundee after 12 minutes. Thomas extended the lead early in the second half, but after they got a goal back he got sent off, and with the remaining centre-back Moffet having a terrible game they turned it around in the last 10 minutes to win 3-2, and it was a very bad game to throw away like that. Bradshaw was also out for 4-5 months, making it an even worse day.

Elgin 1-2 Dunfermline (SD1)

It looked worse as we went behind at Elgin in the 8th minute. However McNeil turned it around for us, equalizing in the 15th minute and getting a winner in the 48th.

Dunfermline 2-1 Dumbarton (SD1)

Dumbarton seemed to be a bit of a problem team, and we had occasional pressure but didn’t look like getting anywhere. They took the lead in the 65th minute, but Ranguin responded a few minutes later, but we didn’t looke like getting any more until Green gave us a winner in stoppage time.

Clyde 0-1 Dunfermline (SD1)

We had another close call at Clyde, McNeil sneaked us a win in the 73rd minute but otherwise we didn’t look like getting much.

Dunfermline 0-0 Queen of the South (SC)

We had the first of 4 home games in the cup against Queen of the South, who probably wanted revenge for the playoff final in May. There as very little going on as were were reasonably good but otherwise the match descended into a poor 0-0.

League Table

Dec 2055

Queen of the South 2-2p Dunfermline (SC)

We had the replay at Queen of the South just a few days afterwards. They took the lead after 25 minutes but Blyth equalized 12 minutes later. McNeil gave us the lead in the second half but having already been condemned to a replay we had to put up with extra time after a Moffet own goal. We wasted plenty of chances to win before it came to penalties. We scored all our first three, while Anderson saved their 2nd, and they missed their 4th, however we missed both our last regular penalties while they scored their last to take it to sudden death. Thenkfully they missed their next one while left-back Owen sent us through. I generally enjoy cups but this was one time I felt that with a replay and penalties it was unhelpfully draining to the players, and we had a couple of injuries to add to a worrying list.

Dunfermline 0-0 Livingston (SD1)

We at least managed to be lively at first against Livingston, though they soon took control. We could have gone top if we won, but as they would have very much gotten into the mix had they won, I was glad to draw and be just a point off.

Dunfermline 1-1 Greenock Morton (SD1)

We had another key clash with Greenock Morton. Unfortunately they quickly took the lead, and had another disallowed, Rayner snatched us a useful point late on in his debut, but we were still 3 points off the pace at the halfway stage. That doesn’t take much away from how great it is to be up here already. Unfortunately having dropped way off the pace in October, we were doing so again now.

Dunfermline 0-1 Ayr (SD1)

Ayr took the lead in the 37th minute followed by a disallowed equalizer from Ranguin, we pushed very hard late on but couldn’t avoid a defeat.

St Johnstone 3-1 Dunfermline (SD1)

We had another big blow at St Johnstone, conceding after 15 minutes and being powerless to avoid shipping at least one more before the break. We looked half-decent in the second half, but couldn’t avoid a 3rd goal before Blyth got a consolation.

Dunfermline 0-1 St Mirren (SD1)

We fell to a 25th minute penalty against St Mirren, but they were still better to deserve the win anyway, and it looked like reality was creeping in, though 3rd was still a very good position for now.

League Table

Jan 2056

Dundee 2-1 Dunfermline (SD1)

We went to table-toppers Dundee on new year’s day. Unsurprisingly we crashed badly and were 2-0 down in the first 15 minutes. Ranguin got a consolation in the 70th minute.

Forfar 0-1 Dunfermline (SC)

We went to Forfar in the cup, and had a goal disallowed in the first minute, but quickly scored from Thomas as we dispatched them with rather less fuss than Queen of the South.

Dunfermline 2-0 Elgin (SD1)

We ended our losing run in the league against bottom club Elgin. Thomas headed us into the lead in the 9th minute, with McNeil coming on and giving us another early in the second half as we got our first league win for 7 games.

Dumbarton 2-2 Dunfermline (SD1)

We disappointed at Dumbarton, going behind in the 40th minute. Ranguin equalized a couple of minutes later, but we were heading for defeat when they retook the lead with a few minutes left, but Birch rescued a point just in time.

Greenock Morton 1-2 Dunfermline (SD1)

Greenock Morton had an early goal allowed when we went to theirs. Blyth gave us the lead in the 11st minute but they quickly equalized. I wasn’t confident about getting anything but a Ranguin penalty gave us a surprise but welcome win in the 70th minute.

League Table

Well realistically after a maiden back to back promotion just how likely was a 3rd to be when we had to be top? It was an exciting thing to aim for when it looked like we might but no pressure of expectation. In part due to a poor December it seems like we're not going to go up this time but as survival was a serious worry, and I have brought in the best part of a whole squad, it was hardly top of my short-term priority list, and a strong top half finish would still make for an excellent season that I've have been amazed at had you told me at the start of the season.

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How does that division work? Do you play each other 3 times? Good job on finishing so high in your first season there, few additions and you could dominate next season.

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How does that division work? Do you play each other 3 times? Good job on finishing so high in your first season there, few additions and you could dominate next season.

It's not finished yet ;) and everyone plays each other 4 times (so 36 games). I might try and strenghen a bit (and might end up doing it a lot) but I'll probably be able make a better challenge with the players I've got next year.

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Feb 2056

Dunfermline 0-3 Hearts (SC)

We were at home against parent club Hearts in the cup, and predictably went behind in the 7th minute. We were very much reduced to holding out to avoid conceding more, but could have got something had Blyth’s 63rd minute goal been allowed, and we soon fell to another couple of goals.

Dunfermline 2-2 Clyde (SD1)

We looked good against Clyde with McNeil scoring in the 17th minute, and 10 minutes later. In the second half a Harvey own-goal let Clybe back into it, and they equalized in the 83rd minute, just after we had a 3rd disallowed which was rather harsh.

Livingston 3-0 Dunfermline (SD1)

We put up a poor show at Livingston. They took the lead in the 24th minute, with two more goals in the second half, and McNeil had a goal disallowed to add to the misery.

Ayr 5-0 Dunfermline (SD1)

We were winding down the season in very disappointing fashion, going behind in the 36th minute at Ayr. Green had a goal disallowed early in the second half, followed by a straight red for Harvey, leading to a 5-0 defeat.

League Table

Mar 2056

Dunfermline 1-0 St Johnstone (SD1)

A dull first-half against St Johnstone was a bit of a positive, and things got better when Blyth gave us the lead in the 49th minute. We didn’t do much else and had a bit of holding out to do but we got what was just our third league win of the year.

St Mirren 2-1 Dunfermline (SD1)

We were back to having to withstand a lot of pressure. We rode the storm in the first half, but that changed a few minutes into the second half when they took the lead. It was painfully onesided and they deservedly ot another after 76 minutes, though we actually played in the last few minutes and Blyth scored a stoppage time consolation.

Dunfermline 4-3 Dundee (SD1)

We had a chance to secure mathematical survival (not that it was an issue any more) against top side Dundee, and we certainly did it the hard way. They took the lead in the 7th minute, but an own-goal soon levelled it. They went on to go 3-1 up by the 55th minute, but McNeil got a goal back in the 67th minute, Green equalized in the 75th and Marsh gave us a shock win in the 86th.

League Table

Apr/May 2056

Elgin 1-1 Dunfermline (SD1)

We hoped to take advantage of a trip to bottom club Elgin to get our first back to back league wins since November. We looked good when Marsh gave us the lead in the 52nd minute but they equalized 5 minutes later and while on balance we should have got a winner, we didn’t.

Dunfermline 1-1 Dumbarton (SD1)

We looked like we’d get a win against Dumbarton instead, with Morrison giving us the lead in the 35th minute. However he got sent off in the 54th minute, and they easily managed to equalize.

Clyde 1-0 Dunfermline (SD1)

We were less than bonnie at Clyde, going down to a 14th minute goal that was the only thing remotely of interest in the entire match.

Dunfermline 0-4 Livingston (SD1)

We had an awful time against Livingston, going behind in the 2nd minute and a man down in the 29th. They scored again after 40 minutes and a couple more second half goals gave us a 4-0 defeat.

Dunfermline 3-0 Greenock Morton (SD1)

The last game was against Greenock Morton, but at least ended on a good note. Thomas headed us into the lead in the 12th minute, and though he went off injured, we kept it up. An own-goal gave us another in the 52nd minute, and 11 minutes later Green finished a 3-0 win.

Final League Table

A case of ‘first half good, second half not so good’, but given I was fearing ‘both halves awful’ it was still a lot better than I was hoping. I knew that after a good start that saw us challenging for the top that things would probably drop off a bit, but I didn’t expect it to be that bad. However we didn’t have to worry too much about dropping down the table much and I’d have been very happy with a top half finish at the start of the season. However it was very promising given our swift rise and the numerous signings made in the summer, and with more gelling and/or reinforcement we might be up in a year or two, and it was something worth pursuing. I had been getting a wider range of interest, like Everton, Werder Bremen, Zenit, Malaga and Panathinaikos, but still felt I had more to do here first. Whether we were up or not, those things would be more tempting in a couple of years though.

Squad Stats

Star player: McNeil took to Dunfermline like a duck to water, at least early on, getting a good goal ratio despite stumbling as much in the Spring as the rest of the team.

McNeil

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Pity about the drop off in the second half of the season. Good platform to make a push next season though.

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Good season overall after coming off two successive promotions. Should be a good enough platform to push for promotion in the next couple of seasons

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Respectable first season.Hopefully the foundations are there to push up the table in the coming seasons.

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decent first season there, must be hard to turn down the likes of Werder Bremen, Zenit, Malaga etc. You aiming to reach/dominate the top of the Scottish system first?

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Not a bad first season. Something to build on.

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Better than I thought you would do. A couple of heaving thumpings along the way though! :D

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Pity about the drop off in the second half of the season. Good platform to make a push next season though.
Good season overall after coming off two successive promotions. Should be a good enough platform to push for promotion in the next couple of seasons
Respectable first season.Hopefully the foundations are there to push up the table in the coming seasons.
Not a bad first season. Something to build on.

Hoping to get much closer this time, with the existign squad gelling (and some suppliments) there's no reason why we can't.

Better than I thought you would do. A couple of heaving thumpings along the way though! :D

Not the most consistent seasons, but better than mostly awful.

decent first season there, must be hard to turn down the likes of Werder Bremen, Zenit, Malaga etc. You aiming to reach/dominate the top of the Scottish system first?

Not so much turning them down as being favourites but rejecting any interest, and not even getting as far as direct offers. Hoping to reach the SPL, but probably won't stay long after (though will probably at least do a year up there to help them stay up), currently thinking about staying for the next couple of years but we'll see how things go before I decide beyond that. Still commited to Dunfermline for now but fancy a return to something reasonably big like those clubs (and Huddersfield though the fact they had qualified for the CL would have damaged their chances anyway) before too long.

Summer 2056

Having been desperate to stop up on all the good players I could get my hands on, this year a far higher bar meant it was quieter, though there were a few transfers later on to supplement the squad in various areas. There was the usual loan forward from Hearts (though it wasn’t Ranguin this time), and including that we had 6 players in, which was a couple more than I expected earlier on, plus another coming in January from South Africa, and I hoped it would be enough of an improvement without sacrificing too much of the ‘squad gelling’ benefit, as I hoped to at least make a more sustained challenge this time.

Comer

Evans

Massey

Tshabalala

Transfers

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For the first time in the league, thats a decent finish.

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