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[FM18] The Last King of Scotland - From the Highlands to European Glory

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Fort William Football Club

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Starting Squad / Club Background / Team Report / Facilities / Highland League Preview / William Murray Profile

Predicted Finish - 18th/18th - 350/1 Odds

Fort William play at possible one of the most picturesque football grounds, Craggan Park. With breathtaking views at the foothills of Ben Nevis. One of the youngest members of the Highlands League, joining in 1985, Football in Fort William takes second fiddle to the two shinty teams. With the obvious disadvantage of location compared to other teams in the league and all board members threatening to walk out on the club, Fort William FC is a team in need. William Murray, the 27 year old former semi-professional footballer might just be the man for the job! He has the long hair, he has the beard, what else does he need?

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There are a few bright sparks at the club. A loan signing goalkeeper from Inverness, 17 year old Martin MacKinnon is far too good for this level and will add valuable skills between the sticks for the season.  Veteran Central Defender David Moffat may be 34, but he hasn't lost a step with 14 speed, will be anchoring the defense for the year. 27 year old Michael Ellis is the only striker on the team currently which leaves Murray with a position of need to fill, but the most exciting player for next season might be Scott Chisholm. With a £438 per week wage allowance and £418 already spent, there may be some casualties leaving before new blood can be brought in.

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Pre-Season 2017/2018

Season Expectations / Team Captains / Highland League Grounds / Pre-Season Results

Sometime the best moves a football club make can be off the field, Fort William might have pulled off the signing on the century. Ally McCoist has 61 caps and 19 goals for Scotland and yet has signed a 1 year part time deal with the Highland club in one of the most bizarre stories to come out of Scotland.

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I wanted to give something back, and I had some free time before the World Cup next summer so I decided to find a team that needed a boost and to share my expeirence with. It's not about the money, its all about football and I hope to help William Murray bring success to Fort William.

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With William Murray on a tight budget, reducing the wage bill from part time players to non-contract seemed a wise move as most of the squad was moved on. With young and hungry players brought in, the pressure is off for the young team. 

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The pick of the bunch would be Central Midfielder Colin Smith who will look to form a partnership with Scott Chisholm for years to come. With a good first touch, high flair, vision and technique, he looks to have all the skills to excel at this level.

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Picturesque ground indeed. Putting some stands up would spoil the view.

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Great stuff man, been toying with the idea of Scotland myself, so will be following in here. 

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10 hours ago, Benjoe said:

Great stuff man, been toying with the idea of Scotland myself, so will be following in here. 

Has been on my radar for a while and only recently upgraded to 18, might not be much "sexy" football played as it is Scotland!

22 hours ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Picturesque ground indeed. Putting some stands up would spoil the view.

Very, apparently the biggest issue is the distance from the stands to the pitch! Don't think I need to worry about any stands blocking the view with the 50 people that come to watch so far!

Thanks for checking in, appreciated!

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Yikes.... I didn't quite know how far Fort William was on the old wages! I didn't think we could offer much but the top team is paying 1 player more than the entire team each week! Might not be as easy as expected! With only 96 (2nd lowest) fans per game, money may be an issue come the end of the season. Everything is looking rosey in Scotland....

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So we reach the halfway stage in the season and have performed well above expectations. We have tried several formations (4-1-3-2, 5-3-2 and 4-4-2) whilst avoiding what seem to be "cheat" tactics. So far we do not have a favorite, but with only around 18 players its more about systems for players then anything else.

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After a slow start to the season we find ourselves up in 5th place, way way above expectations. If we have the squad to challenge this season and last another 17 games, is probably unlikely. However, the 6 game unbeaten run was a nice surprise.

League Table / Past Positions / Cup Run

A little cup run also brought in 6k worth of bonus money, which helped big time. An away trip to League 1 Alloa Athletic welcomed us and a draw to bring in some gate money would have helped, 2 red cards late one meant we went down by the narrowest of margins. The biggest bright spark on the season must be the sensational play of striker Anthony Higgins who is scoring nearly a goal a game and has scored a record 5 vs Huntley. (Played 2 extra games before the screen grab)

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All in all, a promising start in Scotland, but already powerless to stop other clubs taking players

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Posted (edited)

To my shock, and sticking with a 5-3-2 formation, put together a great run of form that saw us head up the table. With 4 games to go in the season, there was a slim chance to overtake Wick Academy to finish first!

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Had just made a post about the final 4 games, when what comes into my inbox....

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Edited by theBlackPrince

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What database file are you using for this?

Had a nice Scottish lower league save earlier in FM18 and wouldn't mind giving it a go again - but this time going below the league system like this!

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End of Season Review - Season 1 - Predicted Finish 18th - Actual Finish 3rd

Fixtures 1 / Fixtures 2 / League Table / Transfers / Player Stats / Best Eleven

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Despite having the smallest wage budget in the league, we have performed like warriors all season to punch way above our weight. The second half of the season was a joy to behold, but we didn't have enough to cause the upset. If we can build on the squad and not lose too many players, we may be able to challenge for top spot next year.

The biggest issue facing the Fort William manager will be how to bring in more money. With the 2nd lowest crowd in the league, the club have struggled and are currently sat way into their overdraft.

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A special mention has to be for Striker Anthony Higgins who scored a team record 32 league goals in 34 games and won Fort Williams Player of the Year.

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On a final note, have to feel for Wick Academy. The promotion system is one of the hardest as the top team from here face the Lowlands League champion to face the bottom team in League 2. Wick fell at the first hurdle to East Kilbride who then beat Berwick Ranges to gain promotion. 

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Ha ha. As if Wick won. How different the world is...

Good first season though.

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Season 2 - Highland Football League - Predicted 7th

Ummmmm, someone tell the board their expectations are rather high! Guess I better try and win the league then...

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Least McCoist decided to stay after being undecided for a while...

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Time to see how this season goes with an even smaller wage budget!!

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3 hours ago, theBlackPrince said:

On a final note, have to feel for Wick Academy. The promotion system is one of the hardest as the top team from here face the Lowlands League champion to face the bottom team in League 2. Wick fell at the first hurdle to East Kilbride who then beat Berwick Ranges to gain promotion. 

Indeed. Here's hoping you'll be able to grab the chance when you get it!

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Feel for you with the expectation but you clearly have the best rated squad in the league according to the SI algorithm. That's what they told me when suddenly I was expected a title in my second season...

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45 minutes ago, dllu said:

Indeed. Here's hoping you'll be able to grab the chance when you get it!

It's a tough slog even getting there at the minute, Sign players, lose them to bigger clubs as all on non contracts! Sign more players and repeat. Then as above it's a big deal getting promoted from these leagues!

 

9 minutes ago, Wavelberry said:

Feel for you with the expectation but you clearly have the best rated squad in the league according to the SI algorithm. That's what they told me when suddenly I was expected a title in my second season...

I'm not sure I have the best squad, have some good players but definitely better out there. In for a good season I feel, but if we can hold on for a title, guess we shall find out!

Thanks for checking in!

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Fort William go Cup crazy after staggering run

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Somehow, two Highland League teams have made it to the 5th round, and they have been drawn together! Avoiding possible teams as Rangers and Celtic (although the payday would be nice if at home), the chance to make it through to the next round for Fort William cannot be better as they have won all 4 meetings with Huntly. All in all, Fort William will be hoping for the win, a nice bonus and then a big team heading to Claggan Park.

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Unfortunately, it was only a matter of time before Scotland Legend Ally McCoist left for a Managers job. We wish him well!

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Fort William thrash Huntly in Scottish Cup

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The Cup run is alive and well with anticipation filling the air for the next round after another big victory.

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What might be of more importance to the Fort William board is the extra prize money and seeing some profit for the first time in 2 years.

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The only question now is, do we get a big dream tie at home in the next round??

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It's Celtic.........

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Might Celtic, Kings of Scotland for the past decade will find themselves in unknown territory as they face a long away day to Highland League side Fort William. The Fort wil hope to see a record crowd at the game, something which could secure their financial future for this season. No-one expects more than a drubbing, but the cup is magical so there will be many fans across the nation cheering on for the unthinkable to happen!

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Unfortunately, Celtic were just too strong. But we did grab a goal and only let in 3, with a packed house of 1,800 fans, it was one hell of a day for Fort William!!

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As attention turned to the league, a few slips ups had left the title WIDE open! It could once again go down to the wire with no room to lose any games!

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Actually a little nervous now, we looked unstoppable for most the season but maybe the extra games and losing a few key players in the last transfer window is starting to show...

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Posted (edited)

Fort Williams season almost came crashing down before their very eyes when a 3-2 defeat to Cove Rangers with 1 game left to go in the season all but looked to hand the title to Buckie Thistle. Buckie were playing bottom of the league Formartine, but an 85th minute goal would be the difference as Buckie Thistle missed the opportunity to go top with just 1 game left. As it stands, Fort William have their own destiny in their hands.

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Fort Williams final 4 games

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Buckie Thistle Final 4 games

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Any slip up on the final day and it's all still to play for.

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Edited by theBlackPrince

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Final Game Review - Fort William 5 - 1 Clachnacuddin

15 Minutes - Dean Carse strikes first to give Fort William the advantage

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22 Minutes - Disaster for Clachnacuddin as Neale Allan gets a second yellow card and is sent off. Advantage Fort William

35 Minutes - Shocking keeping from Steven Simpson gifts Clachnacuddin a goal to make it 1-1 and a hope for Buckie Thistle

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40 Minutes - The league top goal scorer Anthony Higgins makes the halftime team talk easier as he slots the ball home.

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69 Minute - Greg Mitchell taps in a simple goal with good play from Dean Carse to set him up.

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79 Minutes - Anthony Higgins rounds off his campaign with another brace.

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90 Minutes - Dean Carse jumps on a mistake to round the game off with a huge 5-1 win to lift the title

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Highland - Lowland League Playoff - Stirling University vs Fort William Leg 1

The hard work has only just begun for William Murray and his Fort William team as they face a tough Stirling Uni team in the 2 leg play-off. Stirling won the Lowland League with 61 points and a comfortable 6 points ahead of the pack. This would be a tough test for The Fort as they would play the away leg first.

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A red card for Naismith and a 90th minute winner for Stirling saw them take home the spoils and the advantage for the second leg. In an even game with tempers overflowing, 10 yellow cards were issued. The 247 fans were treated to a good game of football, one that puts the pressure on Fort Williams to get the result at home next week.

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Posted (edited)

Highland - Lowland League Playoff - Stirling University vs Fort William Leg 2

All to play for in the second leg which Fort William had to win to keep their promotion hopes alive. Another tight game which could have gone either way saw Fort William take an early lead, and despite Stirling Uni pressure they could not get that all important away goal and Fort William got the second late in the second to take the game, and most importantly, the victory and a chance to play for a spot in League 2.

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This set up a thrilling tie with East Kilbride, the promoted team from last year who showed how tough it is to get promoted and then stay there.

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Edited by theBlackPrince

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Congratulations on getting through the eye of the needle! :applause: 

Now for the tough task of staying up.

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End of Season 2 - Highland League 1st Place

League TablePlayer Ratings / Team Stats / Team Awards / Best Eleven / Season Best Eleven

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Expectations from the board were high despite the terrible lack of wage budget. Keeping hold of our top striker from last season and Anthony Higgins once again lead the league in scoring. Despite almost gifting the season away with a loss on the second to last game, a convincing 5-1 victory on the last day secured the championship. A first leg loss to Stirling University didn't stop the Fort in the second leg as they got the win at home. East Kilbride was all that stood in the way of Promotion, but with a bruised, battered and unhappy squad from the poor season and The Fort players riding high, promotion came from a 5-2 agg victory. Promotion and into League 2.

The year ends in a positive with finances showing a healthy profit, mainly due to the long cup run! 

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The next season will be tough, but hopefully I can get players tied down to part time contracts rather than non-contract so i shouldn't keep losing most my players every transfer window. If we can survive next season, the only way will be up.

 

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On 12/07/2018 at 20:49, dllu said:

Congratulations on getting through the eye of the needle! :applause: 

Now for the tough task of staying up.

Thanks, really thought it was over and a 2nd place when losing that game at the end. Bottom of the league saved my season, unreal!

On 12/07/2018 at 23:09, Nobby_McDonald said:

What a season. Very well done.

It was a good one, the cup run really helped the funds out also! Time to see if we have what it takes to stay up!

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Season 3 - Scottish 2nd Division - Predicted 10th

After the dust had settled and the handover's had subdued, Fort Williams manager William Murray got back to work and the business of trying to build a squad capable of staying up in the Scottish 2nd DIvision, something East Kilbride couldn't do last year. But this was not going to be easy, Fort William is not exactly the hub for footballers and it soon became apparent, no-one wanted to come, apart for those wanting wages that would not only stretch the club, but break them. Turning down over 20 players who looked like they could have come in and started, the Fort only managed 4 signings for the new season, and even then 2 had to come in on loan! If staying up was going to be hard without new players, it may be even harder now.

With 110 p/w wages allowed, all currenly players who won promotion deemed good enough were signed up to part time deals, no more losing key players due to non-contract status. WIth £1,820 per week to spend on wages and £14,800 for transfers, there was some funds there if needed. Most players signed for between £30-£60 per week part time, Murray was not bringing anyone in on a big wage to rock the apple cart! Can Anthony Higgins keep up the form that has seen him score 69 league goals in 70 appearances, or will the jump in class be too much for the much loved striker? With the top 3 players all being defenders, this may be key to survival this season.

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With the early season giving The Fort a nice cash injection of 33k for playing in the BetFred Cup, a win on penalties saw us finish 4th in the group.

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This leaves us starting the season in the healthiest position we have ever been in. But, I must stress, we have to keep building on this and not risk over-spending as the club needs fund to upgrade facilities in the near future.

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And finally, we get to the season preview, which once again, won't show good reading with us favorite for the drop.

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The 100 game in charge marker came up, with a 2-2 draw with Forfar capping off a wonderful start to the campaign.

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The start of the season could not have gone much better, with success in the League and another good cup run on the horizon, defeating two teams of much bigger standing. Maybe they played a weaker team, but all that matters is we are on another run and hopefully prize money will keep coming in. 

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In the League, what more can you say then WOW! 2nd in the League in a year meant for struggles and relegation. Really surprised how well the team with little additions has done, but that shows how good the Highland league is below as we struggled at times there!

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So far so good, and I'm not remotely worried about the challenge for the title, this is just a foundation year to cement our place and keep improving the team.

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Irn-Bru Cup 4th Round

Fort William continued their great cup form when a 90th minute winner sealed the victory over Championship opposition, Dunfermline. In what is one of the biggest victories for the Highland club to date. In a game that could have gone either way and chances for Fort William at a premium, to get the victory in the dying seconds is always pleasing.

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This now set's up home game vs Clyde in the quarter finals and Fort William join Stenhousemuir as League 2 representatives.

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Fort William and CLyde have played twice before, last year in the cup with a 3-3 draw turning into a 5-0 drubbing for The Fort in the second leg. Murray and his team will be hoping history repeats itself!

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Irn-Bru Cup Quarter Final

Star Striker Anthony Higgins added another 2 goals to his every impressive tally for Fort William as they ran out impressive 3-1 winners over Clyde and fans are beginning to dream of the clubs first cup success. In a game where Dean Carse missed a penalty which would have made it 3-0, it would soon be that scoreline when Higgins scored his second. Clyde got a consolation to keep the game interesting but were never really in it at that stage.

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The Fort have been rewarded with another home game in the Semi-Final....

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Irn-Bru Cup Semi-Final

No-one expected Fort William to be at this stage of the competition, even fewer people would have bet on them to make it to the final. But thats what happened behind a 3-2 victory that still has people stunned that they are in the final. It would be loan signing, Peter Andersonwho has wowed the fans on his loan from Aberdeen who would win Player of the Match award as The Fort came back from 2 down to win 3-2.

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All eyes turn to McDiarmid Park, the venue for the final which will see Fort Williams take on Championship side Raith Rovers.

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Posted (edited)

Irn-Bru FInal - Fort William vs Raith Rovers

The shock team of the cup, Fort William have 500 fans travelling from the Highlands to represent as 10,696 fans filled McDiarmid Park for the much anticipated game. Could Fort William perform one more giant killing, or would the bigger team finally show up and win what should be an easy trophy for the Championship side?

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Game Notes

With very little between the two teams, Raith were the ones putting pressure on the Fort Williams goal. It would be the 25th minute when Fort Williams had their first real chance, one they took. Jason Brown cleared the ball out from defense, landing at the feet of Anthony Higgins. Driving towards towards goal, with 3 players in chase he squared the ball across beautifully for loanee Peter Anderson to slot home in the bottom right corner.

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Fort Williams would go into the half with the surprise lead, but would soon be pegged back in the 59th minute when a great cross to the front post by Scott McLean found Jonny Court, and from short range he fired it past the keeper to level it up. All to play for and surely Raith Rovers would now finish the job?

It would be the 66th minute when Sam Liddington, before he sending off unleashed Anthony Higgins down the wing, right at the line he whipped in a cross to Peter Anderson once again to rise above his man, this time heading in the top corner to take the lead once more.

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Only 5 minutes later, and the game on a knife edge and the Fort Williams fans starting to get nervous in holding off the opposition for another 20 minutes. Sam Liddington once again from the left, fed Lewis Davidson who moves to the edge of the box and with a beautiful curing ball, slots it in the corner past the keeper.

The game was nearly put out of reach when on the 79th minute striker Peter Anderson was on for hat-trick, but the worst penalty straight at the keeper down the middle was saved. Raith Rovers piled on the pressure and Fort Williams had to see out the game with 10 men after Ross Matthews skipped pass Sam Liddington who brings him down, earns a 2nd yellow and red card. Fortunately for his team, the 2 goal lead was enough and Fort Williams did the unthinkable and won the Irn-Bru Cup. Starting the season at 1000-1 outsiders, one plucky fan in the crowd  is a happy man after he had stuck £10 on at the start of the season.

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Overview 1 / Overview 2 / Heat Map / Winners / Past Winners

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Final Competition Overview - 

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Road to the Cup Victory

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Edited by theBlackPrince

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On the back of the Cup Win I had my first serious job offer...... This was turned down!

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We are also in a great spot thanks to the cup run, money from the ticket sales and prize money for winning.

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And finally, with 2 games to go, we got confirmation what most had expected for a few weeks, we would be finishing in the top 4 and would be in the play-offs. Finishing Position to be determined, could be 2nd to 4th right now.

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Delighted after turning down Dundee United, the board rewarded me with a new contract.

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The regular season came to and end, and performing much better than advertised, Fort William finished a respectable 3rd & Set up a Play-off game vs Forfar.

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In the other game, 9th placed League 1 team Clyde will face League 2 Cowdenbeath who finished 4th.

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Only a couple of weeks have passed since Forfar were drubbed by Fort William, will that play on their mind or will revenge help them win the play-off?

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Ladbrokes Scottish League 2 - Play-Off Semi Final

Leg 1 - We start with the first leg at home where we looked to press the advantage! Fan favorite Striker Anthony Higgins popped up with 2 goals to set the first leg up nicely. A quick reply from Forfar saw the lead shrink to just 1 goal at 2-1 and that's how the game would end. Fort Williams had done what they needed to do, get the win and although a couple of goal advantage would have been nice, taking any lead to the second leg is a big plus.

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Leg 2 - What a second leg, it really had it all. Fort William took the lead with Alex Thoirs in the 3rd minute and continued to dominate the game and should have had 2 or 3 goals. But, something changed and all of a sudden and Forfar had won and put away the penalty. Still, 1-1 is good for the win. 2 minutes later Forfar were now running wild and with the last kick of the first half, they stunned the away side with a third goal, and that victory seemed to be slipping away. Forfar winning 4-3 with 45 minutes to go. It went from bad to worse as with almost the first attack of the second half Forfar were 4-1 up on the night and 5-3 on aggregate and Fort William had no answer.

It would take a monumental effort to get back into the game with 15 minutes to go and 2 goals needed. This was crunch time, and in this time star loan signing Peter Anderson added to his tally for the season. The boys looked to be re-energised and struck back another blow the next minute when Dean Carse carved up the defense and slotted home. 3-4 on the night but 5-5 and if no-one else scored, it was off to overtime.

With most players pretty dead on their feet, 30 minutes of overtime would be a battle of the fittest. Fort William came out strongest and with a push in the box, Dean Carse had the chance to be the hero. But, the drama was not finished as the keeper saved it, massive opportunity gone. Luckily for Dean, Sam Pugh stepped up from the corner and unleashed a thunderbolt into the top corner, and from 4-1 down The Fort were now 4-4 and 17 minutes away from the play-off final. Going to an ultra Conservative formation, the game was seen out and the Fort William players had come back to win from an unlikely place, and now waited to see who they would play for a chance of promotion.

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Ladbrokes Scottish League 2 - Play-Off Final

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Leg 1 - Well, what an absolute let down at this stage of the season. A game which looked to be good for the taking, and the young Fort William team cracked under pressure as Cowdenbeath took a huge 3-0 advantage to the second leg. It would take a performance of epic proportion to turn this around. But, get an early goal or two and who knows where we will be at the final whistle. 

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Leg 2 - Much like leg 1, this was not the team we had seen all season and mybe the pressure had got to the team. With no goals in the first half and then going down 1-0, it was all down to pride and thankful Dean Carse tapped in from 2 yards out to get the draw and at least not end with a loss. Cowdenbeath outplayed us for 2 legs and deserved to go up.

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Fort Williams - End of Season 3 Review - Ladbrokes League 2 - 3rd Position

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League Table / Transfers / Fixture 1 / Fixture 2 / Cup Fixtures / Best 11 / Overall Best 11 / Team Awards / Attendance / Wages

Performing above all expectations to get to the playoff Final only to be beaten by Cowdenbeath to miss out on a promotion that no-one expected. Winning the Irn-Bru Cup was the high point of the year and one that could take some beating as any silverware for a club this size is a massive achievement. With a small and young squad, it was great to see everyone performing and sets Fort William up for a real shot at promotion next season.

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Finances

With a big Cup run this have helped us out, despite out League 2 worst attendance which does not help us out the rest of the season. In the best financial position ever, but the club is still not in a position where the board want to spend money on facilities. 

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Sqaud

Goalkeepers - Simpson held out from the slightly better rated Morrison who will probably take over next season as his up-side is just much more. Simpson will be kept around for as long as we can as he is a solid back-up. 

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Defenders - Brown has cemeted his place but Eadie has struggled all season in the back 3. He might be more effective in a back 2 but at the minute, the formation is working so he will need to have a big season next year. Forest was brought in late on and looks like he could be pushing to be part of that starting 3 across the back next season. The wing-back position take a lot of work and Mitchell was always one who covered the most distance.  Davidson and Lidington have potential to improve and will be fighting with Hornby, who could be the best of the bunch but spends too long on the sidelines each season. Thoirs is a fan favorite and played all over this season, but unlikely to improve for next year.

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Midfielders - Well, we have a few more guys that can play central midfield and with Guest being the best player we had there all season, it's thankful we have managed to secure him for another season on loan. We will need to improve here as Chisholm and Carse may struggle to stay here for many more years.

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Strikers - Anthony Higgins had his doubters for the year but with a solid 28 goals and 16 assists, he could still lead this line for another season or two. Loanee Peter Anderson was a player who just got better and better as the year went on and lead the team with 33 goals and 11 assists, that will be hard to replace next year and to challenge for promotion, we need to make that #1 priority. 

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With no youth system in place (or so to speak off) there has been 0 players come though the ranks that have the ability to play for us, which is a huge shame as I like to promote from within when I can. I have a feeling it could be a while before we see our first youth player in the starting lineup. 

Moment of the Season - Irn-Bru Cup Winners

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I see 11 dedicated fans made the trip to Forfar for the away leg in the semi finals! :lol:

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2 hours ago, SeanRTG said:

Well in, unreal so far. Mon the teuchters!

The Cup run was unreal, didn't expect that. Just kept expecting to lose!

2 hours ago, withnail316 said:

Outstanding work so far. Good luck in the play off.

Play-off final was really poor, just got played off the park! Still, I'll take that for where the team is for now.

1 hour ago, Clarky323 said:

I see 11 dedicated fans made the trip to Forfar for the away leg in the semi finals! :lol:

Oh our travelling support is un-rivaled! 11 might be a new record for such a big game! Can see gaining supporters being a challenge with Fort William!

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Scottish Update

Well....I say Scottish, I mean Celtic update. They are still dominating and have won the League and Cup Double for the past 3 years since the start of the game. Rangers and Hibs seem to be in the top 3 year on year, but can any of them stop Celtic anytime soon?

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Euro Update

Well its been English dominance for a couple of seasons before an all Spanish final last Year. Celtic also almost had some Euro glory as they fell to Arsenal in the Euro Cup in 2018/19 with a 2-0 defeat. Can Celtic claim some more European silverware anytime soon?

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Season 4 Preview - Labrokes League 2 - Predicted Finish 7th

Transfers / Season Preview / Jack Murray Profile / Connor McBride Profile

The dust has settled on Fort William's best ever season as they finished 3rd in League 2, narrowly missing out on promotion via the play-offs. A shock Irn-Bru cup victory added silverware to the trophy cabinet with some famous wins along the way. With start striker Peter Anderson heading back to Aberdeen and not wanting to extend his stay (Offered to buy, didn't want to move. Offered to loan again and now we are not good enough). What does this season bring for The Fort?

Squad

Goalkeepers

Scott Costello has come in after being released by Brechin without playing a game. He looks like he has the current and potential ability to start and secure his spot at the teams #1. Morrison and Simpson are fighting to back him up and maybe play in Cup games, both may stay as they are on low wages.

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Defenders

Probably the most congested part of the team but the need for 3 center backs and 2 wing backs, who in this team are expected to cover a lot of ground, having cover is vital. Can Eadie finally look like the player that he should be and lead that back line? Lidington is an exciting player at LWB, but can he keep his head and stay on the field to be effective? If he can''t, Hornby could look to step in and cement his place in the team. Overall, not a bad group, it will all be how they gel and if the back 3 can be an effective unit.

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Midfield

Breaking the wage structure was a huge gamble but Jack Murray looked like a player we could not turn down. After being released by Ross County and needing to sure up the middle of the park, it was a no brainier to bring him in. Mark Gallagher also comes in with high expectations also from Ross County, and we all hope that previous playing with each other will help come day one. Scott Guest continues his loan and everyone else looks to be fighting it out to gain minutes from the bench. 

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Strikers

Anthony Higgins stepped up and proved he still had the eye for goal at this level, but couldn't match Peter Anderson. With other strikers leaving the club, 2 loan signings from Falkirk will help to lead the line. Connor McBride looks to be a great get for the club and expect to see goals flying in from him all season. A small group, but hopefully will be enough to see us through the season.

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Fort William Season 4 Review - Ladbrokes League 2 - 1st

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League Table / Fixture 1 / Fixture 2 / Cup Fixtures / Best 11 / Overall Best 11 / Season Awards

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Well, it started off as a fight with Albion Rovers as we stood toe to toe for weeks. Each team kept winning and swapping places. Funnily enough, it was them beating us that set them on a run of 1 win from the next 6 and after that we powered away to seal the title with several games left to play. Mission accomplished and the gamble to break our wage structure for a couple of players seemed to work out well. 

New Contract

Wanted to get a longer term deal and they have been worried for a while about me leaving for a bigger club and not wanting me to progress my coaching. New deal, everyone is happy, well I will be if thay can start to improve facilities and we can get more than 1 man and his dog to the games.

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Squad

As expected, the loan signing of Connor McBride turned out to be perfect business as he scored 24 goals in 41 games along with 13 assists. Club hero Anthony Higgins saw his time split with Max Anderson, but he came out ahead and added another 19 goals. Can he step up one more level, or will this be his ceiling? Jack Murray may have the biggest wages, but he put in a shift every game and ended up with 11 goals and 6 assists and looks to be one who can move up to League 1 without much drama. 

Sam Lidington once again had a good season at LWB, but heads into the record book for the wrong reason, namely 14 yellow and 2 red cards. Scott Costello cemented his place as the starter in goal and hopefully can move up to League 1 football. Cammy Eadie finally started to produce displays that have been needed in that back 3.

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Finances

No cup run to help these build, but still in an OK place!

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Posted (edited)

Season 5 Preview - Ladbrokes League 1 - Predicted 9th

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Season Preview / Transfers

A well deserved promotion saw us move to League 1 and only 2 leagues away from the main aim, to get to the Scottish Premiership. We still couldn't be further away from getting there with an attendance of only 200 "fans" and facilities that would be best off left in the 1940's. With the struggle being real to attract big players to the team despite our new elevated position, it would be old faces that will have to steer the club clear of a relegation battle. The board had other idea's, thinking we should be finishing mid-table right from the go. Let's see if they are right....

Squad

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Can beloved striker Anthony Higgins defy logic and continue to score goals? After being a good Highland League player, still banging them in in League 2, will the jump up again be too much? William Murray has faith in his record scorer and will be given every chance to excel and add to his tally. Australian by birth, Scottish by choice Chris Duggan will partner Higgins up top. His last spell in League 1 was not successful, with only 6 goals in 36 games for Forfar. He was once at Premiership club Partick Thistle so was highly rated as a youngster. Another couple of strikers joined the club, Andrew Macrae and Scott Cameron on loan from Dundee will be looking to make an impact.

Not a huge sum of money but defender Lewis Dunbar became the record signing as he cost £1,400 from Forfar. Despite this, he will look to be the 3rd in line for the back 3 but that is a vital role in Murray's 3-5-2 formation and the defense will be called upon often this year. The free signing of defender Jamie Walker may overshadow Dunbar, but those two forming a partnership is key for the team this year. Once again, Jack Murray will be given the keys to drive the midfield and the 21 year old will need to be at his best for the team this year. Scott Costello will continue his spell at the clubs #1 but will be tested often this year.

 

Edited by theBlackPrince

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Seasonal Update

After inconsistencies in the first part of the season, it looked like mid-table was going to be the best Fort William would hope for. With 11 games left, just when he was really coming into his own, Chris Duggan went down with a broken ankle for the rest of the season after 15 league goals in 25 games.

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But The Fort pushed on, and grew with confidence and somehow with 4 games to go, play-offs were a minimum and with no stand-out team, there was a shot at winning the league if results went the right way. All to play for and nothing to lose for William Murray and his team.

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Game 1 - April 9th

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The best result for Murray as top of the table Edinburgh City lost to 2nd place Ayr with Fort William earning a victory over bottom of the league Elgin. This put the top 3 teams all within touching distance and really no clear favorite at this stage. Fort William were staying in the mix.

Game 2 - April 16th

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In a cruel twist of fate, it looked like Fort William would be leading the league with 2 games to go. Despite allowing Alloa back into the game at 2-2, an 80th minute strike saw them take the game and with Edinburgh City losing, The Fort were top. As the final whistle rang out, news came in of 2 late goals in the Ayr game meant dropping down to second, and setting up an almost winner takes all match next week when Claggan Park welcomes Ayr. WIth a run of 4 wins on the trot, hopes are high and Murray hopes for a big crowd to witness what could be the biggest game of the season. Ayr finish off with relegated Elgin, so this is a must win game!

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Oh, had to update this. Massive match for promotion chances to the Championship and we managed 6!!!! Away fans, wow! That's just depressing.

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