S.S.L. Season 177

Season Summary

Celtic completed a remarkable treble of League, Summer Cup and Albion Cup in Season 177 of the S.S.L.

The season kicked off with the Summer Cup as usual. The final was contested between Celtic and Rangers, and was a close-fought contest, finishing 2—2 after extra-time. A lengthy penalty-kick shoot-out was eventually won by Celtic with a score of 7—6.

The leagues started off interestingly, with the match of the season being contested between Aberdeen and Celtic, the north-east side emerging as victors in a 9-goal thriller with a score of 6—3. Despite this, Celtic led the table after 8 matches, with 18 points, just ahead of Motherwell, Aberdeen, St Johnstone and Alloa on 16 points. Rangers had another poor start, lying 11th out of the 16 teams after 8 matches. In the 'B' League, Kilmarnock began strongly, with six wins in a row, but after a draw and a defeat, they lay in second place behind Dunfermline, who were unbeaten with 20 points from a possible 24.

After 20 matches, Celtic still led the 'A' League, by 3 points from St Johnstone, who were having a productive season at this point. Aberdeen were third, a further three points behind St Johnstone, having squandered a number of points due to inconsistent results. Hearts continued to have a poor season, languishing in 13th place. Both Dundee sides were in the bottom three, along with Stirling Albion.

In the 'B' League, Dumbarton continued strongly, and had a 12-point lead over their nearest challengers, Queen's park, who continued to surprise the pundits, most of whom tipped the Hampden Park side to drop straight back into the 'C' League. Hibs were still outside the play-off spots in sixth place, but were only 2 points behind Queen's park, so they only needed a small improvement to push them into the play-offs or even automatic promotion. Earlier in the season, East Fife looked set to drop straight back to 'C', but an improvement in form saw them out of the relegation spots for the first time in the season at the 20-match stage. Livingston and, surprisingly, Morton occupied the bottom two.

In League 'A', Celtic eventually were the runaway winners, obtaining 67 points and finishing 13 points clear of runners-up Motherwell. Unfortunately St Johnstone, the surprise package of most of the season, slumped so badly that they failed to even gain a European qualification place, finishing sixth and being pipped by Inverness and Rangers. At the bottom, Dundee and Stirling, two of last season's promoted teams, returned straight back to League 'B', and Dundee United slipped into the play-off spot only two seasons after winning the league title. Although Queen of the South avoided the drop straight back into the lower division, two out of three of the promoted teams dropping back down immediately does not bode well for reducing the gap between the divisions.

This trend continued in League 'B', as Falkirk and Dumbarton, the two automatically promoted teams, had come down from League 'A' just last season. Dunfermline, Kilmarnock and Raith Rovers qualified for the play-offs, the latter after a strong rally that saw early hopefuls Queen's Park drop to sixth place and out of contention. The Hampden club had only come up from League 'C' last season though, so finishing sixth was a creditable result, whilst the other promoted team, East Fife, narrowly avoided the drop by 3 points. Hibs, however, failed to achieve the chance to return to League 'A' after one season and must endure lower division football for another season. Cowdenbeath and Livingston dropped out of League 'B'.

League 'A'

League Table

QualPosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPts
1Celtic (C)(CW)3021457632+4467
2Motherwell3016685737+2054
3Inverness3015785439+1552
4Rangers3015785643+1352
5St Johnstone30164105041+952
6Aberdeen3014885938+2150
7Partick Th30135124142-144
8Ross Co30118114344-141
9St Mirren30116134957-839
10Hamilton Acad30114154367-2437
11Q.O.S. (p)30812103744-736
12Hearts30810125148+334
13Alloa Ath3097143651-1534
14Dundee Utd 3069153655-1927
15Dundee (p)3058173359-2623
16Stirling Alb (p)3049173256-2421

Qualification to Euro-League; Qualification to Euro-Cup; Qualification to relegation play-offs; Relegated; (C) = Champion; (CW) = Cup winnner; = Play-off winner; (p) = Promoted in previous season.

Results

Home \ AwayABAACEDDDUHAHEIVMLPTQSRARCSJSMSA
Aberdeen1−16−35−13−13−03−20−01−13−11−10−15−11−25−15−1
Alloa Ath2−22−21−01−20−13−32−41−00−21−11−00−11−30−22−2
Celtic1−25−05−23−15−11−12−04−03−20−13−12−13−04−12−0
Dundee1−22−01−40−31−22−12−31−21−01−12−41−11−21−21−0
Dundee Utd1−01−31−02−21−13−21−11−22−22−31−12−21−21−31−2
Hamilton Acad1−31−20−32−02−23−22−13−12−12−22−41−23−02−11−0
Hearts2−01−22−11−10−04−01−21−23−11−12−21−14−11−11−1
Inverness1−14−10−21−13−14−10−12−20−22−03−12−22−03−01−1
Motherwell2−04−20−23−14−04−01−23−11−01−02−24−11−13−11−1
Partick Th1−11−03−32−01−02−22−11−22−13−10−10−22−13−20−0
Q.O.S.1−00−21−11−12−02−33−31−41−01−31−01−11−22−03−3
Rangers2−30−11−40−03−13−13−01−03−25−13−12−22−11−13−1
Ross Co3−02−11−21−12−03−22−01−20−32−11−02−32−02−30−0
St Johnstone2−11−00−13−11−15−22−12−31−12−00−12−01−03−25−1
St Mirren0−12−21−43−42−03−04−32−01−30−12−22−22−11−12−1
Stirling Alb1−11−20−12−02−33−00−42−31−30−11−11−22−11−41−2

League 'B'

League Table

QualPosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPts
1Dumbarton (r)3017856334+2959
2Falkirk (r)3017766439+2558
3Raith R3015785944+1552
4Dunfermline Ath30155106543+2250
5Kilmarnock30146104639+748
6Queen's Pk (p)3013894842+647
7Hibernian (r)30111094039+143
8Airdrieonians30119104543+242
9Forfar Ath30117124157-1640
10Ayr Utd30910114546-137
11Stranraer30810123544-934
12Arbroath3097143854-1634
13Morton30711124249-732
14East Fife (p)3078153851-1329
15Cowdenbeath3075184264-2226
16Livingston3068163962-2326

Promoted; Qualification to promotion play-offs; Relegated; = Play-off winner; (p) = Promoted in previous season; (r) = Relegated in previous season.

Results

Home \ AwayAIAHAUCODBDFEFFKFOHIKILIMNQPRRSR
Airdrieonians2−11−00−22−12−21−00−34−02−20−11−21−10−01−11−1
Arbroath0−32−14−31−20−21−01−11−23−11−21−31−30−31−31−1
Ayr Utd0−24−01−21−13−34−33−21−11−01−03−32−21−21−21−1
Cowdenbeath1−31−31−20−30−32−11−23−00−11−20−25−31−12−22−2
Dumbarton5−11−11−12−12−10−11−24−12−13−03−23−04−13−01−1
Dunfermline Ath1−05−11−15−23−11−23−25−10−11−25−12−04−11−30−1
East Fife1−11−12−13−23−31−01−14−20−12−33−01−31−41−10−1
Falkirk3−22−12−13−11−41−13−13−03−12−03−10−03−14−13−1
Forfar Ath2−33−21−12−22−22−12−01−12−11−03−41−22−21−01−2
Hibernian4−11−12−23−20−12−21−13−20−12−11−01−11−33−12−1
Kilmarnock2−10−12−14−11−14−12−12−22−11−12−11−11−11−21−1
Livingston2−22−20−20−00−20−21−00−41−20−10−41−12−23−31−2
Morton3−20−11−20−12−21−31−12−31−21−12−11−23−12−20−1
Queen's Pk0−21−10−23−11−23−14−11−00−01−12−12−11−22−12−0
Raith R2−21−24−03−03−22−33−12−15−12−01−23−21−11−02−1
Stranraer0−20−22−11−20−11−31−12−20−11−13−12−23−22−30−2

Albion Cup

The First Round of the cup saw few upsets, the only notable results being Cove Rangers defeating a lacklustre Livingston in a replay in Aberdeen, and little Formartine United defeating Cowdenbeath in Fife. In the Second Round, these sides were knocked out, unsurprisingly, by the bigger teams, and again there was little to remark on in this round. In the Third Round, 3rd placed Aberdeen lost at home to 13th placed Hearts, which was the upset of the round, as on league form the Dons would have been expected to win on their own turf. The other main upset was Inverness, also playing well in the league, who lost at home to 'B' leaguers Dunfermline. In the Quarter-Final there were consequently only two 'B' League sides, Dunfermline and Kilmarnock. Kilmarnock had the benefit of home advantage against Hearts, and a win for the Rugby Park side was possibly on the cards. Dunfermline were not expected to survive the encounter with Motherwell at Fir Park, likewise for Partick Thistle at Celtic Park, but the St Johnstone v Rangers tie was another intriguing one, with the Perth team in with a good chance of getting past Rangers and into the Semi-Final.

In the quarter-finals Celtic expectedly beat Partick but Hearts managed to hold off Kilmarnock at Rugby Park and Dunfermline were the surprise winners against Motherwell, becoming the only 'B'-Leaguers to reach the semi-finals. St Johnstone continued their good league form and defeated Rangers confortably 3—0. In the semis the top two teams in the League at the time, Celtic and St Johnstone, won through to the final, where Celtic clinched the treble of League title, Summer Cup and Albion Cup, to complete one fo their most successful domestic seasons ever.

Summer Cup

The pre-season Summer Cup was won by Celtic for the second time since the competition was inaugurated. The 32 Super League clubs played-off in eight 4-team groups as usual, and the winners and runners-up progressed into a seeded knock-out competition.

GROUP A1PWDLFAGDPTS
Celtic321062+47
Partick Th31113304
Aberdeen30304403
Alloa Ath301215-41
GROUP B1PWDLFAGDPTS
Falkirk321071+67
Kilmarnock312032+15
Cowdenbeath302126-42
Ayr Utd301214-31
GROUP A2PWDLFAGDPTS
Rangers3300134+99
Motherwell311186+24
Hamilton Acad3102511-63
Dundee3012510-51
GROUP B2PWDLFAGDPTS
Hibernian330081+79
Stranraer311158-34
Forfar Ath302157-22
Livingston301246-21
GROUP A3PWDLFAGDPTS
St Johnstone321042+27
Inverness30302203
St Mirren302123-12
Q.O.S.302123-12
GROUP B3PWDLFAGDPTS
Dumbarton330081+79
Dunfermline Ath31114404
Airdrieonians302125-32
East Fife301226-41
GROUP A4PWDLFAGDPTS
Ross Co320164+26
Hearts320154+16
Dundee Utd320143+16
Stirling Alb300348-40
GROUP B4PWDLFAGDPTS
Morton320163+36
Arbroath320165+16
Raith R311165+14
Queen's Pk301216-51

<- Home Page

@ XW–03