League Season Round-Up
The first season of the new Midlands Football League has now concluded. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic it was the first full league season for all clubs since the 2018/2019 season. It was Carnoustie Panmure that ended up as champions of the league after picking up 98 points, dropping only 10 points all season and scoring 153 goals along the way. This was Carnoustie's first top tier championship title since 1981. The winners of the Midlands League, North Region Super League and the North Caledonian League have the opportunity to contest a three way play off, with the winner playing the team bottom of the Highland League, if they hold the required SFA licence. However Carnoustie and Invergordon (winners of the North Caledonian League) do not currently hold the required SFA licence and were unable to take part in the play off. This meant that Banks O'Dee (winners of the North Region Super League) received a bye through to the play-off match between Fort William, who finished bottom of the Highland League. However due to player registration issues Fort William were unable to fulfil the fixture and Banks O'Dee were awarded the win and have been promoted to the Highland League with Fort William likely coming down into the North Caledonian league.
Back to the Midlands Football League and despite Carnoustie's high points total they were run close to the title by East Craigie. The championship went to the last day of the season and Carnoustie ended up winning the title in the end by 5 points, after Craigie drew to us and then lost to Dundee North End in their last two matches of the league. Lochee United finished in third place, 11 points ahead of Dundee North End in fourth place. In 5th only one point behind North End was Broughty Athletic and it was us that finished in 6th place two points behind Broughty.
As our manager Eddie Wolecki Black said in his post-match interview after the last league game on Saturday, the damage was done before he arrived in terms of challenging for the title. We had a very poor start to the season where we only picked up 9 points out of a possible 24 meaning we were out of the title race after only eight matches. Since the new manager arrived at the end of October results have improved with Eddie overseeing 25 matches in all competitions this season, winning 18, drawing 3 and losing 4. We have one match left for this season on Saturday 4th June against East Craigie in the final of the Quest Precision Engineering Cup.
There was then a 20 point gap between us in 6th and Kirriemuir Thistle in 7th position. Kirrie ended 6 points ahead of Forfar West End in 8th and there was only 8 points between 8th and 14th place with Arbroath Victoria, Brechin Victoria, Dundee Violet, Downfield, Blairgowrie and Lochee Harp taking positions 9 to 14. Letham and Dundee St James finished 15 and 16th respectively in their first season at this level of football. It was then Forfar United in 17th, Coupar Angus in 18th and Scone Thistle in 19th.
Although the league season is finished and the season is now over for the majority of clubs the winners of two trophies have still to be decided. This Saturday it is the semi-final of the Thorntons Cup with Kirriemuir Thistle playing Downfield in the first semi and Lochee United playing Arbroath Victoria in the second semi, with the final being played on the following Saturday, 28th May. The last piece of action of the season will be on Saturday 4th June as we play East Craigie in the final of the Quest Precision Engineering Cup. Both teams played on Saturday and have no fixtures left to play till the cup final. The players, coaches, and committee at Tayport FC would like to thank all the supporters and sponsors for their backing this season and ask for them to get right behind the team one last time this season in the final of the Quest Cup on Saturday 4th June.
In other news as other leagues have concluded in recent days, some former Tayport players have been enjoying success. Ex Port striker Simon Murray now of Queens Park has been in the headlines after playing a big role in guiding Queens to the Scottish Championship. Simon scored the winner in the 89th minute of the semi-final against Dunfermline, which relegated the Pars to league one. Then on Sunday, Simon once again scored the winner, this time in the play-off final against Airdrieonians, sending Queens Park to the championship. Simon was at Tayport for the 2012/13 season where he scored 36 goals in 41 games helping the Port win the East Region Premiership title that season. Simon then moved to Australia, before returning to Scotland and it is great to see Simon doing well, and we wish him all the best in the Championship next season. Below is Simon and the Tayport team celebrating, Tayport’s 2-1 win at Penicuik, which secured the East Region Premiership title for Tayport in the last game of the 2012/13 season.
There were other former Tayport players who have ended their seasons with a medal. Nik Mann, Connaire Connelly and Keir Reilly were members of the Broughty United team which won the Midlands AFA’s Bremner Cup, in its 83rd year of competition, beating Morgan Academy FPs by 4-1 at Lochee United’s Thomson Park in Friday evening’s final. The Cup was presented by Billy Coventry, a member of Tayport’s legendary 1993 Scottish Junior Cup Final team. Covy was representing the Cup sponsors, the Boars Rock. Covy selected Nik Mann as Man of the Match.