What WSC contributors got right and wrong
30 June ~ Exceeding expectations was the order of the day at the top of League Two last season, as both Burton Albion and Shrewsbury Town went beyond their places in our readers' predicted table to secure the division's top two spots.
Burton Albion fan Mark Rowe's confidence was clear from the off: "Like neighbours Derby, it'll hinge on whether we take strength from losing in the play-off final and do better, or feel sorry for ourselves. Going by recent history, and the sound comments from manager Gary Rowett, Albion aim to go one step beyond." Our contributor's prediction of play-offs for Shrewsbury was also improved on by the club, who finished second, bouncing back to League One after just one season.
Overall the contributors had expected Luton to take top spot, with fan Dave Martin confident of at least a top-seven finish: "In John Still we trust, so play-offs it is." Luton's League Two rivals had other ideas, and a run of seven straight defeats through March saw the Hatters fall out of the play-off spots and into eighth.
Wycombe Wanderers, on the other hand, went well beyond the greatest hopes of supporter Paul Lewis, who had said: “For most Wycombe followers just simply surviving, without the need to start looking for results elsewhere in the final weeks of the season, would be a relief.” Under manager Gareth Ainsworth, Wycombe reached fourth place, scoring 67 goals, the division's second-highest tally, in the process.
The only fan to get his side's finish bang on in the League Two stakes was Dagenham & Redbridge's Matt Sullivan: "We were good at home and awful away for the first half of last season and vice versa after Christmas. A little more consistency and a run in the play-offs is possible. As is relegation. So, let's say 14th.” Sullivan's prediction proved on the money as Dagenham failed to build on 2013-14’s ninth place.
"I'm not optimistic. It's probably going to be nerve shredding survival on the final day," fretted Exeter City fan Gary Andrews, as he weighed up his team's chances in League Two. He needn't 15 worried – Exeter slipped into a comfortable tenth place, with forward Tom Nichols helping himself to fifteen goals.
Portsmouth disappointed once more, having been tipped for top spot in last year's WSC pre-season table, and fourth place in this one. Fan James De Mellow saw the play-offs as the "bare minimum", but was ultimately disappointed as they fell three places from last year into 16th. A mediocre goal return of 52 didn't help, and the loss of 15-goal top scorer Jed Wallace to Wolverhampton Wanderers will only have worsened matters.
Down the bottom, Mark Herron's summation "Not very well" in response to how Cheltenham Town's season would unfold proved fitting: despite our contributors placing them in 15th in the pre-season table, Cheltenham won only nine of their 48 games to slump to 23rd. It was a similar story for Tranmere Rovers, who continued to slide down the divisions and fall out of the Football League for the first time in their history. Tom Lewis
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