What WSC contributors got right and wrong
1 July ~ Bristol City fan Mo Davies said of the Robins' chances at the start of last season: “We're one of the favourites with the bookies, but I think just outside the play-offs is more likely." The prediction could have been more confident, as Steve Cotterill's men reached 99 points with League One's strongest defensive record, keeping 20 clean sheets.
Chesterfield, like Bristol City, also surpassed the expectations of our League One contributors, as well as supporter Howard Borrell, who would have been "happy with mid-table". Paul Cook took everyone by surprise to lead his side to a play-off place, an excellent achievement having been promoted from League Two only last season.
Martin Atherton's hopes of an automatic promotion spot for Preston North End proved just wide of the mark, but his desire to see his team go up will have been satisfied by their promotion via the play-offs, courtesy of a Jermaine Beckford hat-trick in a 4-0 victory over Swindon Town. Meanwhile Sheffield United fan Ian Rands expected his team “to be up in one of the two automatic places” and the rest of the contributors agreed, tipping the Blades for top spot. In reality they fell short, finishing fifth and losing in the play-offs for the seventh time – they are yet to win one.
"We'll be aiming for promotion again this year," claimed Peterborough supporter Andy Mills, clearly expecting his side to return to the Championship at the second time of asking. Despite a promising start, Peterborough fell short again, with only two wins in their last ten games leaving them ninth at the end of the season.
Closer to the foot of the table, Colchester have been predicted to finish bottom by our League One contributors for two years in a row, but they continue to stave off the drop. Paul Turtill's desire for "mid-table obscurity" didn't quite come to pass, his team only escaping by two points, but they continue to fight on in the third tier.
One of the season's surprise packages were Gillingham, who were nailed on for the drop by our readers. The Gills performed well in only their second season back in League One, and finished dead mid-table on the back of the division’s eighth-best attack, which found the net 65 times
The biggest shock to our contributors came in the form of Yeovil, who were predicted an eighth-place finish. Fan Bill Biss said at the time that "eight new signings have lulled me back into my usual pre-season optimism. Same old trick but we'll stabilise in the top half with a largely young and athletic squad". This was not to be the case as Yeovil went down, registering the weakest scoring record in the division with just 36 goals.
Leyton Orient’s relegation was another surprise, having been predicted by our readers to finish just shy of automatic promotion in fourth. Tom Davies was cautious in his pre-season assessment, saying: "I've never tipped us to go up in all the years I've been doing this and I'm not about to start now." It is unlikely that even the most pessimistic Leyton Orient fan expected such a collapse, as a run of seven games without a win at the end of the season consigned them to relegation. Tom Lewis
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