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SPFL 2013/14 awards: Aberdeen | St Johnstone | Ayr

Aberdeen celebrate winning the League Cup. Picture: Robert Perry

Aberdeen celebrate winning the League Cup. Picture: Robert Perry

  • by CRAIG P STEWART
 

AS THE Valentinos and then The Rolling Stones said ‘It’s all over now’ and the Scottish Football season of 2013-14 came to an end yesterday when Hibs dropped out of the Premiership in dramatic fashion by losing to penalties to Hamilton Accies.

It was a season that produced only one title battle and it was a belter as Dundee, Hamilton and Falkirk looked to be crowned the first ever Championship winners and the runners up would have the consolation of a play-off place for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Celtic and Rangers won their respective leagues with only one defeat between them and whilst Peterhead were tested more in League 2 they were well established winners before the season ended.

In the Cups St Johnstone, Aberdeen and Raith Rovers ended long periods without any success - a combined total of nearly 170 years without a cup win between them.

So it is goodbye to this season and hello to the new one and of course, the World Cup in-between.

Here are the Scotsman Awards for the season...

Good season for – Aberdeen

After years of mediocrity Aberdeen fans would have settled for a top six finish from Derek McInnes in his first full season in charge. They achieved that and more with their Scottish League Cup Final success on penalties over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

McInnes had the people of the Granite City back on the streets of Union Street backing their team and celebrating a success.

His team ran out of steam before the end of the season however it was still a campaign of massive progress from the Dons.

Bad season for – Hibs and Morton

Of all the teams that had miserable seasons Hibs and Morton had the poorest of them all.

It started off as a bit of a joke that Hibs would follow Hearts into the Championship and boy, how the Easter Road fans regret talk of Black Sabbath and sending Hearts down now.

The downward spiral continued yesterday as Hibs were relegated after losing a two goal advantage at home to the New Douglas Park side. Manager Terry Butcher built a side with organisation and determination at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, however his time at Hibs has seen the club pick up the dubious ‘bad season award’ after just half a season.

Meanwhile the full time Greenock side were relegated from a Championship containing three part-time sides and despite the sacking of Allan Moore, the recruitment of Kenny Shiels and an overhaul of an over hauled squad they limped to League 1.

If that was not bad enough the atmospheric Cappielow ground will miss out on some bumper crowds next season.

Team of the season – St Johnstone

The Perth side picked up their first trophy in 130 years when they beat Dundee United in the final of the Scottish Cup earlier this month. Not only did they do that they had a top half finish and beat Rosenborg in Europe - not bad for a team from a ‘non-footballing town.’

Manager of the Season – Tommy Wright (St Johnstone)

For the achievements above St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright deserves the title of the Scotsman’s Website’s Manager of the Season. His first full campaign ended with Wright bringing a trophy to McDiarmid Park.

Wright may also be the manager who brings about a change in how the game recognises achievement as Aberdeen boss McInnes was chosen as both the players and the Scottish Football Writers’ top choice long before his Dons faded to third and the Saints won silverware,

Premiership Player of the Season – Kris Commons (Celtic)

One award that the players and the Scottish Football Writers got right was undoubtedly Kris Commons who was outstanding in a Celtic side that did not have to shine too much to win the Premiership.

Commons scored 31 times and that total including tap-ins, drives from the edge of the box and one on ones with the goalkeeper.

Premiership Goal of the Season – Johnny Hayes (Aberdeen)

Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster had gone 1,256 minutes without conceding a goal in the league until Hayes beat him at the end of February. The Dublin-born winger sent home a shot from 30 yards that swerved and dipped before exploding high past the World Cup bound goalkeeper.

Championship Player of the Season – Kane Hemmings (Cowdenbeath)

Hemmings is presently in America looking to sign for a new club however his place in the hearts of Cowdenbeath fans is assured despite only playing one full season with the Blue Brazil.

The former Rangers youngster scored 24 times for the Fifers and his goal in the opening minute of last Sunday’s play-off at Dunfermline set the tone for a fine Cowdenbeath win.

Hemmings has lightning quick reactions and Central Park boss Jimmy Nicholl will be doing well to find a suitable replacement.

Championship Goal of the Season – Martin Scott (Livingston)

Martin ‘Jimmy’ Scott grabbed Livingston’s second goal in a 3-0 win at Alloa back in February and it was a cracker from 45 yards.

Recreation Park goalkeeper Craig McDowall sliced a clearance and when the ball was headed into Scott’s path 45 yards from goal wide on the left you could see Scott thinking that he may just shoot.

He did more than think about it and he hit a first time left foot shot that curled and dipped and beat the outstretched finger-tips of a despairing McDowall.

League 1 Player of the Season – Michael Moffat (Ayr United)

This season saw lots of goals and a bit of a scandal from Moffat however once again he showed that he is a fine goalscorer. The former Girvan Juniors front man scored 27 goals as the Honest Men finished fourth in the table and he would probably have hit over 30 if it was not for a 4-game SFA ban.

Moffat was suspended for breaching betting regulations in what still seems to be a strange episode of the season just ended.

League 1 Goal of the Season – Brian Gilmour (Ayr United)

Gilmour brightened up a horrendous day weather wise at the seaside of Ayr by netting from his own half. The midfielder spotted visiting Dunfermline goalkeeper Ryan Scully off his line and with the wind at his back thought that he might as well have a go.

The ball travelled over the shot-stopper and high into the net with Gilmour soon growing tired of being asked if he had meant it.

League 2 Player of the Season – Rory McAllister (Peterhead)

The best known footballing plumber in Scottish football actually had a change of employment in the past year and is now the known footballing pipe-fitter in Scottish football. The goal-grabber was at his best for manager Jim McInally and the Blue Toon scoring 33 goals as they lifted the League 2 crown.

Another striker that likes to give his manager concern and he missed a game this season due to breaching club discipline.

League 2 Goal of the Season – Andy Rodgers (Peterhead)

McAllister was aided and abetted by Andy Rodgers last season and the much travelled Rodgers is picking up an award as well.

Back in November in a game against East Stirling the ball was crossed from the right wing at a very grey Balmoor and it was falling a couple of feet beHIND Rodgers.

That didn’t trouble the striker as he went for it with an overhead kick and the ball flew high into the far corner of the net.

 

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