Brechin City: Scottish Championship side go entire league season without victory

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Brechin City finish their league season without a win

Brechin City have become the first Scottish club in 126 years to endure an entire league season without victory.

Relegated Brechin's 5-1 Scottish Championship defeat by Queen of the South meant they ended the campaign winless at the foot of the table.

Vale of Leven were the last senior Scottish side to suffer the same ignominy back in 1891-92.

Darren Dods' men finished the season 26 points adrift with just four points from 36 matches.

Brechin, together with second-bottom Dumbarton, are one of two part-time teams in the Championship.

They won promotion from League One last season via the play-offs.

Darren Dods
Brechin City manager Darren Dods

Their paltry points tally is a record low in Scotland's second tier, the worst in any division in the three-points-for-a-win era, and a joint-record overall in Scottish football.

Dundee also secured four points in the Scottish top flight in 1898-99, while Clyde managed the same total a year later, but both clubs were playing an 18-game season.

'Brechin City - that's my family'

From a certain point of view, this has been a glorious season for Brechin. Gloriously bad, of course.

But football - endlessly fascinating in so many different ways - isn't all about winners. The losers must play their part, and the exceptional always catches the eye. Brechin City have taken things to extraordinary lengths.

Zero league wins this season. Seventeen defeats in a row. Four points from a potential 108. These are big, unwelcome stats.

Jonathan Sutherland of BBC Scotland interviews Brechin City fan Margaret Noble at Glebe Park
BBC Scotland's Jonathan Sutherland interviews Brechin City fan Margaret Noble

And yet the atmosphere around Glebe Park is far from morose, and best summed-up by 89-year-old fan, Margaret Noble.

"I just keep smiling," she said. "You've got to. I live on my own, my daughter is in America and my son is in Dorset. That [Brechin City] is my family."

'Brechin has never been a sacking club'

The knives would be out for the manager by now at most other clubs, but chairman Ken Ferguson has nothing but respect for Dods.

Ferguson says the former Hibernian and St Johnstone defender, and his assistants Lee Bailey and Steve Campbell, has kept his part-time players motivated.

Ken Ferguson at Glebe Park
Brechin City chairman Ken Ferguson remains firmly behind manager Darren Dods

"Brechin has never been classed as a sacking club," Ferguson insisted.

"A great test of a manager is how players respond to them and Darren, Lee and Steve have done a great job maintaining morale in the dressing room through such a hard season. We've never seen the heads go down.

"If he can keep players onside in such a difficult season he must be doing something right."

'We'll bounce back and come back stronger'

Brechin's last stand ended in yet another defeat, a home thrashing by Queen of the South.

Isaac Lane's strike was the sole moment of cheer for Dods' side, as Stephen Dobbie scored a hat-trick and Lyndon Dykes bagged a double for the visitors from Dumfries.

"It's always been a positive club," Ferguson added. "We knew at the start of the season it was going to be a challenge.

"We're up against the best part-time team there is in Dumbarton, and you look at Falkirk and Dundee United - they are big clubs that have been in the Scottish Premiership. You look at a club like Brechin with the size of the stadium, the fan base - it was always going to be a struggle.

"We'll bounce back and come back stronger next year."

Brechin City lose to Queen of the South
Brechin City were hammered by Queen of the South in their final league fixture of the season

And Noble - just six weeks from her 90th birthday - is still smiling despite the defeat.

"I'll go to the presentation tonight, see the players get their presentation," she said.

"It hasn't been the best but I still think our boys play quite good football. And we scored a goal."