It’s been a fantastic season for Prostate Cancer UK. Our partnership with the Football League raised more than £250,000 to help tackle a disease that affects one in eight men in the UK (and one in four black men). But how was it for the fans? In part one of our Football League review, Bradford City supporter Jason McKeown, from the blog Widthofapost.com, and Thomas Baugh, from Wolvesblog.com, give us their perspectives on the League One campaign…
Marks out of 10 for your team
Jason McKeown (JM): I’m going to go for 7 out of 10. To finish 11th in League One, as a newly promoted club, is a fantastic achievement. We made a brilliant start but then struggled during autumn and winter, only to climb clear of relegation worries during the final third of the campaign.
Thomas Baugh (TB): 10. Champions of League One, a three-digit points total and an immediate return to the Championship. I couldn't possibly have hoped for better.
Highlight and lowlight of the season
JM: The first 10 games were the highlight, during which we took 21 points and sat very pretty in fourth by early October. The best game within that period was a 2-0 Yorkshire derby victory over Sheffield United in front of over 18,000 fans at Valley Parade. The joys of playing in a higher division really hit home that afternoon. But there were some very poor performances over the campaign. A 3-0 New Year’s Day defeat at Notts County was the worst, given they were bottom of the league. We didn’t turn up that day.
TB: The whole season has been great. The highlight was probably the 6-4 win over Rotherham a few weeks back. Wonderful entertainment in front of a packed Molineux. Our lowest point was our exit from the JPT after a turgid game against Notts County. That was supposed to be our ticket to Wembley.
Best and worst teams you’ve played
JM: Wolves were by some distance the best team we played: in both games they beat us comfortably. What was strange was that they were coasting in the matches for long periods, only stepping it up when they needed to. Yet they were so good it made you wonder what they were doing in League One in the first place! The worst team was Shrewsbury Town – yet they defeated us 2-1, so that tells you everything you need to know about our performance that day!
TB: A few sides have impressed. Swindon were particularly excellent at Molineux early in the season, albeit in defeat. The same applies to Rotherham. But the only team to beat us comfortably were MK Dons. That was the best opposition performance I saw all season. Gillingham were very poor at Molineux in our first home game of the campaign, losing 4-0, so I'll say they were the worst. But then they beat us in the return fixture.
Best and worst players you’ve seen
JM: The best player was Bristol City’s Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. That guy should be playing at a higher level as he absolutely terrorised us. Other standouts were Swindon’s on-loan Alex Pritchard, Stevenage’s Luke Freeman, Wolves’ Kevin McDonald and Oldham’s James Wesolowski. It seems harsh to name a worst player, but MK Dons keeper David Martin gifting us a winning goal sticks in the memory.
TB: Best player was Clayton Donaldson from Brentford. He caused us a lot of problems at Molineux and I think he'll do very well in the Championship next season. Worst player would be one of the many lumbering centre-halves knocking around at this level.
Best and worst away days
JM: Having been in League Two for six years it was nice to have some different away trips, and honourable mentions go to Preston and Tranmere as cracking days out. Bristol City just tops it for me though – opening-day sunshine, friendly locals and a brilliant 2-2 draw. As for the worst, it is hard to look beyond the aforementioned Shrewsbury and Notts County games.
TB: Best day out was MK Dons away. Nearly 10,000 Wolves supporters made the trip, which gave it a real cup final atmosphere. We won 1-0 too. Worst away day was probably Gillingham, which I personally didn't go to. But the weather was awful and Wolves lost to a last-minute goal having dominated most of the game.
Best and worst fans
JM: The best were Oldham, who brought large numbers to Valley Parade and really got behind their side. There was a good atmosphere in the Boundary Park fixture also. Probably slightly harsh, but Wolves fans were disappointingly quiet when we went to Molineux. It was an easy win for them, granted, but it was as though they had fallen asleep in the second half!
TB: Coventry brought a big away following and they deservedly enjoyed their day after all the troubles the club have endured of late. It seems mean to name the worst fans, so I'll just say the team who brought the least, which I think was probably Tranmere.
Best goal you’ve seen
JM: Kyel Reid’s stunner for us at Walsall stands out as the best. He picked up the ball from the halfway line, ran past defenders and struck an unstoppable long-range effort into the top corner. Mind, as he ran forwards I was screaming at him to pass the ball and to stop being so greedy!
TB: A toss-up between Bakary Sako's thunderbolt against Sheffield Utd or Michael Jacobs' second goal against Brentford. Sako's was the hardest shot I've ever seen (see main picture). The Jacobs goal had excellent build-up and a precise finish. I do love a belter though, so it has to be Sako's last-minute strike.
Tips for next season: which teams and players will shine?
JM: I was really impressed with Oldham in both our games against them, and if they stick with Lee Johnson and keep hold of their best players I can see them going far next season. As for players, I will go for two of our own in youth team prospects Oli McBurnie and Jack Stockdill.
TB: I'm backing Michael Jacobs to show he can perform at Championship level. He's been a revelation for us since joining from Derby and his ability to run into spaces marks him out as a class act. Kevin McDonald will continue his fine form too I'm sure. I'm backing my own team to shine and push for a top six finish.
Thanks to everyone who has helped us raise more than £250,000 this season. If you want to help tackle prostate cancer you can donate to Prostate Cancer UK here