English manager Robí di Lathamé had a season to remember in his first year in charge of Raith Rovers. He’d led the Fife side to a third League One title and had the town of Kirkcaldy excited about the prospect of Championship football in 2020/21.
We’ll take a look back at the campaign just gone, the key players involved, and team and player stats from League One.
Two of our players finished as top scorers with 11 goals, 37-year-old on-loan striker Steven MacLean and 21-year-old centre-back David McKay. Left winger Daniel Armstrong followed them with 10 goals, while striker John Baird and midfielder Regan Hendry finished the season with 9.
The impressive Hendry topped the assists chart with 11, followed by Armstrong and Lewis Vaughan – who suffered a horrific injury late in the season – with 9 each. McKay also popped up with 6 while MacLean, departing young winger Kieron Bowie and Rangers loanee Simon Brady got 5.
Hendry also finished the season as our top performer with an average rating of 7.33 from 41 appearances. McKay followed with 7.28 from 43 matches then Baird on 7.32 from 24 appearances, of which 11 were as a sub.
Hendry rightfully won the Raith fans’ player of the season with 40% of the vote, followed by McKay (36%) and MacLean (18%). Hendry was also young player of the season, while Celtic loanee Armstrong Oko-Flex won goal of the season.
Hendry also collected the League One player of the year award, while 7 of our players were named in the league’s team of the year.
A key issue to be aware of was the club’s lack of cash, as we finished the campaign more than £200k in the red. But, kind club owner John Sims dumped a £525k loan injection into the bank balance to tide us over. That will be aided by two young players being sold off at the end of the season.
League One team stats
Raith finished the campaign as joint top scorers in the league with 70 goals, level with Falkirk. However, one-fifth of theirs were penalties as they won double the amount of spot kicks than any other team in the league.
A key stat that signifies our success is that we had the highest cross completion ratio of 20% and completed the most crosses with a total of 355, which was 12 more than Falkirk and 72 more than Montrose. Our tally of 17 goals from corners was nearly double the next best tally of 9 from Montrose.
We also created more chances than any other team in the league with 111, which was 12 more than Falkirk, and the most shots on target of 282 and best shot conversion rate of 11%. And we had the most dribbles per game with 13.
Defence wise, we conceded less goals from corners than any other side, with just 2. However, we conceded from a joint league high of 6 indirect free-kicks.
We had the most red cards in the league with 3, the second-most bookings of 81, made the most fouls in the league and, more importantly, won the most tackles. All of which come as a bit of a surprise!
League One player stats
We had the best two players in the league, with Hendry getting an impressive average rating of 7.48 and McKay on 7.35. MacLean was 6th on 7.15.
And Hendry was easily the star man in the league. He won the most player of the match awards in the league with 8, followed by McKay in joint-5th with 5. He created the 3rd-most goals in the league, with his 10 assists only bettered by Falkirk’s Louis Longridge and Aidan Connolly on 12 and 13.
Hendry also had by far the most key passes in League One with his tally of 110 nearly twice the tally of any other player in the division, with East Fife’s Scott Agnew 2nd with 60. Hendry also had the second-best shots on target ratio of 59% and the best conversion rate of 25%.
Goals were more of a team effort, with MacLean our top scorer on 11 league goals and McKay in joint-6th with 10. That was some way behind Falkirk striker Connor Sammon’s total of 23.
20-year-old goalkeeper Ross Munro set the second-most clean sheets with 15 and only conceded 27 in 35 matches, which led me to sign him up on a free after his Ross County contract expires.
When it comes to the naughty boys, Kyle Benedictus and midfielder Brad Spencer had the second and third most yellow cards with 14 and 13 respectively. And we received one-quarter of the 12 red cards dished out in the league this season.
A look around Europe
The top leagues around Europe were painfully predicatable. Starting in Scotland, Celtic won their 9th successive Premier league on 94 points, 12 clear of Rangers, while Ross County got relegated.
Barcelona won a third La Liga in a row by 15 points from Real Madrid. Manchester City won a third Premier League in a row finishing 1 point ahead of Liverpool. Juventus won a 9th successive Serie A title by 10 points from Lazio. Bayern won Bundesliga for the 8th time in a row by 5 points from Dortmund. And PSG won a third successive Ligue 1 by 12 points from Lyon.
Join us next time as we look to rebuild the squad ready to compete in the Scottish Championship next season!