DUNDONALD BLUEBELL are setting their sights on a top of the table challenge next term after a frustrating season.

Like many clubs, they found postponements caused by the wet weather in the early part of the year hard to deal with and getting a run of games was almost impossible to achieve.

Inevitably, it led to a huge build-up of fixtures and a busy end to the season, with boss Stephen Husband saying they went into many matches with fewer than 14 fit players.

However, the Moorside Park outfit kept battling and finished ninth in the East of Scotland League Premier Division, winning 43 points from their 30 matches.

Overall, whilst it was a few less than the 'Bell had hoped for, Husband was pleased with the way his team fought hard in a difficult end to the season.

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"It was a very strange season, with patches of it seeing a lot of successive postponements, so it was not easy to get runs of games in the middle of it," he said.

"Also, at the end of the season, it meant a really hectic schedule, playing a minimum of three games a week and injuries piling up, but the lads kept at it and it was pleasing to end the campaign with a 4-0 win over Dunbar United.

"At the start of the season our target was to finish much higher up the table, but we were not to know what lay ahead of us and the issues that came along.

"Hopefully we can make a few acquisitions to strengthen our challenge and be challenging at the top end of the table and have some good cup runs."

One player who will not be in next season’s squad is goalkeeper, James Lennox, who has been the number one at Moorside Park for many seasons.

He has decided to retire and was given a warm send off by fans at the end of the Dunbar match.

Meanwhile, Lochgelly Albert will head into next season optimistic of mounting their own promotion challenge after turning their fortunes around in dramatic fashion.

By October, the Purvis Park side were facing one of the worst seasons in their history, with a string of defeats seeing them sit at the foot of East of Scotland League Division Three.

However, they embarked on a run of results that changed things for the better, led by the scoring exploits of Scott Russell, which saw them finish the season in sixth place.

Their haul of 45 points from their 28-game programme was only seven short of fourth top Stoneyburn, giving the Berts hope that they can be in and around the top spots next term.

Club committee man, Derek Patrick, said: "It was a very difficult start to the season, but the young players we have started to gain in confidence, striker Scott Russell began to hit the net, and by the end of October we were beginning to win games regularly.

"Manager Paul Beveridge has moulded a team together with real potential and the encouraging thing is that we were able to ensure that we have them signed up for next season.

"Scott Russell had an amazing season, scoring over 30 goals in all competitions, the vast majority of them in the league, and we were delighted when he pledged his future to the club.

"We hope that the team will continue to develop and we will be up there challenging the top sides in the Third Division next season."

With Edinburgh United, Ormiston Primrose and Newburgh coming down from Division Two, it will be a competitive division and one which the Berts should have no worries about making a real impact.