Brechin City face the most important period in their 115-year history as they attempt to perform a miraculous escape from the pyramid play-offs.
Defeat at Cowdenbeath next Tuesday night would consign them to bottom spot in League Two and confirm they finish bottom of all four SPFL divisions for the second successive season.
It will also earn them the unwanted tag of “club 42”, denoting their position at the very bottom of the league structure.
Under normal circumstances that would automatically lead to a play-off against either Highland or Lowland League champions Brora Rangers or Kelty Hearts.
However, with Brechin arguing that it is “fundamentally unfair” to hold such play-offs in a letter to the SPFL board earlier this week, a decision on whether those games will go ahead is yet to be taken.
On the park, City could yet escape the pyramid play-offs but they are currently eight points behind Cowdenbeath going into the League Two split.
Brechin’s troubles began as they clinched promotion to Scottish football’s second tier with a Championship play-off win over Alloa on May 20th, 2017.
One key stat sums up their plight ever since…
Since entering the Championship, Brechin have played 117 league games and won just 14, amassing 63 points from a possible 351.
Over that period they have had four managers – Darren Dods, Barry Smith, Mark Wilson and current player-boss Michael Paton.
They created an unwanted record in season 2017-18 under the guidance of manager Darren Dods when they failed to pick up a single win from 36 Championship games, collecting just four points.
The following season, with former Dundee star Smith at the helm, Brechin were automatically relegated to League Two, winning nine of their 36 games.
Mark Wilson took charge of City last term but their on-field troubles continued as they collected just four wins from 27, with the season curtailed prematurely due to Covid-19.
Chairman’s Update – Pyramid Play Off pic.twitter.com/dYlZn8xuQX
— Brora Rangers (@brorarangers) April 20, 2021
That led to calls from Brora and Kelty – who topped their respective leagues last term – to take on Brechin in a pyramid play-off.
However, while the SPFL decided not to stage the match, Brechin now face the prospect of becoming club 42 for a second consecutive year, having won just one of their 18 games this term.
City will face Cowdenbeath, Annan, Albion Rovers and Stenhousemuir over the final four games of the season before a potential pyramid play-off in May.
Elsewhere in Angus, all three other clubs have their own battles to win in the coming weeks to secure survival or a promotion play-off spot in their respective divisions.
Should Arbroath end up in the play-offs they could face Angus rivals Montrose who secured their place in the top five with a 1-0 win over Cove Rangers on Tuesday.
Arbroath are currently in seventh in the Championship, two points ahead of Ayr and Morton, as they enter into the final two weeks of the season.
They travel to Dunfermline on Saturday before hosting Morton in a Friday night shoot-out on April 30th – a game that could be win-or-bust for both sides in the race to avoid the relegation play-off spot.
Should Arbroath end up in the play-offs they could face Angus rivals Montrose, who secured their place in the top five with a 1-0 win over Cove Rangers on Tuesday.
Montrose have games against Airdrieonians, Cove, Falkirk and Partick aiming to finish in the top four.
Montrose are two points adrift of fourth-placed Airdrieonians and six off first-placed Partick Thistle.
At the other end of the League One table Forfar are languishing eight points adrift of Dumbarton and will be relegated if they lose at the C &G Systems stadium next Tuesday.