However, five defeats later, manager Hugh Hamill was left to rue a poor end to the season which saw the Vale finish sixth, 13 points off of promotion.

The disappointed Vale boss said: “We finished the season dreadfully.

“We had five games to go and we knew what we had to do but we couldn’t do it and we lost them all.” While the results were hard to take, the narrow margins by which the games were lost made the defeats all the more painful for Hamill who continued: “We lost the four important games in a row that we had to win by one goal.

“On another day we could have won each of those games but we just didn’t get our share of the luck.

“We have a lot of good players in the team and it was a real sore one but I suppose that is football.” Blantyre Victoria, Vale of Clyde and Wishaw did win promotion but Hamill is confident his squad can regroup and finish in the top three next year.

The club are already preparing for next season with 15 of the current squad signed up as well as one new addition to the ranks, with talks ongoing with other players.

Hamill explained: “We had a good squad last season and we have signed the bones of that again — we have already signed 15 of last year’s squad as well as Grant Howarth, who has been with Dumbarton and Beith.

“I have spoken to lots of people but trying to sign players is very competitive — the people I want to sign know that we want them.

“I have spoken to them so we now just need to wait to hear back from them.

“We are nearly there in terms of squad numbers — I wanted to sign our players from last season plus two or three to increase the competition.”