Donald Stewart previews this weekend’s games in the First Division. With the biggest Fife derby in 16 years taking place between Dunfermline and Raith Rovers as they look to snatch the League title.
Dunfermlime versus Raith Rovers
The game of the day is a derby. Aint it always the way? Not always but the Raith Rovers versus Dunfermlime game will see the two table toppers fight it out at East End Park with most people baking Dunfermline for the game and for the title. Both teams have minimal squad issues with most available for both for selection and if either manager was looking for an excuse in advance this will not provide it. If you are in Fife tomorrow this will be the game to see. With Falkirk snapping at both their heels it has everything going for it. Dunfermline are in after a six one thrashing of Queen of the South whilst Raith Rovers had a fright last week at Stirling. It’s a hard one to predict but what we hope is that it is a fantastic occasion and advert for SFL football. If we want an early conclusion to the title race – back Dunfermline; if we want it to go to the last game – back Raith. Who’s corner are you in?
Queen of the South versus Cowdenbeath
Both clubs have significant squad members missing with Queens posting an entire defence missing over the last two games. Losing 10 goals in 2 games is enough to make any club blow a fuse… Queens literally did that for a second time against Ross County during the week when 2 down… for the 2nd time this year. Jimmy Nichol’s team have fallen down the table over the last few months to go from having had a good start to the season to trying to find safety through each and every game. Cowdenbeath can boast the better record in April as they held Raith Rovers to a draw and only let Dunfermline put one past them. Master of the understatement Kenny Brannigan has been quoted as describing April as “really disappointing”. If we want a real two Jimmy showdown for the end of the year back Cowdenbeath or if you want Queens to get back into the game back the Doonhamers…
Ross County versus Dundee
Getting over blackouts has been a double-edged sword for Ross County as the sparks flew in their midweek game. Unfortunately it was in the floodlight fuse box first and the board room thereafter as Ross County wasted their finances on a second trip to Dumfries that ended with the lights going out! Jimmy Calderwood has already dismissed the effects of this event and looked forward to getting back to winning ways at home in the safety of a meter with enough shillings in it to last 90 minutes. Dundee have already got back to winning ways after a highly competitive match last weekend against Morton. back to a winning mentality they have 3 points to get to make safe their first division status. This could be a game well worth taking in if you are in the Highlands! If we want a two Jimmy showdown it has to be a Dundee win and if we want the Dundonians to get closer to being out of administration their safety would be a real help…
Stirling Albion versus Falkirk
The teams with two managers with undetermined futures meet at the Albion stadium – Dunbland Double Trees or whatever it is. Jocky Scott has a team that shall be in division two next year so, apart from playing out the season they shall be looking at players they will take with them. Rather than making them a damp squib it makes them more dangerous as Raith found last week and nearly faltered against them. Falkirk have a manager whose future has filled the back pages with speculation. Whether Pressley or McCall shall be in the hot seat for next year will not determine the result of this game as Falkirk still harbour belief that they can go on and win the league. To do so would mean a comprehensive win against Albion tomorrow and a draw in the derby game. For Stirling it should simply be another exercise on who needs to stay in contract for next year.
Partick Thistle versus Greenock Morton
Having left Thistle Ian McCall may be sitting in the hoose this weekend contemplating his future in the game whilst Jackie MacNamara sits in the dugout contemplating how to defeat Allan Moore’s team. Desperately unlucky last week against Dundee, Morton will fancy this as an opportunity to bounce back against a team that has not found their feet since McCall’s departure. Both clubs are safe and players will be looking to what contracts they can expect to be offered during the summer rather than what glory they can accrue for themselves or their clubs. It has meaningless all over it. As the only West Coast derby in the First Division this year, it is more than likely going to be how does Thistle play against Morton. Morton’s obvious desire will be to keep Allan Moore’s eyes from popping out again due to decisions taken by officials that alter the games for him in all the wrong way! Just like last week and THAT penalty decision against Dundee.