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SFL Weekend Preview – 24th September 2011

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This weekend we see Morton, Arbroath and Annan Athletic going into the weekend clearly atop each of their respective tables. It may still be early in the season but as we look into the Autumn scheduling the early points on the table could be critical when Jack Frost bites. On top of that giant killing exploits from basement boys East Fife and Ayr United will be put into context on their bread and butter contests in the league games they have this weekend.

SFL DIVISION ONE

Greenock Morton v Falkirk

Morton has doubts over Michael Tidser and Andy Graham whilst Kevin McCann is back. After a 4-1 defeat at Palmerston last week Allan Moore will be keen to stretch the lead at the top with a home game against a young Falkirk team on a high from putting out Rangers in the cup. Pressley adds Kallum Higginbotham, Blair Alston and Stewart Murdoch whilst Stephen Kingsley is still out.

Dundee v Hamilton Academical

Barry Smith hopes to have Jake Hyde and Graham Bayne back whilst Leighton MacIntosh is away on international duty for the Scotland under 19s. He seriously needs to get the Dee machine working smoothly again and at home versus 2nd top Hamilton would be a great place to start. Billy Reid managed to stop the rot last week at home to Raith but needs more than 1 point from today to prove they are real promotion contenders. David Hopkirk has now left the club and Willie McLaren and Alex Neil are both out of contention.

Livingston v Partick Thistle

Livingston go into the game without Keoghan Jacobs and Paul Watson. Stefan Scougall is a doubt and Gary Bollan is aware they have made a decent start but need to pick up more points to cement their position. After Thistle’s demolition of Ayr United last week Jackie McNamara will be looking for momentum. Tommy Stewart is back but Willie Kinniburgh and Scott Robertson are out and doubts surround Alan Archibald and Iain Ferguson.

Raith Rovers v Ross County

Ross Callachan is back for Raith after his ban whilst Ross Laidlaw and Iain Davidson are still out. Raith have not registered a win in 5 games so John McGlynn will be keen to get a home win. Steven Craig for County starts an 8 game ban following his dismissal against Livingston last week and that is the only player missing from Derek Adams’ planning.  Both teams are part of the 4 teams sitting on 7 points and a win for either will ease their worries. County may well have the loss against Celtic midweek from which to recover and Livingston will hope that they can take advantage.

Ayr United v Queen of the South

Cup heroics may cost Ayr United dear as John Robertson, Gareth Wardlaw and Michael McGowan are now doubts whilst Martyn Campbell is already out. Gus McPherson is without both Marc McCusker and Kevin Smith up front so if there was ever a time for Ayr to get 3 points it may be now…

SFL DIVISION TWO

Brechin City v Arbroath

Brechin have major worries as Craig Molloy and Gerry McLaughlin are joined out of the squad by Derek Carcary. It’s another derby match for Brechin and Jim Weir’s side need the points to stay in touch with the pack. The Red Lichties are flying high and welcome back forward Jordan Elfverson to the fold. There are no other worries for Paul Sheerin apart from just winning the game.

Cowdenbeath v Albion Rovers

Cowdenbeath come into the game with Lee Makel out along with Danny McKay, Dene Droudge and Mark Ramsay. Having beaten Dumbarton 4-0 last weekend, Colin Cameron knows he needs to build on such convincing victories. Albion Rovers come into the game with Ryan McStay back as well as Todd Lumsden. There are high hopes that Joseph Acquah, Chris Boyle and Barry Russell will be fit whilst Ciaran Donnelly is still out due to suspension. It makes for a tough game.

Stenhousemuir v East Fife

Stenhousemuir could have on loan Colin Hamilton in but Ross McMillan is rated doubtful. Out are Paul McHalem and Kevin McKinlay. Stenny are on a decent run and will hope it continues whilst giant killing East Fife will be desperate for their form to turn in the league. The Fifers will give late fitness checks to Steven Campbell and David Muir whilst Lloyd Young and Craig Johnstone are doubts, Paul McQuade is out.

Forfar Athletic v Dumbarton

Forfar will be without Iain Campbell and that’s all. On loan from Aberdeen, Jordan Brown may join his fellow loanee stars Joe Shaughnessy and Nicky Low in the first 11 for Forfar and Forfar’s run could continue against a Dumbarton team shipping goals for fun. Long term injury victim, Ryan Borris may be welcomed back into the squad whilst Martin McBride is off on loan to Queens Park. The Sons also have on loan Ross McKinnon and Alan Adamson knows the roller coaster ride of this season needs to find more up gears.

Airdrie United v Stirling Albion

Jimmy Boyle has not had it easy this year and it has not been made any simpler with three players out for the home game against the Binos. Out are Graeme Goodhall, Paul Lovering and Ally Woodburn.  Airdrie went out to SPL Dundee United midweek so will hope to bounce back with a decent performance against Stirling. Jocky Scott is without keeper Callum Reidford as well as Shaun Dillon, Daly McSorle and Greig MacDonald.

SFL DIVISION THREE

Annan Athletic v East Stirling

League leaders Annan have a major doubt over Aaron Muirhead as well as doubts over Sean O’Connor and Ian Harty. Not the time to lose your strike force. East Stirling have once again struggled this year and Jordyn Sheerin, Joe Savage and Andy Stirling are ruled out. An early top versus bottom tie this may well go with the form team.

Alloa Athletic v Montrose

There are no issues for the Alloa squad as their season has started to pick up with Graeme Holmes and Kevin Cawley fully fit after bouts of flu. Alloa have the momentum and Montrose who will be without Jonathan Smart and David Dimilta look like they will struggle again this season.

Stranraer v Elgin City

Keith Knox is hopeful of adding to his squad before welcoming Elgin as he will be without David McGregor, Mark Durnan returned to St Johnstone and Paul Murphy is off to Glenavon temporarily. Elgin welcome back Daniel Moore whilst normal life has robbed him of Steven Edwards and Blair Lawrie! They will await news of Paul Kaczan and Craig Gunn before risking them.

Clyde v Berwick Rangers

Clyde hope to continue their good form and climb into play off contention by seeing off Berwick at home. Just outside the play off positions Clyde are poised to get into the pack whilst Berwick could end up falling in the wrong direction!

Peterhead v Queens Park

The first managerial casualty of the year was John Sheran. The move up from the lower leagues didn’t work out and Peterhead will hunt for a new boss starting with their home game against the Amateurs at home. Roy McBain, Bryan Deasley and Jamie Redman will be out for the Blue Toon. Queens Park have Martin McBride, on loan from Dumbarton in the squad whilst have no fewer than 5 players out – Paul Stewart, Guiseppe Capuano, Daryl Meggat Stephen Baillie and Michael O’Hara. David Anderson and Jamie Brough are back.

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About Author

A lifelong supporter, since seeing Alex Ferguson play for them, of Ayr United he now contributes here, at KickTalk and Ringside Reports for things sporty. He is also a theatrical type and an educationalist. As an Ayr fan he clearly can explain the inexplicable, place fanatical faith in the most fantastic of dreams and deal with dark periods of depression and disappointment. Perfect as a teacher..

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