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SFL Division Two Weekend Preview – Saturday 17th November 2012

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Last weekend the cup games saw only 2 games played in the league. It ended all square at Ochilview between Stenhousemuir and Ayr United whilst Alloa Athletic got a 1 goal win to narrow the gap at the top of the table to 4 points! Whilst Paul Hartley has his team sitting comfortably amongst the play offs, new boss Billy Brown got to see the size of his task at East Fife. Cup action favoured Stranraer who got 4 at the National Stadium for new boss Steven Aitken, Forfar hung on this time against Nairn County, Arbroath cruised at home to Inverurie Loco Works whilst Brechin City smashed 6 past Bonyrigg Rose away from home.

Game of the Day

Forfar Athletic v Stenhousemuir

Last weekend Forfar managed to get into the 4th round of the cup by hanging onto their lead against Nairn County. It was, however nearly groundhog day. In the original game Forfar went 3-0 up and in the replay, Ross Campbell, Gavin Swankie and Martin Gethins had got them there again. In the original game, Nairn had clawed it back to 3-3 but they could only manage 2 goals this time to sighs of relief as Forfar got through to the next round at the second attempt! Stenny had Darren Smith to thank as they equalised at home to Ayr United. Midweek their shooting boots were rediscovered as they thumped Berwick Rangers 5-2 away from home. Goals came from John Gemmell and two doubles from Stewart Kean and Darren Smith.

Forfar Athletic

Reported Out

Keith Gibson, Odmar Faeroe

Reported Doubtful

Danny Denholm, Stephen Tulloch

Reported In

James Craigen, Omar Kadir

Stenhousemuir

Reported Out

Scott Buist, Eric Paton, Darren Smith

Reported Doubtful

Kevin McGinlay

Thoughts…

It looks like Stenny are now on a run that could see them climb the league so will want to  make sure this is no banana skin, whilst Forfar will want to maintain their good run. 3rd v 4th is always an opportunity for teams below to try to steal a march on at least one of them. It ought to be a tie well worth the entrance money!

Albion Rovers v East Fife

The wee Rovers have had such a rest from the league that playing a league game will come as a welcome rest! Their midweek 3-0 defeat in the cup to Morton needs to become a distant memory though.  The Fifers were beaten 1-0 last weekend at Alloa so will be hoping to make amends and finally impress new boss Billy Brown.

Albion Rovers

Side is full fit

East Fife

Reported Out

Jordan Forster, Darren McCormack, Gareth Wardlaw, Paul McManus

Thoughts…

Both sides need to see 3 points on the board as Stranraer’s recent form would suggest they shall both be in trouble if they don’t find their own form. Brown’s side will be hoping that his experience starts to show them how to win games whilst Todd Lumsden has had a strange season thus far. This could be a very interesting tie that will help to define the bottom of the table… at least till Christmas.

Alloa Athletic v Brechin City

Graeme Holmes got the only goal of the game in the 32nd minute to give Paul Hartley’s side the 3 points last weekend whilst Brechin City smashed 6 past Bonyrigg Rose. Kurtis Byrne, Johnny Brown, an Allan Trouten double, Andy Jackson and Derek Carcary got the 6 that saw them sail past the Junior outfit.

Alloa Athletic

Reported Out

Michael Doyle

Reported In

Callum Topping (On loan from Hearts), Mitch Megginson, Nicky Low

Brechin City

Reported Out

Aaron Murdoch

Thoughts…

Brechin are on song and up against the 2nd place side they should be facing a very real test of new manager Ray McKinnon’s side. Hartley has taken to the 2nd division like a duck to water and this could be yet another notch if they can halt the Brechin bandwagon.

Arbroath v Queen of the South

A next round tie against Celtic was the reward on offer to Paul Sheerin’s side and they got it thanks to Brian Kerr, Derek Holmes and Steven Doris against Inverurie Loco Works. Queen of the South meanwhile have been basking in the glory of being top of the league and unassailable whilst having a wee rest!

Arbroath

Fully fit squad

Queen of the South

Reported Out

Kevin Smith

Reported In

Mark Durnan, David Hopkirk

Thoughts…

Surely the Doonhamers will have spent the time preparing well for another victory on the road? It’s hard to see past them, the way they are playing at the moment. That having been said, Arbroath have been playing some good football and their second year in the second division hardly looks like being a huge struggle.

Ayr United v Stranraer

With a 1-1 draw away to Stenhousemuir thanks to a Michael Moffat goal, Ayr seem to be getting back on track. Stranraer went to Hampden and came away with a 4-0 win thanks to a Sean Winter hat trick and 1 from the manager’s brother, Chris Aitken.

Ayr United

Reported Out

John Robertson, Martyn Campbell, Darren Brownlie, Anthony Marenghi, Michael McGowan

Reported In

David Sinclair

Stranraer

Reported Out

Ryan Borris, Chris Aitken

Reported In

Armand One (As a trialist)

Thoughts…

Ayr need a win against a side that is resurgent under a new manager. It’s a vitally difficult combination that a fragile side with some nervy performances under their belt should not be facing but the reality is that this is where the Honest Men find themselves. Earlier in the season they hit the lowest part of their season as they got thumped by Stranraer down at Stranraer. Makes for an intriguing game so we can but hope for a cracker down in the South West!

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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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