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SFL DIVISION ONE PREVIEW – SATURDAY 26TH JANUARY 2013

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Last weekend there was but one postponement and that meant that Cowdenbeath got quoted in the relegation mix without even kicking a ball. Dunfermline due to the same inactivity lost ground on the two other promotion contenders as Partick sent the Bairns packing at Firhill and Morton grabbed an equally vital 3 points against Livingston. Down at the basement the Blue Brazil suffered because Dumbarton squeezed things with their victory at Airdrie United and the battle to stay in the First Division involves 3 teams now. Mid table Hamilton Academical managed to pull themselves further clear as their victory means clear water between them and the bottom 3. As always they will all want to keep the momentum up and the last Saturday bin January is as vital as the first was.

My Game of the Day is at Dunfermline Athletic v Livingston. The Pars need to maintain their push and will be wanting to ensure that the momentum lost is regained. They have one or two doubtful for the game whilst Andy Geggan is definitely out. Livingston got an Iain Russell equaliser in between the 2 Morton goals that beat them at Cappielow and the Lions will be hoping this is a blip and not a worry. With their recent good run at an end they will be licking their wounds but hurt Lions can be very dangerous and I fancy them to be difficult this afternoon.

Partick Thistle v Cowdenbeath sees the other idle team from last weekend with a very difficult tie with which to get back into the saddle. Colin Cameron is suspended for this game though his appearances on the pitch have been carefully selected this season. His absence may make little difference as the Jags have an imperious home record and one that should see them safely through this. It was a safe passage last weekend as they humbled the Bairns 4-1 at Firhill. Conrad Balatoni and Chris Erskine both got doubles to send Stephen Pressley’s team home with a headache. Greenock Morton v Raith Rovers has the league leaders back home to face a Rovers side that lost last weekend away to Hamilton. After missing a first half penalty, Rovers then had Dougie Hill sent off before Lawrence Ellis managed to put one in his own net. That was in the 89th minute just before the Accies sealed it with a strike in the 94th meaning Rovers went home to find the spelling for calamitous. Morton had Martin Hardie and Peter MacDonald to thank for their 2-1 home win against Livingston. Allan Moore has added Colin McMenamin to his squad this week and with Willie Dyer back he has selection headaches – does he keep with what has been working or add in what will surely help? Whatever he does this ought to be a straight forward home win.

Falkirk v Airdrie United has two teams that could do with a morale boosting win. Airdrie lost last weekend to Dumbarton at home after Ryan Donnelly had put them ahead. They then saw that lead evaporate and then go behind whilst Dumbarton’s goalie, Jamie Ewings was in outstanding form. Falkirk had that thumping off Partick with Lyle Taylor, predictably, getting their only goal in reply. Stephen Pressley, the guru of the youth set up has brought in former Tranmere defender, Will Vaulks, to help shore up the defence and this could be significant. It by no means sees the abandonment of their youth policy but brings more of a blend into the team.  It’s a fascinating contest this and I would fancy a draw will suit neither but could be what they would settle for after the game! Finally Dumbarton v Hamilton Academical could easily have been the game of the day as the Sons have won 4 out of their last 5 whilst the Accies have not lost any of their last 5. Last weekend Dumbarton held their nerve as they took out Airdrie away thanks to Marc McCusker and Jim Lister. For Hamilton and Billy Reid Kevin Cuthbert kept them in it against Raith Rovers  by saving a first half penalty before Dougie Hill saw red for Rovers and a Lawrence Ellis own goal in the 89th followed by a Stevie May cracker deep into injury time sealed the 3 points. Reid will be without influential captain Alex Reid again whilst Mark Lamont has signed permanently for Dumbarton so with those mixed pieces of news are they significant? Unlikely – I can see this going either way.

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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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