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SFL FIRST DIVISION PREVIEW – SATURDAY 23RD FEBRUARY 2013

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irnbru-sflIt was a top of the table tussle last weekend and honours were even as Thistle and Morton battled out a 2-2 draw. Midweek the Jags got 3 points to claw closer with a 1-0 win at home to Hamilton so today Morton got to Dunfermline with things a little tighter all round. The Pars stumbled once again last weekend as they lost 1-0 to Falkirk whilst the Bairns followed that up midweek with a 2-0 win at home to Livingston. The Lions are looking more than outside bets for the title but they would be disappointed with their midweek showing as they had managed a 3-0 win at home to the Blue Brazil last Saturday. Airdrie United meanwhile managed a 2-2 draw with Hamilton at the Shyberry with a dramatic last-minute involving 2 goals!

My game of the day is simply another one involving the leaders and a pretender in Dunfermline Athletic v Greenock Morton. The Pars are looking to recover from the disappointment of having been involved in a draw with Falkirk last Saturday. They were cruising for a draw until Falkirk made an 86th minute substitute who then goes on to score the goal that wins the game in the 87th! Morton had Peter MacDonald to thank for two goals that rescued a point and kept the gap between them and Thistle. Today Dunfermline go into the tie with unhappy players registering a protest at delayed wages that could be psychologically significant. For Allan Moore, he has some concerns at the back as both Mark McLaughlin and Craig Reid are struggling. I can see this tipping the Greenock way.

Meanwhile with Partick Thistle v Airdrie United the Firhill faithful would be forgiven for thinking this ought to be another easy 3 points; after all the same fixture earlier in the season was a 7-0 gubbing. Chris Erskine and Steven Craig got them 2 ahead last weekend at Morton whilst Aaron Muirhead from the penalty spot midweek kept up the pressure on Morton at the top. Jimmy Boyle saw late drama at the Shyberry last weekend against Accies with Jordan Moore equalising and then Jamie Bain putting them ahead in the 95th minute. It wasn’t enough and Accies equalised in the 96th! Today Thistle are on a run that should continue whilst Airdrie are facing a really tough tie.

Hamilton Academical v Livingston has two sides desperate for points up against each other. Last weekend Stevie May got both goals in the draw with Airdrie, the last one being the one that equalised in the 96th minute. Billy Reid then went to Firhill and lost to a penalty whilst being very poor indeed. Livingston had a 3-0 win at home to Cowdenbeath last Saturday with goals coming from Iain Russell, Anthony Andreiu and Jesus Garcia Tena. Then midweek they were well beaten 2-0 away at Falkirk. This ought to be an away win but Billy Reid has players playing for a place in next week’s Scottish Cup quarter-final so it could swing either way – should be an absolute cracker…

Dumbarton v Falkirk has a home side that has been piling in the performances and though they lost 3-2 last week away at Kirkcaldy, the 2 goals from Bryan Prunty demonstrate they are a team that is playing well but just need to maintain that form to get to safety. The Bairns are however on a great run with their 1-0 win at home to Dunfermline last Saturday thanks to David Weatherston in the 87th minute followed by a Lyle Taylor double in their match against Livingston midweek. Dumbarton will need to be at their best to get the win whilst Falkirk have brought in a new signing Ian Flannigan who is available for this game. Tough one to call and could end up deadlocked.

Finally Cowdenbeath v Raith Rovers has a Blue Brazil side that is struggling and last weekend were well beaten 3-0 Livingston; all the goals conceded in the first half. Raith managed a 3-2 win at home to Dumbarton with Brian Graham getting a late winner added to goals from Allan Walker and Pat Clarke. This fixture has provided goals and entertainment this season so we are all hopeful.

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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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