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SFL SECOND DIVISION PREVIEW – SATURDAY 23RD FEBRUARY 2013

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irnbru-sflQueen of the South convincingly despatched Stranraer with a 5-0 win in a run that is becoming quite predictable now; having said that the Doonhamers fans, as long as they keep turning up in droves deserve this success.  5 goals were also scored by Ayr United in their 5-2 win at home to bottom club Albion Rovers but they then went to Brechin City and lost 2-1 in a tractor field last Tuesday. The Wee Rovers had their midweek game postponed whilst Stranraer having been gubbed by near neighbours (It’s 75 miles…) had a morale boosting 2-0 win at home to Arbroath. For Arbroath it was their second loss in a week as they had been beaten late on by Brechin City who have managed to cement their place in the table with 2 wins in their last 2. Alloa managed an away win at Forfar whilst Stenhousemuir got the 3 points at home to East Fife.

Game of the day is between two sides battling for the play offs in Alloa Athletic v Arbroath. An 89th minute header from Ben Gordon made it a home win for Alloa last weekend whilst Arbroath lost 1-0 at home to Brechin City and then travelled all the way to Stranraer to return home defeated 2-0. Former St Johnstone midfielder Kevin Moon is in the Alloa dressing room today as Paul Hartley is looking to keep his second top spot and secure the play offs as early as possible. Arbroath have not been on a decent run of results but have shown some form so should be a decent match for Hartley’s side. I hope it’s a cracker…

Queen of the South v Albion Rovers has top v bottom in a clash that looks like it will only go one way. Paul Burns, a Ryan McGuffie penalty, a Derek Lyle double and Nicky Clark got the goals that thrashed Stranraer. The Coatbridge side had a Robbie Winters double as consolation whilst being well beaten at Somerset Park. Winters will play his final game as a trialist today and it will need to be a performance that clicks into place for the Wee Rovers to come away with anything. For Queen’s the only concern will become complacency but that is looking increasingly unlikely…

Ayr United v Forfar Athletic has a misfiring home side that had 5 through a Michael Moffat hat trick and 2 from Michael Donald set up a nice wee trip to Brechin that ended up a loss. A Ewan Moyes own goal was the only consolation up against the Hedgemen for Ayr. Forfar lost last weekend to Alloa with a goal scored to take all 3 points in the dying stages of the game being all that separated them. Forfar have won the last 3 encounters between them this season and whether that run continues or not will depend on the Honest Men’s reaction to Tuesday night’s defeat. I think it will end up being a draw whilst hoping that Forfar don’t manage 4 victories against Ayr in the season!

Brechin City v East Fife has a buoyant home side that won 1-0 away to Arbroath last weakened with Alan Trouten managing his 10th goal of the season followed by a 2-1 win at home to Ayr. Gerry McLaughlin got both goals to put the Hedgemen ahead twice in the midweek game. The Fifers lost 2-1 away to Stenhousemuir last weekend and Billy Brown will hope to get things back on track as they have been slumping recently and doing pretty badly. Scott McBride got the opening goal that day and then East Fife faded badly. Brechin’s 2 wins are all the more remarkable as they came after a 5 week enforced break and they meet an East Fife side struggling heavily with injuries. That could swing it the home side’s way and I think it will be 3 out of 3 for Ray Montgomerie!

Finally in Stranraer v Stenhousemuir we have a really intriguing tie as the home side were mauled 5-0 last Saturday by the league leaders and then bounced back to win 2-0 at home midweek against Arbroath. A Scott Morrison own goal and one from Robert Love secured 3 very valuable points for Stranraer. Stenhousemuir got a late winner last weekend as they clawed a 2-1 win against East Fife. Bryan Hodge got both goals for them as they came from behind to win. The Warriors really need that spirit right now if they are to get into the play offs. Stranraer will have to work out if David Mitchell gets the number one shirt back or Colin Stewart who played so well in his place on Tuesday night keeps it. For Martyn Corrigan he has less out injured than earlier in the season and this has been a help to their progress. Today he is looking at a fitter and stronger squad and I reckon that will make the difference.

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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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