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SFL DIVISION ONE PREVIEW – SATURDAY 23RD MARCH 2103

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irnbru-sflThere may have been some doubt during the weeks leading up to the game but Dunfermline managed to field a team at Kirkcaldy. Jim Leishman continues to be involved in saving the club and there seems to be more people involved than you can shake a stick at but the collective effort has to be greater than the egos involved for the club to survive. The result was a single point on the field and many more made off it. We need a strong Dunfermline because there is a growing and rich (in loyalty terms) support within that club. Both Morton and Thistle meanwhile managed away wins which means no change at the top. Livingston were involved in the postponed game whilst during the week the two games due to take place were also postponed. In fact keep an eye on reports and an ear out for pitch inspections etc as there may be more postponements for this weekend.

Looking towards the foot of the table we had Cowdenbeath beat Airdrie United – and now it must be lights dimmed for their First Division campaign if not completely extinguished. Airdrie are now languishing 5 points off 9th place with 8 games to go. Dumbarton remained in 9th having lost to Morton and are 5 points behind 8th placed Hamilton Academical. Accies slumped there due to their loss to Thistle. With time fading for the Sons it is looking like they will have to dig pretty deep to get hold of the coat tails of both Hamilton and Cowdenbeath.  It makes this weekend more intense…

Game of the Day for me is Partick Thistle v Livingston. We shall be welcoming the newest Manager in the SFL as Alan Archibald has been confirmed as Thistle boss on a one year rolling contract. It worked with Jackie McNamara, surely it may work again for the Maryhill Magyars? Thistle won last weekend thanks to 2 late goals in either half from Conrad Balatoni and Christie Elliot. Livingston were idle due to their game being postponed and will be keen to get 3 points on the board for their own season. They may be 13 points between the teams but in terms of style they are very similar. It should make for a good contest with Thistle favourites. If there was however a game where Morton shall be hoping for a slip up from their rivals this will be one of them.

Greenock Morton v Cowdenbeath has the league leaders back home against a Blue Brazil side that managed a decent win last weekend. They had Marc McKenzie, Greig Stewart and Craig Moore in the 88th to thank for a last-ditch win against Airdrie United. Morton had a comfortable 3-0 win away at the Bet Butler Stadium with Michael Tidser, Martin Hardie and Peter MacDonald banging in the 3 goals for the 3 points that keeps them in front. With Mark McLaughlin back in contention for Morton this is a team on a roll with the SPL in sight and the visitors will need to be at their best. Colin Cameron’s problem is right at the back as Colin Stewart cannot feature again as a trialist. Thomas Flynn is still out so a couple of young guns could be target practice for the Morton men. Dunfermline Athletic v Dumbarton will be well worth a visit as the home team are looking for a supporter revolution to continue their existence whilst the Sons need some form of revolution to stay in the league; both are clubs on the edge. For the Pars it was Andy Geggan who got their draw at Raith Rovers last weekend whilst Dumbarton entertained Morton and let them away with a 3 -0 win. Jim Leishman has a club that is up for the fight in which they are in the middle whilst Ian Murray needs to find the same resolve to return to the form that saw them winning games recently. Sentiment says a home win but sentiment is often absent in the game of football.

Falkirk v Hamilton Academical has a home side was also idle last weekend and needing to get out of the shadows of former boss Stephen Pressley; Hamilton meanwhile need out of the shadow of relegation. Accies were well beaten 2-0 last weekend at home and Billy Reid needs a rallying cry to help them climb away from the bottom two. Falkirk have their resources stretched whilst Hamilton will benefit from at least one returnee to the squad in Jon McShane; a very close contest to come in a fixture that Hamilton have struggled in over the last two years. Finally Airdrie United v Raith Rovers has a home team that had the River Jordan flowing last weekend but it did not lead to any sort of promised land. Jordans Kilpatrick and Moore got their goals but they couldn’t hold out – once again. Jimmy Boyle has been tearing his hair out watching his team get into good positions and then throwing it away. The visit of Raith Rovers, a team who had Greig Spence putting them ahead in their derby against Dunfermline last weekend but ending up drawing, desperate to end the season on a high. It would give manager Grant Murray a decent foundation upon which to build for next year and the omens are not good for Airdrie. Grant Murray has options whilst Jimmy Boyle is running out of games. An away win looks the most likely result at quarter to five.

*Games subject to be called off due to the weather*

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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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