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SFL DIVISION ONE PREVIEW – SATURDAY 30TH MARCH

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irnbru-sflSeven days is a long time in football, as Morton have found out this week. They managed to score 4 in the 2nd half last weekend against Cowdenbeath at home and then midweek Thistle, having despatched a good side in Livingston 6-1 faced the same Blue Brazil. Their 3-0 away win means they are now top of the league. Elsewhere the news of the week has been the continued machinations at East End Park and what type of penalty they will face as this is sure to influence the battle at the foot of the table. In 7 days their fans have had to suffer the indignities of administration, player redundancies and 2 losses – to Dumbarton and then Falkirk.  Last Saturday Airdrie United were once again unable to hold onto any kind of lead and Raith Rovers pulled them back to win at the Shyberry. Midweek Raith became the victims of that same curse as 8th placed Dumbarton came from 2 goals down to take them 4-2 at the Bet Butler Stadium. Also down at the bottom Hamilton had a win at the Falkirk stadium that began to put some distance between them and the bottom 3 but had their midweek fixture postponed so couldn’t take advantage of any momentum gained.

The Game of the Day today is pretty hard because all of our fixtures have something about them that makes them intriguing but I am going to go for Cowdenbeath v Partick Thistle. It is the second game of their double-header and Thistle are on a roll. Their 6-1 demolition of Livingston last weekend came courtesy of Steven Craig, James Craigen, an Aaron Muirhead penalty, Steven Lawless, Kris Doolan and Chris Erskine whilst a Kris Doolan double with Stephen O’Donnell chipping in midweek got their 3-0 win away at Cowdenbeath. The Blue Brazil were coasting at 2-0 up half time against Morton last weekend thanks to goals from Craig Moore and Jamie Stevenson but they couldn’t hold on. Midweek in the first of this double-header they were not at the races and even had Thomas O’Brien sent off. Double headers can be notoriously difficult to navigate and I have a sneaking feeling that Cowdenbeath are going to be different fare this afternoon to what was served up on Tuesday. If there is a chance to slip up for Morton to gain an advantage back this could be it.

Raith Rovers v Greenock Morton sees a home side that came from behind last weekend at Airdrie thanks to Grieg Spence and Grant Anderson and then slump to a 4-2 defeat away to Dumbarton midweek. Once again it was the same scorers but a different scoreline! Morton went in 2-0 down at half time at home against Cowdenbeath last Saturday and then returned to romp home 4-2 winners thanks to a Peter MacDonald double, Scott Taggart and Martin Hardie. This should be an intriguing tie as Greenock Morton need to maintain the pressure on Thistle. The way Morton are playing at present it would be a brave man to bet against them. Livingston v Dunfermline Athletic has a great footballing side who were humbled 6-1 last weekend up against the news story of the week. Livingston recorded one goal thanks to Paul Watson last weekend in their 6-1 humbling to Partick whilst the Pars have been slightly more active during the week both on and off the park! They were 3-1 up last Saturday against Dumbarton and ended up losing 4-3.  Ryan Wallace and an Andy Barrowman double had got them to that position before they caved in. Midweek they were just poor against Falkirk and lost 2-0 – again at East End Park. Strangely enough the most disappointing thing about the match was the attendance! Today we ought to see some fight from the visitors but they are rather short on personnel. Home win seems likely.

Airdrie United v Falkirk has the doomed Airdrie possible seeing some form of redemption depending on the points being taken off Dunfermline for entering administration. If they are to survive in this division – and to be honest I think if they did it would be another difficult season next year – help from the league seems the only way possible. They went 1-0 up last weekend against Raith and ended up losing 2-1; Jamie Bain got their only goal of the game. Falkirk meanwhile were beaten 2-0 by Hamilton and then won 2-0 away at Dunfermline. Blair Alston and Lyle Taylor got the goals midweek. It is likely to be a very tough game and one that both need to win but I think Falkirk have the edge. Finally Hamilton Academical v Dumbarton will go quite a way in discovering what happens to the foot of the table. If the home side win they continue their climb away from trouble whilst if Dumbarton win they will climb above their hosts. This has all the hallmarks of a close encounter. The Sons are back to winning ways and have scored 8 goals in 2 games. On Saturday it was a Steven MacDougall double with 1 each from Chris Turner and Scott Agnew whilst on Tuesday night a Jim Lister hat trick and Scott Agnew penalty got them a 4-3 win at Dunfermline and a 4-2 win against Raith Rovers. The Sons have been guilty of stringing wins together and then running out of steam and this may be another example to add to this year’s list. Hamilton are quite capable of being their own worst enemy so their performance could help the Sons to a draw!

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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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