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SFL DIVISION ONE PREVIEW – SATURDAY 9TH MARCH 2013

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The managerial merry-go-round in the First Division took another turn yesterday as Stephen Pressley went off to Coventry – he wasn’t even sent!  Pressley has graced us with 3 teams from Falkirk that were exceptionally well worth the entrance money and provided us with some great entertainment but now like Jackie McNamara’s, Alan Adamson, Gareth Evans and John Hughes  his name is one that began this race but will not finish it. He leaves a Falkirk side that got into the semi finals by despatching Hamilton Accies last weekend in the Scottish Cup Quarter Final whilst Partick made the trip to Dunfermline and demolished the Pars. Morton were idle last weekend so the gap was tightened. Mid week Allan Moore’s team then faltered at Hamilton and Partick have much more of an opportunity now. Livingston meanwhile got 4 goals past Jimmy Boyle’s troop last Saturday. The teams just above Airdrie United, Dumbarton and Cowdenbeath settled for a draw between them as Raith Rovers went to Falkirk midweek and came away with a draw. It keeps Raith out the way of the relegation play offs for now.

Game of the Day is definitely the fascinating tie between Greenock Morton v Falkirk. The added spice of a team without a permanent manager aside, Morton’s midweek loss at Hamilton after David O’Brien had put them ahead makes this a great tie. Allan Moore is sweating on a defence and the fitness of Peter MacDonald so could find himself on the end of a very unsavoury result if things do not go his way. Falkirk are reeling after Stephen Pressley left but technical Director Alex Smith is in charge; not a bad 2nd choice considering his vast experience. The Bairns will not be lying down.

Partick Thistle v Dumbarton a few weeks ago would have been billed as a home side romp but recent form has shown both are closer than the table suggests. Thistle won 4-0 at Dunfermline last weekend with Steven Craig having a first half hat trick alongside a Ross Forbes second half goal enough to tear the east coast side apart. Dumbarton had a tricky tie with Cowdenbeath and though Bryan Prunty and Scott Agnew put them ahead they had to settle for a 2-2 draw. Thistle showed that their recent form that was giving them single goal victories was enough to see them through a difficult patch and they can now get back to scoring plenty whilst the Sons have shown some resilience in returning to having points placed on the board rather than losing. Having said that this is a big ask and it may be another home win the Jags are celebrating.  Of course should Thistle win and Morton not win then we shall have new league leaders…

Airdrie United v Dunfermline Athletic had better be a great game cos I am going to see it! Both teams though lost 4 goals last weekend. The only difference was that Airdrie got 1 as a consolation; John Boyle got that goal in their 4-1 defeat at Livingston though he did balloon a 1st half penalty. Dunfermline just put in a performance that was commensurate with their wages being paid – about 20% to start and then around 50% effort by the 2nd half. The Pars are hoping that playing football will distract the players from their off field issues. Jimmy Boyle will hope it keeps their minds elsewhere and he can pick up some points. You cannot discount how the financial troubles have affected Dunfermline in recent weeks and I reckon we are looking at a home win.

Raith Rovers v Livingston has a home side that went to Falkirk midweek and thanks to Brian Graham, came away with a draw. Livingston meanwhile, thanks to an Anthony Andreiu double, Stefan Scougall and Iain Russell despatched Airdrie United 4-1. Livingston have still not permanently replaced Gareth Evans though their youth team coach, Ritchie Burke didn’t do too badly last week in charge! Rovers are struggling with injuries so Burke may notch up another victory for the Lions.

Finally Cowdenbeath v Hamilton Academical sees the home side ready to kick on after drawing 2-2 away to Dumbarton last weekend; James Stevenson and Craig Moore got their goals. The Accies lost their Scottish Cup Quarter Final to Falkirk and then took on league leaders Greenock Morton at New Douglas Park coming away 2-1 winners thanks to a Ziggy Gordon wonder goal; Gary Fisher had already equalised for the home side. Colin Stewart shall add the Blue Brazil to the clubs he has played for as Cowdenbeath have injury concerns over their goalkeeper in a very important clash at the foot of the table. They will hope misfiring Hamilton continue to blow hot and cold and having been hot midweek they become cold for the weekend. It would fit with Hamilton’s form recently so a home win it is for me…

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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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