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SFL DIVISION TWO PREVIEW – SATURDAY 30TH MARCH

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irnbru-sflIt may only have been delayed by a few days but Queen of the South are the new SFL Division 2 Champions. Their 6-0 thrashing of Brechin City midweek got them the title and having won 25 out of 30 games it is a deserved win. It is also a record Rangers fans would love to have had this season for their team! There were only two games that beat the weather last weekend and both involved Queen of the South AND Brechin City; they also both ended 2-1. Queen of the South managed to beat Alloa Athletic by that margin whilst Brechin tucked Ayr United away – again – by the same scoreline. It means then that Queens are champs with both Alloa and Brechin likely to be in the play offs. The 4th place looks likely to be fought out between Forfar Athletic and Arbroath as Stenhousemuir and Ayr United are sitting with more hope than expectation. Down the foot it is likely that Albion Rovers will go straight down whilst East Fife or Stranraer will be in the play offs at the wrong end of the table. That, however could all change, and probably will!

Game of the day now becomes Forfar Athletic v Arbroath. Either winning means they are in 4th spot and Forfar need the win to consolidate whilst Arbroath winning gives both Stenhousemuir and Ayr United hope! Bother were idle last weekend so they come into the game fresh as daises! Paul Sheerin reckons it will be like a cup tie and I hope he is right. Often these promise much and delivery tetchy affairs. Forfar were on a run before their games got called off so they will be determined to get back into that saddle whilst the Smokies will be equally determined to throw them off their horse. A draw perhaps or a narrow win?

Queen of the South v Brechin City matters much less now that Wednesday saw the Doonhamers clinch the title but it will be a good occasion for the Dumfries side to go home with the title tucked away under their arm. Ryan McGuffie’s late penalty last weekend added to Nicky Clark’s opener to see them through that hurdle whilst the roll call from Wednesday is 2 from Nicky Clark, Michael Paton, Gavin Reilly and an own goal from Ewan Moyes. Brechin were simply rolled over on Wednesday having beaten Ayr United 2-1 at the weekend thanks to goals from Derek Carcary and Alan Trouten. Games at home after having won championships can be tricky as the momentum and nerves have gone. I reckon a young side may even be played by Allan Johnston and some fringe players may get the chance to show how they should be treated for next season. An away win suddenly seems possible. Stranraer v Alloa Athletic has a team struggling at the foot of the table up against a certainty for the play offs. Alloa may have lost 2-1 at home to the Champions last weekend but they have shown enough this season to suggest a win down at the South West in March should be easily done. Kevin Cawley got their only goal last Saturday and I would expect this to be an easy victory for the Wasps.

Stenhousemuir v Albion Rovers is another tie that will go a long way to determine things in the division. Both had their games postponed last week so their form is hard to predict. It has been an up and down season for Todd Lumsden whilst Martyn Corrigan has ridden a similar roller coaster but from a higher position in the league. I would not be surprised if the home side clinch this but the Wee Rovers have the propensity of throwing some spanners into the works. It could really go either way and if the Coatbridge side were to win it would hardly help them but seriously dent the warriors’ play off hopes. Finally Ayr United v East Fife is a bottom of the table clash that is vital to both. The Methil side have had it really tough of late whilst Ayr United can’t buy a win to save themselves. Last weekend Liam Buchannan got their consolation but there are too few games left for consolations. If Ayr United are going to stay in this division or get into that play off spot these are games they need to win with their eyes shut. The Fifers need to climb out of their 9th place and should Stenhousemuir do them a turn they may be fortunate enough. I have a funny feeling that Ayr may flatter once again to deceive their fans!

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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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