It has been a quiet week for the league one contenders as the only team in the Ramsdens Cup last weekend was Stenhousemuir. Thanks to a Sean Higgins equaliser that drew them level with Dundee they got them to penalties and after no fewer than 14 of them progressed at the expense of the Championship side. This weekend though we get back to basics though league One Leaders, Rangers have their quarter final on Tuesday night at Dumfries. What’s the story of this weekend then?
Match of the Day
Stenhousemuir v Ayr United
Truth be told there are three ties that could have vied for this match of the day spot and the only reason that I have picked this one is the Warrior’s spirited win last weekend against Dundee coupled with an Ayr team that 2 weeks ago nearly won against Airdrie with 9 men. So on form alone this ought to be a cracker. Ayr have Gordon Pope and Alan Forrest suspended whilst Jackson Longridge will face a fitness test. The Warriors are on an extreme high and can be expected to win and I think Ayr may lose their unbeaten record this time out but it won’t be without a fight.
Rangers v Arbroath has yet another tie from the history books as nearly 40 years have passed since they mat each other on league business last. For Rangers, Ian Black is out, Steven Simonson joins his new squad and Lee Wallace is doubtful whilst Paul Sheerin has Colin Hamilton back though Alex Keddie and Ricky Little are both out. Rangers’ 100% record will take some time to topple and today ought not to be it. Brechin City v Dunfermline Athletic has two teams that are in the play off mix battling away with points needed to cement their drives. The Glebe Park club have had a sickness bug sweeping through this week and Ray McKinnon hopes it is only Bobby Barr and Derek Carcary that will be missing. News has been filtering out that Aidan Connolly might be coming on loan so there are positive things happening. There is a full squad departing East End Park so Jim Jeffries will be at full strength for this. I would expect now that Dunfermline shall start to string a wee run together and Brechin may be the first stop on that tour.
East Fife v Forfar Athletic has Robbie Neilson and Gary Naysmith likely to feature whilst Christian Nade is out though Kyle Wilson and Stevie Campbell are available again for Willie Aitcheson in the home dressing room. A late fitness test will be given to Ross Campbell to see if he is fit or joins Martyn Fotheringham, Mark McCulloch and Keith Gibson on the sidelines. It looks very much like Forfar need to click to get more than their current single point and with the experience at Methil this could be tricky. Airdrieonians v Stranraer is an early season relegation battle with both of them just able to muster 3 points between them! Stephen Gallacher has come on loan to the Diamonds from Rangers though the number of players who have left Airdrie mid season is beginning to look mighty strange – Colin Stewart is the latest left after their 6-0 defeat at home to Rangers. Chris O’Neil will have a late fitness test whilst John Boyle is out, as is Martin Hardie. Stranraer’s squad are all fit and they need to replicate their cup form in the league or the season will become memorable for all the wrong reasons. For me this is likely to be an away win and pressure may get too much at the manager’s door at the Shyberry Excelsior.