Last weekend saw the East Stirlingshire bandwagon stutter ever so slightly as they were held in the top v bottom clash 1-1 by Queen’s Park. The league leaders had gone in front thanks to Michael McGowan before an injury time equaliser by Blair Spittal got the Spiders a draw. Clyde won 1-0 thanks to Ryan Frances against Berwick Rangers though Iain Gray walked in the 57th minute! It was all square – 0-0 – at Cliftonhill between Elgin City and Albion Rovers whilst Stirling Albion beat Montrose 3-1. The Binos jumped from 9th to 3rd in the table thanks to goals from Chris Smith, Jordan White and Sandy Cunningham. Bryan Deasley got Montrose’s goal. Annan had a Scottish Cup replay wish they won 4-0 against Buckie Thistle giving Peterhead a weekend to relax.
It all means that East Stirlingshire are still top, though only by 3 points. Goal difference separates Elgin, Stirling and Clyde behind them on 13 points. Then we have 5th placed Peterhead on 12, whilst Berwick, Annan, Montrose and Albion Rovers are all on 11 points! It all looks rather bunched up! Queen’s Park are rather forlorn at the bottom and are 9 points adrift!
Match of the day
Clyde v Stirling Albion
Clyde need points to stay in the mix but are without Iain Gray, doubts exist over Ryan Frances and John Sweeney whilst Ryan MacBeth and Brian McQueen are available. The Binos had a great victory last weekend and welcome back Stephen Day whilst Kieran McAnespie and David Weatherston are out. This could go either way as Clyde have had some decent results and decent performances this season. They need more luck whilst Stirling have shown they can compete up at the top at this level and should really be doing so every weekend. For me it’s just too tough to call…
Montrose v East Stirlingshire is another one that is really tough to work out. Stuart Garden had the curse of manager of the month as his side lost to the Binos last weekend. East Stirlingshire got pegged back by Queen’s Park late on. Montrose will be without Gareth Rodger, Alan Campbell and Lloyd Young. John Coughlin’s side are without Paul Quinn, Nathan Shepherd, Jamie Glasgow and Max Wright whilst Rhys Devlin, after a year out, is available. Montrose have a real opportunity to mix things up today and I reckon they shall. Elgin City v Annan Athletic sees a home side with Dennis Wyness available as Ross MacKinnon, Mark Nicolson and Paul Millar are out. Elgin have been on form of late and Ross Jack will want to beat a team too close for comfort. Annan’s win in the cup last weekend is a big boost but the travel might just do for them so a home win for me.
Peterhead v Berwick Rangers has a home side where their enforced lay off last weekend did their injury list no good at all! Out are Connor McGlinchey, Andy Rodgers, Callum MacDonald, Ryan Strachan and Scott Ross whilst there are doubts over Ryan McGeever. Jim McInally therefore goes into this hopeful his squad has the depth to take care of what he describes as the best footballing side in the league. The Borderers have Dougie Bryden out but Stephen Tulloch back so an away win is the most likely outcome for me. Finally Queen’s Park v Albion Rovers is a fascinating prospect as the Spiders need points. Their draw with East Stirlingshire last weekend gives them hope but they will be without Grant Mosson and James Baty whilst Jamie Brough is doubtful. The wee Rovers are without Pat Walker and Peter Innes whilst they have doubts hanging over Chris Dallas and Darren Millar. Barry Russell is back in contention. Tough one to call and I reckon the Spiders might just manage it this weekend…