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SPFL Review – Saturday 14th December 2013

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With some of the games being abandoned, postponed and struggling with some of the biggest storms since…the last ones we had … it was all change with at least two leagues… Can you guess which ones?

SPFL CHAMPIONSHIP

My match of the day saw no goals but a change at the top as Livingston held Hamilton Academical to a 0-0 draw. Dundee slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Cowdenbeath as Kane Hemmings and Jordan Morton cancelled out Jim McAllister’s goal for the home side. Alloa continued their fine run of form as Andy Kirk and Declan McManus got the goals that sunk Kenny Shiels’ new club, Morton, 2-0. Raith Rovers also kept up the pressure as they beat Dumbarton 2-1 thanks to Lewis Vaughan and Jason Thomson but no thanks to Joe Cardle who was sent off. Steven McDougall got a consolation for the Sons. Queen of the South v Falkirk only lasted 30 minutes before being abandoned due to the weather.

It means that Hamilton Academical (31) are back at the top but only just from Dundee (30). It doesn’t look like it will be a 2 horse race as Raith Rovers (28) kept in the mix and dark horses Alloa Athletic (27) are just behind. With Falkirk (25) sitting with 1 game in hand I reckon these 5 shall be the ones beyond Christmas most likely to be in the play offs. Livingston (21) sit midway between but are just above both Queen of the South (18) and Dumbarton (18). Both Doonhamers and the Sons will be worried over the possible resurgence of Cowdenbeath (14) under Jimmy Nicholl. Greenock Morton (9) would welcome any form of resurgence under anyone…  Kenny Shiels has the job/chalice firmly in his hand.

SPFL LEAGUE ONE

My match of the day saw 6 goals in a game that was genuinely 1 of 2 halves! Ayr United went in at the break 2-0 up thanks to goals from Brian Gilmour and Michael Moffat. Dunfermline then came out and Stephen Husband, a Ryan Wallace double and Jordan Moore brought it to the 4-2 conclusion and a win for the visitors. As Rangers had their game against Stenhousemuir postponed Stranraer strengthened their hands on the play offs as Jamie Longworth, Martin Grehan and Grant Gallagher got the goals that beat Brechin City 3-0; Darren Petrie got sent off for the Hedgemen. Forfar Athletic and Arbroath played out a 1-1 draw as Paul McManus and Michael Travis got the goals whilst Lewis Coult opened for Airdrieonians before a Gregor Buchanan own goal, Ross Brown and Stephen Hughes got the 3-1 win for East Fife.

It means that Rangers (45) remain well out in front whilst the play off spots seem to be between Dunfermline Athletic (32), Stranraer (29), Ayr United (23) and Stenhousemuir (21). Whilst both Dunfermline and Stranraer seem to be on runs, Ayr and Stenhousemuir had better start picking up points as Forfar Athletic (19) are not far behind. East Fife (17) are climbing out of trouble whilst Arbroath (14) have steadily fallen into it. Brechin City (13) are just in completely the wrong part of the league whilst Airdrieonians (8) need something or they will not be part of this league next year…

SPFL LEAGUE TWO

With the games at Annan and Stirling called off there were only 3 games left and it made the league more complicated – how you ask! Well my match of the day ended all square as Ryan McCann and Mark McGuigan scored in the 1-1 draw between Peterhead and Albion Rovers. Clyde climbed back to the top of the league after winning 2-0 thanks to Kevin Watt and Scott Ferguson at Montrose. Finally Berwick Rangers got closer to the action as they beat East Stirlingshire 2-0 thanks to Darren Lavery and Lee Currie. Just to make John Coughlin’s day both Michael Bolochoweckyj and David Greenhill were sent off for East Stirlingshire.

Clyde (29) are back up top whilst Peterhead (27) are not that far off and should continue to be the main competition as they are now 3 clear points ahead. Stirling Albion (24) do have a game in hand as do Annan Athletic (22) so they could also be pressing. Annan are top of 4 teams on the same points as Albion Rovers (22), Montrose (22) and East Stirlingshire (22) are chasing. Of them all East Stirlingshire are looking the ones who should be most concerned. Their fall from the top has almost been as dramatic as their rise to it. Berwick Rangers (19) are back on their coat tails and have put some distance between them and Queen’s Park (7). It all looks like the tight nature of the league is beginning to relax as 10 points between 9th and top is healthier… But the next few weeks could change all that…

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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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