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SPFL Championship review & preview – Saturday 22nd November 2014

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spflchampionship

LAST SATURDAY

My match of the day was rubbish. Hibernian and Queen of the South shared the points and not much else in a goalless draw at Easter Road; I am not mad just very disappointed… Dumbarton made the move upwards as they beat Livingston 2-1. Danny Mullen had put the Lions ahead but Garry Fleming and then Mitch Megginson got the points for the Sons. Raith Rovers also had to come from behind after Kudus Oyenuga had put Cowdenbeath in front. Kevin Moon and Christian Nade scored for Grant Murray’s side. Ally McCoist rued dropping two points as his side could only draw 1-1 at home with Alloa Athletic. Lee McCulloch opened the scoring for Rangers only for Liam Buchanan to level for the Wasps. Finally Heart of Midlothian took advantage of that slip as they went six points clear at the top after beating Falkirk 2-1. Kevin McHattie and Soufian el-Hassnaoui scored for the Jambos and Botti Bia-Bi for the Bairns.

It means Hearts (35) are back out firmly in front. They at home in Tynecastle on Saturday for the showdown with Rangers (29) knowing that the result will not matter with regards to who stays top. Underneath Queen of the South (22), Hibernian (19) and Raith Rovers (18) look to be the ones most likely to fill the other playoff spot – but one of them would have to miss out. They have opened up a four point gap to the teams below. For both James Fowler and Grant Murray it may already be about staying as high as possible in the league to avoid ending up in the relegation quagmire but they could be genuine contenders in a few weeks if they keep putting the points on the board.

Falkirk (14), Dumbarton (13) and Alloa Athletic (12) are in danger of dropping out the race. Only Falkirk had a bad result at the weekend so both Sons and Wasps will feel a degree of confidence going into this weekend’s fixtures. For Livingston (9) and Cowdenbeath (8) they need points otherwise there will be no prizes at the end of the season for them!

Today’s Match of the Day

Heart of Midlothian v Rangers

It is first v second in a titanic battle that will not decide where the title goes but will fill the back pages over the next few days. Hearts took advantage of Rangers’ slip last week and their 2-1 win over Falkirk kept them at the top and gave them a six point cushion. Rangers’ slip was a 1-1 draw at home with Alloa Athletic which was almost unforgivable as far as the Ibrox crowd was concerned. Rangers will continue with the same crocks on the side lines and possibly mix things up following their hiccup at home last week whilst the Jambos are waiting to see if Danny Wilson will make it. The game of the season so far and with a full house watching the early kick off all I know is that it should be a cracker. I normally tip Rangers to win but this is a matched tie with Hearts having as much ability in their squad as the Ibrox side. For me therefore, with home advantage I reckon Hearts may sneak this one.

Queen of the South v Raith Rovers has third v fifth in a fascinating game with the Doonhamers off a draw against Hibs and Raith having beaten Cowdenbeath. It’s a home win for me though I reckon Grant Murray’s side will make it hard. Dumbarton v Hibernian has the home side having beaten Livingston last weekend up against a side that could only draw with Queen of the South. For me this time round Alan Stubbs’ side might just shade it.

Alloa Athletic v Falkirk sees a home side off the back of their magnificent draw at Ibrox facing the side that lost to Hearts last weekend. Having had their triumph last time out I reckon the Bairns will see off the Wasps this time round. Finally Cowdenbeath v Livingston is bottom v second bottom and as such should be an away victory. With only one point between them and both losing last weekend though it could go either way though I still think Livingston will do it.

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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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