My match of the day saw Albion Rovers get closer to their visitors Arbroath in the league with a 2-1 win over them at home. Marc McKenzie and John Gemmell scored for the Wee Rovers whilst Scott McBride had, at one point, given the Red Lichties hope. Annan Athletic and Montrose drew 2-2 with Stephen Day and Leighton McIntosh putting Montrose in front twice only for Peter Weatherston, twice, to level. East Fife beat Berwick Rangers 3-2 as Jonathon Page got the winner deep in injury time after Darren Lavery scored twice for the Borderers and Allan Walker and Kevin Smith got the goals for the Fifers. A Brian McQueen own goal got East Stirlingshire what I predicted – a rare win – against Clyde. Finally Queen’s Park smashed Elgin City 4-1. Paul Woods, Shaun Rooney, a Darren Miller penalty and John Carter scored for the Spiders whilst Craig Gunn got the goal for Elgin. The following Monday Elgin manager, Barry Wilson fell on his sword and now they are looking for a new manager.
It means that Arbroath (27), Queen’s Park (25) and Albion Rovers (24) are nine points ahead of the rest and can probably rest easy that Christmas should see them at least in the playoffs spots. Arbroath are experiencing a little bit of a slump whilst both Queen’s Park and Albion Rovers have found a bit of a stride. I still think though that Allan Moore’s team will take the title.
The final playoff spot, and the relegation playoff spot is separated by six points and seven teams. East Fife (15) are in the right playoff spot at the moment but Clyde (15), Annan Athletic (14), Montrose (14), Berwick Rangers (13) and now East Stirlingshire (12) are all contenders. It is only Elgin City (9) who look out of it but three or four good games and they could mix it all up again.
Underneath the news for the Lowland League is that Edinburgh City went down 3-2 to Gala Fairydean but remain five points clear of Spartans with a game in hand! Up in the Highlands Wick Academy and Turriff United continue to keep Brora Rangers off the top by three points but Brora have no fewer than three games in hand. All three won at the weekend and between them scored fourteen goals with all of them keeping clean sheets! On Saturday the 22nd, Wick and Turriff face each other!
Match of the Day
Queen’s Park v Albion Rovers
Second v third sees the Spiders in great form as they thrashed Elgin last weekend and the Wee Rovers beat top dogs Arbroath. Gus McPherson has no new injury worries though Vinnie Berry and David McGregor remain out whilst James Baty looks like he is on his way back from injury. The Wee Rovers look like they will have the same squad this week from which to choose. It’s a fantastic tie with two teams that look difficult to separate so I am not going to and am going for a draw.
Arbroath v Clyde sees the top of the league looking to bounce back after their loss last week against another team that lost – to East Stirlingshire – last Saturday and will be equally determined to get back on track. For me I reckon that Allan Moore will be smiling – a rare sight, even when he wins – come quarter to five. East Fife v Elgin City has a managerless team up against a Fife side that sneaked a win against Berwick last weekend. In a forlorn week it looks like Elgin shall suffer again and I expect a home win.
East Stirlingshire v Montrose saw the Shire get a win last weekend as Montrose were drawing with Annan. Now they have got that win out of their system we shall all expect the home side to go back to losing again. Finally Berwick Rangers v Annan Athletic has two sides with a point between them and two places in the league. It should lead to a very close game and I reckon the home side will win this battle of the borders.