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SPFL Championship review & preview: Saturday 24th January 2015

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It has been another week dominated by the Rangers saga. All we need now are Norsemen in big helmets to come out of the north and try to pillage the club. Instead we get a goalkeeper unable to read but pretty handy at betting caught and now up for the high jump. I wonder why he’s not talking to Ian Black…

Firstly let us turn to last week where my match of the day was farcically begun, farcically stopped after 24 minutes but fittingly held at Ibrox. There were no goals but plenty of action – outside the ground and after the game – as Rangers and Heart of Midlothian settled nothing. Hibernian took advantage with a whopping 5-0 win at home against Cowdenbeath. Paul Hanlon, Jason Cummings, Scott Robertson, Callum Booth and Lewis Stevenson got the goals. Falkirk drew 1-1 with Queen of the South as a Rory Loy penalty was equalised by Gavin Reilly. Raith Rovers beat Dumbarton 2-1 with a Ryan Conroy penalty followed by a Grant Anderson goal in the first half; Mitch Megginson got a late consolation. Finally Livingston’s match with Alloa Athletic fell foul of the weather.

It leaves the top two – Heart of Midlothian (54) and Rangers (41) exactly where they were whilst Hibernian (36) consolidated third. Queen of the South (33) continue to hang on though Falkirk (31) are not far behind. With all three below them winning it will not really worry the Jambos or the Gers but it does make the playoff battle more interesting for us. I still think the Bairns shall snatch fourth spot.

Raith Rovers (27) are still a healthy distance behind Falkirk whilst Dumbarton (22) have a healthy lead on those below them. They sit in no man’s land and again I still think they should be quite happy to be out of the battle below them.

Cowdenbeath (15), Alloa Athletic (13) and Livingston (8) didn’t move because two of them didn’t play and the other did and wishes they hadn’t…

And so to today…

Match of the Day

Queen of the South v Hibernian

Fourth v third is a tasty tie in any league but James Fowler’s squad come up against a team on form in Alan Stubb’s charges. The Doonhamer’s draw last weekend meant there is a decent distance between them now but it is only three points. Hibernian fans are starting to really enjoy this season after a very rocky start to it. I believe that the Dumfries side shall start to be caught by Falkirk and for that to happen they have to start dropping points. This is the type of game where that should start to happen and therefore I am going for an away win. Fortunately for them the Bairns have a tough tie of their own that should help preserve the Queen of the South playoff spot for now…

That tough tie is Heart of Midlothian v Falkirk. The league leaders face a team that ought to have claimed fourth spot already but they will not have a care in the world as they feel they can beat anybody. Today I expect them to beat Falkirk. Cowdenbeath v Rangers should go ahead, without farce and provide us with an away win. Then again what do I know?

Alloa Athletic v Raith Rovers has the home side getting some game time after last week’s postponement against a team that recorded a decent result against the team just below them. All clear? I reckon Barry Smith’s side might just take all three points today though. Finally Dumbarton v Livingston should be a home win as the Sons have been on pretty decent form as the Lions are struggling to cope with off field matters that have ruined their season. When teams get punished for malpractice they need to respond quickly and build a resilience to close the gap – like Dundee – and not wait until it is too late – like Hearts. It is beginning to look like the too late sign is being painted for Livingston…

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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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