With Rangers now having a weekend off the league – apparently they are playing some semi final – we have another weekend free of them being able to catch up on league leaders, Hearts. Mind you Hearts did managed to contrive to stutter last weekend that has allowed Rangers to have some hope… Hasn’t it?
Last time out my match of the day saw Hibernian send Queen of the South out of the top four as goals from Dylan McGeoch from the spot and Scott Robertson gave them a 2-0 victory. Heart of Midlothian went down 3-2 at home in a thrilling game with Falkirk that see sawed through Genero Zeefuik, a John Baird penalty, Rory Loy and James Keatings before Craig Sibbald got all three points for the Bairns. Alloa Athletic and Raith Rovers played out a 0-0 draw with six goals at the Bet Butler as Dumbarton went down 5-1 to a rampant Livingston. Jordan White and Danny Denholm got two goals each with Kyle Jacobs getting the fifth. Donald McCallum got one back for Ian Murray’s men. The game between Cowdenbeath and Rangers was called off due to a frozen pitch.
It all left Heart of Midlothian (54) still sitting 13 points clear of Rangers (41). I still fancy that Hearts will win the league but it may be more of a nail-biting finish than we thought. Mind you losing one game with a 13 point lead is hardly a disaster. That they lost to Falkirk was hardly a surprise as I think the Bairns have been in fine fettle of late. It has meant that Hibernian (39) are now closing in on Rangers though Rangers have games in hand over both.
The 5 point gap between Hibernian and Falkirk (34) is a nice little cushion but right behind we have Queen of the South (33) who fell out of the top 4 as they lost to Hibs. The Doonhamers are far from out of it and can be expected to try to keep on the coat tails of those above them.
There is then another 5 point gap as we find Raith Rovers (28) in splendid isolation due to a worrying loss of form for Dumbarton (22). It may not be too worrying if Ian Murray can steady the ship as 7 points below is the relegation battle.
Cowdenbeath (15) had no game though Alloa Athletic (14) made little headway but Livingston (11) will have given everyone a fright with their 5 goals at Dumbarton. This also looks like it will go all the way to the bitter end.
As for today…
Match of the Day
Cowdenbeath v Queen of the South
This is a battle about how to spring back. The Blue Brazil had no game last weekend and will hope to get some game time today. James Fowler’s men were beaten by Hibernian and will hope to have an afternoon in which to recover well. For Cowdenbeath they will hope to get a spring in their step in the shape of Colin Nish. I think that we shall see a very close fought contest as Cowdenbeath need the points to start getting away from the bottom two. They have always been able to muddle through with points gathered hither and thither. Jimmy Nichol’s side are likely to have the desire; the question is shall have the fortune? Queen of the South have had an up and down few weeks. Following Jim McIntyre’s departure they went on a run that has faltered of late but I can see them starting to turn the corner now or soon. It needs to be now as they will rue missed points against teams like Cowdenbeath if they want to regain that top four spot. Today I think they might just have enough to shade it against Jimmy Nichol’s well drilled side.
Alloa Athletic v Heart of Midlothian has two sides that were unable to get a victory last weekend as the Wasps drew and the Jambos lost. Like my match of the day this is all about recovery and I reckon that Hearts will do that quicker of the two teams and win. Hibernian v Raith Rovers is no pushover for Alan Stubbs’ team. They need the points to stay on the coat tails of the top two and would take second place if they won – I reckon Rangers will slip a place at the end of the day. Finally Falkirk v Dumbarton has a home side that will have had a massive boost after beating Hearts whilst Dumbarton will be licking their wounds after being thumped by Livingston. I cannot see past a Falkirk win but stranger things have happened…