ANOTHER week, another Fife derby for Cowdenbeath, who make the short trip to East End Park to face Dunfermline. Cowden have lost their last six matches against the Pars, and have conceded 14 goals without reply in their last four meetings. Cowden’s last success came on 1 May 1993, a day after the World Wide Web was released into the public domain (though it seems unlikely that their 2-0 victory at East End Park would have been the topic of any online discussion). Cowdenbeath have drawn their last three league matches – a draw on Saturday would see them equal a club record of four in a row, most recently achieved in between March and April 2009.
Leaders Partick Thistle travel to Falkirk as they look to build on last week’s 7-0 trouncing of Airdrie. The Bairns have a good record against the Jags since moving to the Falkirk Stadium, winning five of their eight meetings in Grangemouth. Thistle’s solitary win at the stadium was a 3-2 success in April 2011 which came courtesy of a brace from Chris Erskine and Kris Doolan strike. Falkirk have, however, failed to win at home in the league so far this season, drawing two and losing two. Expect goals – Thistle have scored in every league game this season, while Falkirk have only failed to score once (a 0-2 home defeat to Raith Rovers).
Struggling Stranraer host second-place Forfar Athletic as they aim to turn around their ailing season. Stranraer have lost their last five league games – the last time they did that was 2008-09, their last season in Division Two, when they actually suffered seven consecutive defeats between February and March. There is some hope though – the Loons have a dreadful record at Stair Park, losing 35 times in 54 visits in the league, and winning just ten. Stranraer have won their last six home league matches against Forfar, and have gone 13 home matches unbeaten against them in all competitions. Forfar’s last win at Stair Park came in February 2002 when goals from Willie Stewart, Barry Sellars and Paul Tosh secured a 3-0 win.
On Sunday, runaway leaders Queen of the South take on East Fife at Palmerston as they look to extend their unbeaten run. They have gone nine matches unbeaten in the league for the first time since 2006-07, when they went 12 matches without defeat between January and April. The Fifers haven’t visited Palmerston on league duty since April 1999, when they suffered a 0-2 defeat. Again, goals should be expected – East Fife’s last four league matches have featured 19 goals, while Queen of the South have banged in 18 goals in their last six games.
With Rangers not playing until Sunday, second-place Elgin City have a chance to go top as they travel to Montrose for what will be the 50th league meeting between the sides. Montrose are actually the first opponents against whom Elgin have reached this landmark since joining the SFL. Montrose have won 23 of the previous 49 league meetings, while Elgin have picked up 18 victories. Elgin have, however, won each of their last four matches against Montrose, scoring 14 goals in the process. Montrose have been consistently inconsistent in their last six league games – their results have followed the sequence L-W-L-W-L-W.
If Elgin slip up, then Queen’s Park could leap to the summit by beating Berwick Rangers at home. Since the Spiders were relegated in 2008-09, the sides have met six times in Glasgow, and have two wins apiece with two draws. Berwick have lost their last five away matches in all competitions, and have only won three times away from home in 2012.
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