LEADERS Morton will be looking to bounce back from their shock 3-0 home defeat against Dumbarton when they travel to Central Park to take on Cowdenbeath. Morton are the only team in the Scottish Football League with an unbeaten away record this season – they have not suffered defeat on the road since April. Cowdenbeath, on the other hand, have not won any of their last twelve league matches, including two defeats to Morton. The only positive for Cowden is that seven of those winless matches finished as draws, including each of the last three. If they draw on Saturday, they would equal a club record of four consecutive draws in the league, most recently set in 2009.
Alice Cooper was at number one with “School’s Out”, the last time the Blue Brazil beat Morton at home a 1-0 success in a League Cup sectional match in August 1972. Since then, the sides have met thirteen times at Central Park, with Morton winning eight of them.
Meanwhile, a resurgent Dumbarton will be looking for a third consecutive league win under new boss Ian Murray when they host title-chasing Dunfermline. All three of Dumbarton’s wins this season have come away from home, with just one point picked up from six matches at The Rock so far this season. The Pars have won each of their last eleven matches against the Sons, and are unbeaten in 16 against them, a run stretching back to October 1986.
There is a massive relegation six-pointer in the south-west as Ayr United travel down the coast to Stranraer. Ayr beat Stranraer at Somerset Park in November, but have gone six matches without a win since then while Stranraer have picked up three wins to lift themselves off the foot of the table. Ayr have just one win and one draw in their 10 away matches in all competitions this season, and suffered defeat at Stair Park in September. Ayr have dominated this fixture over the years, winning on 20 of their 36 visits to Stranraer, with the hosts managing just 13 wins in that time.
At the other end of the table, Queen of the South will look to continue their march to the title as they welcome Arbroath to Palmerston. The Doonhamers have conceded just three goals at home this season, two of which were scored by Stenhousemuir in a game where Queens were reduced to nine men. Arbroath have gone 10 away games without a win in all competitions, including defeats at Palmerston in both the league and Challenge Cup. The Red Lichties’ last win over Queens was a 5-2 success back in March 2001 – Andy Webster’s last game at Gayfield before his move to Hearts.
Only two points separate second-placed Peterhead and fifth-placed Montrose as the two sides meet at Balmoor. Peterhead have not lost at home in the league since March, picking up eight wins and four draws in that time. There have been 70 goals scored in Montrose’s 18 league matches so far this season – only Forfar’s fans have witnessed more goals in the SFL this season (73). Peterhead have an excellent record against Montrose since joining the SFL, winning exactly two-thirds of the 30matches between the sides in all competitions, and losing just twice in 15 meetings at Balmoor.
Elgin City visit Ibrox for the third time in four months as they take on a Rangers side who are looking for a 12th consecutive league win. Rangers have a 100% record at home in the league, and have kept clean sheets in each of their last five league games at Ibrox. Elgin have drawn five of their nine away matches in the league this season, and their only two away wins have come against the bottom two. They have conceded 23 goals on their five previous trips to Ibrox.
If you have any particular questions or topics you would like Craig to cover, contact him via Twitter at @SPLstats. Don’t let the name throw you – he also covers the football league too.