GREENOCK Morton will be looking to stay top of the table when they travel to face a Dumbarton side who are still embroiled in a relegation dogfight. Dumbarton look to have hit a bit of a slump following their winter revival, picking up just four points from their last six games and conceding 16 goals in the process. Recent league matches between the sides have rarely been close affairs – in the last 12 meetings in the league, nine of the matches have been won by three or more goals, including all of the meetings this season. Allan Moore’s side won 3-0 in their first meeting at Cappielow and 5-1 on their last trip to the Bet Butler stadium in November, but suffered a shock 3-0 home defeat to the Sons in January – one of just two matches in which Morton have failed to score this season.
If Morton slip up, Partick Thistle could go top of the table for the first time since December if they win away to Hamilton Academical. Thistle have won each of their last four matches, keeping clean sheets in each of them, and could equal a club record of five consecutive clean sheets if they avoid conceding on Saturday. Amazingly, that club record was set exactly 45 years ago on Saturday. The clubs have met four times this season, and the home side have won each time – the away team have not even managed a goal. Accies are unbeaten in their last eight home games against the Jags, winning six of them and drawing two. Thistle’s last win at New Douglas Park came back in September 2006, when Graham Gibson scored a late winner in a 2-1 victory.
With nine postponements at Glebe Park this season, Brechin City will be glad to have an away fixture on Saturday. Brechin are currently ten points behind Saturday’s opponents Alloa Athletic in the battle for second place, but have five games in hand. Brechin have taken 36 points from 15 games under Ray McKinnon, with their only defeat coming against runaway leaders Queen of the South. Alloa suffered defeat at Glebe Park in January, but have lost just one of their nine league matches since then. The last three meetings of the sides at Recreation Park have finished 2-2, and Alloa have scored two or more goals in each of their last seven home matches against Brechin.
At the other end of the table, Ayr United will look to ease their relegation worries when they welcome Stranraer to Somerset Park. Ayr have failed to keep a clean sheet in ten matches since beating Stranraer at Stair Park in January, and have conceded two or more goals in eight of those games. Stranraer have lost nine of their 12 away games this season, and their only away wins came against the two sides below them, East Fife and Albion Rovers. Stranraer will have to improve on an atrocious record at Somerset Park – they have managed just five wins there in 37 visits in all competitions.
The play-off battle will intensify on Saturday as third placed Montrose host fifth placed Peterhead. Peterhead have fallen out of the play-off places following three consecutive defeats – they will be looking to avoid losing four games in a row for the first time since the summer of 2011. Montrose fans have witnessed plenty of goals recently – there have been 22 goals in their last five league matches. Peterhead have dominated this fixture, winning 20 of the 31 meetings between the sides, including nine wins from 15 meetings at Links Park.
Leaders Rangers will look to bounce back from their second league defeat of the season last weekend when they travel to Elgin City for an early kick-off. If Ally McCoist’s side win, they could set up the chance to win the league the following weekend. Elgin ended a run of five consecutive defeats with a win at Peterhead last weekend, but have lost five of their last six home matches and have fallen from second to sixth in the table as a result. The sides have met four times this season, with Rangers scoring fifteen times in those matches – though Elgin did manage a 1-1 draw at Ibrox in their last meeting.
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