The game of the day sees leaders Hamilton Academical welcome Challenge Cup finalists Raith Rovers to New Douglas Park. Rovers lost to Accies on the opening day of the league campaign, but it’s been their only defeat over 90 minutes so far this season. After a perfect start, Hamilton have since suffered a slight drop off in recent form, picking up just two wins in their last five league games. They have, however, won all four of their home league matches so far this season, conceding just one goal in the process.
The recent results between these sides pose something of a paradox. In the last eight matches, the two sides have four wins apiece, which suggests that they are equally matched. But if they are equally matched, why have none of the games finished as a draw? Those of you who like the “both teams to score” coupon might be interested to know that only one side has scored in each of the last four meetings.
Meanwhile, the bottom two are in action at Central Park as Cowdenbeath host Greenock Morton. Cowden have taken just one point from their last four matches, but have won two of their last three home games. Colin Cameron’s side have not won any of their last 13 home league matches against Morton – their last win came in the midst of the Cuban missile crisis (October 1962). Morton, meanwhile, have gone eight league games without a win since beating the Blue Brazil at Cappielow on the opening day of the season.
Dunfermline Athletic will look to bounce back from their shock defeat to Forfar a fortnight ago when they play host to local rivals East Fife. The Pars have scored 12 goals in their four home league matches this season and have won each of their last three matches at East End Park. East Fife, meanwhile, have won just one of their 16 away games in 2013 – that came against Peterhead in the play-off final last season.
The sides have not met in the league at East End Park since a 1-1 draw in New Years Day 1987. The Pars have a dreadful home record against East Fife – they have recorded just one win in their last 15 home league games against the Methil side, a run of games which stretches back to 1938. Their only win in the last 80 years was a 5-1 success in October 1978, when people were flocking to the cinema to watch John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John strut their stuff in Grease.
Home wins for Airdrieonians have been like buses (and I don’t mean that they involve people invading your personal space). After waiting 13 months for a win at the Excelsior Stadium, they recorded consecutive victories against Stranraer and Brechin City in their last two matches and will be looking for three in a row against a Forfar Athletic side, who have lost five of their six away matches this season. The Loons have yet to record a win at the Excelsior Stadium – on eight previous visits they have lost four and drawn four.
East Stirlingshire will be aiming to consolidate their lead at the top of the table when they welcome bottom side Queen’s Park to Ochilview. The Shire have picked up five wins from their opening seven matches and have already achieved more than 50 per cent of their entire points tally from last season. Meanwhile, the Spiders have made their joint worst ever start to a season, taking just a single point from seven matches. The Glasgow side have won each of their last four away games against the Shire and could really do with making it five-in-a-row to kickstart their season.
Albion Rovers will look to get their season back on track when Elgin City visit Cliftonhill. Rovers won their first two matches of the season, while Elgin lost their first two. Since then, however, there has been a massive change in fortunes at both clubs – the Rovers have picked up just one win in five matches while Elgin are unbeaten in six and have climbed to second in the league. Elgin have the upper hand in league meetings between the sides at Cliftonhill, with eight wins to Rovers’ six.
This week’s question comes from our own Craig G Telfer:
“In the bottom tier, what’s the longest streak without scoring a team has ever been on? I would imagine it might have been East Stirlingshire from 2003-04.”
You have the team right, but not the season. The record number of consecutive matches without scoring in the fourth tier is seven, a “feat” which the Shire have actually achieved twice. The first run stretched from February to April 2006 and the second was between August and October 2010.
The 2003-04 season may have seen them pick up just eight points from 36 matches, but they actually managed to find the net 30 times and never went more than three games without scoring.
If you are curious about any team-specific stats or records, e-mail us at email@example.com or tweet Craig at @SPLStats and he will pick out the most interesting questions.