The only two unbeaten sides in the division clash on Saturday as Falkirk welcome Hamilton Academical to Grangemouth. Hamilton are the only side in the division with three wins out of three – the last time they started a season in the same manner was 2007-08, when they went on to win the old First Division title (curiously, that year they also knocked SPL side Kilmarnock out of the League Cup). Falkirk have six wins in a draw from their seven matches in all competitions, making it their longest unbeaten start to a season since 2002-03. This will be the tenth meeting of the sides since Hamilton were relegated and Accies have won just one of the previous nine, although that was their most recent meeting at the Falkirk Stadium back in March.
Meanwhile, the two newly promoted sides meet at Palmerston as Queen of the South host Alloa Athletic. Queens are unbeaten in their last 19 home league matches, winning 16 and drawing three, but one of those draws was against the Wasps back in February. This will be just the third season which the sides have spent together in the second tier since the reconstruction into smaller divisions in 1975. Both of those seasons (1977-78 and 2002-03) ended with Alloa being relegated. None of the last 11 league matches between the sides at Palmerston have been settled by more than one goal – Queens have four one-goal wins, Alloa have three one-goal successes and the other four finished as draws. The last league match to be settled by a more comfortable margin was Alloa’s 7-0 win back in May 1993.
Rangers will be looking to retain their 100 per cent record when they welcome East Fife to Ibrox on Saturday. Ally McCoist’s side only strung together a single run of more than three victories last season – that was an 11-match winning streak between October and January. East Fife, meanwhile, have lost 13 of their last 20 regular season league matches away from home, picking up just three wins. The Fifers have visited Ibrox 23 times and have picked up just one win – that came in the First Division (the old top flight) back in October 1973.
Dunfermline Athletic will hope to build on last week’s sensational late comeback when they take on Stranraer at East End Park. Stranraer picked up their first point of the season last weekend with a 1-1 draw at home to Ayr United, and followed it up with a huge upset in the League Cup in midweek by beating Ross County 3-2 – it was their first victory over a top flight club since 1992. Stranraer have only ever beaten Dunfermline three times in 34 meetings, and only one of those was at East End Park (a 4-2 League Cup win after extra time in 1979). The last meeting of the sides at East End Park came a day before the Shawshank Redemption was released in the UK (February 1995).
East Stirlingshire have picked up three wins out of three so far and will aim to continue their superb start as they host Peterhead on Saturday. The Shire have only twice previously started a league season with four consecutive wins (1923-24 and 1958-59) and have not won four league games in a row since the 2010-11 season. Peterhead have had a disappointing start to the season, failing to win any of their opening three matches, the first time they have failed to do so in the fourth tier. Peterhead have dominated these encounters, winning 24 of their 31 matches against the Shire. Only one of the 31 matches between these sides finished as a draw – that came way back in April 2003 (18 matches ago).
Queen’s Park will also look to kickstart their season when they face Stirling Albion at Hampden. The Spiders have lost their first five matches in all competitions for the first time since 1972-73 (when all five defeats were in the League Cup group stage). The Binos lost to East Stirlingshire last week, but are unbeaten in their last six away matches in the league. Queen’s Park took ten points out of 12 from these fixtures last season, with both teams scoring in all four