FIRST DIVISION PLAY-OFF FINAL
AFTER their semi-final successes, Dunfermline Athletic and Alloa Athletic will fight it out for the final spot in next season’s First Division. Meetings between these sides have been rare in recent years – they have not been in the same division since 1984-85 and have faced each other just three times since. All three of those fixtures were in League Cup ties at East End Park and all were won by the Pars. Their last meeting at Recreation Park came back in May 1985 when the clubs were fighting it out for promotion from the Second Division. The game meeting was the penultimate match of the season and with Alloa a point clear, they could have sealed promotion with a win. Although it finished 0-0, the Wasps were promoted after beating Arbroath the following week.
Dunfermline are unbeaten in their last nine matches against Alloa, with Alloa’s last success coming in a League Cup group stage match at Recreation Park in September 1982. Wednesday night’s first leg will be the 90th meeting between the sides in national competitions, and the Pars have the slight edge, with 31 wins to the Wasps’ 27. Neutrals would be happy if either leg of this semi-final turned out anything like as exciting as the first ever match of the two sides back in September 1886, when Alloa recorded an 8-4 win at East End Park in the Scottish Cup.
SECOND DIVISION PLAY-OFF FINAL
Meanwhile, the final place in next season’s Second Division will go to either East Fife or Peterhead. The two teams have not met in the league since 2010-11 but they did face each other in the Challenge Cup at the start of this season, with East Fife winning 2-1 at Balmoor. Peterhead have gone five matches without a win against East Fife, but still have a 13-ten lead in head-to-head against the Fifers. Oddly, away wins have been much more common than home wins in matches between these sides – they have met 31 times in all competitions and there have been 15 away wins compared with just eight home successes.
Peterhead won both legs of their semi-final to extend their winning run to ten matches, having conceded just two goals. East Fife, meanwhile, have won just two of their last 19 matches, and one of those was their semi-final second leg victory against Berwick Rangers which only came after extra-time. The Fifers have not kept a clean sheet in any of those 19 matches.
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