THE big game of the day comes at East End Park where league leaders Dunfermline host third placed Morton. The Pars have won seven of their last nine against Morton, and have scored in each of their last ten matches against against the Greenock side. Morton have a particularly poor record at East End Park, where they have won just nine times in 41 league visits – that said, they did pick up a 3-1 victory on their last trip. Both sides go into the match in imperious form – the Pars have lost just one of their last 20 matches at this level, while Allan Moore’s side have won their last five league games. The last time Morton won six matches on the bounce in the second tier was between September and October of 1977, a season in which they went on to win the title.
Meanwhile, deeper into the heart of Fife it is derby day yet again as Cowdenbeath welcome Raith Rovers to Central Park. The sides are meeting in the second tier for only the third season since league reconstruction in 1975, with Raith winning seven of the eight meetings. The timeless Merry Xmas Everybody was at Number 1 in the UK singles chart the last time Cowden slayed (or should I say “Slade”?) Rovers in the second tier – New Year’s Day 1974.
Runaway leaders Queen of the South host Stenhousemuir as they look to maintain their unbeaten start to the league campaign. Queens have won six consecutive league matches, and will look to record a seventh straight league win for the first time since the 1969-70 season when they created a club record ten in a row. Ayr United remain the only team to have scored against the Doonhamers in eight league matches. Queens and Stenny haven’t met in league action since the 2002-03 season, when Queens took ten points from their four meetings, including two wins out of two at Palmerston.
At the other end of the table, Ray McKinnon’s first match as Brechin City boss sees his side welcoming Stranraer to Glebe Park. The sides last met in the 2008-09 season, when Brechin won all four matches. Indeed, Stranraer have failed to win any of their last seven matches against Brechin, picking up just a single point from those games. Stranraer have lost all three away matches this season – their last success away from Stair Park was a 2-0 playoff semi-final win against Queen’s Park at Hampden, their only victory on the road since the end of March. Brechin have lost five consecutive league games – the last time they lost six-in-a-row was in 1994-95 when they embarked on an eight match losing streak between November and January and finished bottom of this very division.
Leaders Queen’s Park face a short trip across Glasgow as they take on Rangers at Ibrox. The Spiders last visited Ibrox in August 1991 when they suffered a 6-0 defeat in a League Cup tie, with Mo Johnston scoring four times. Excluding Glasgow Cup ties, Queen’s Park have conceded 19 goals on their last three trips to Ibrox, although that stretches way back to their last league visit – a 5-1 defeat in February 1958.
If the Spiders slip up, then Elgin City could leapfrog them at the top of the table by beating Annan Athletic at home. In spite of the long journey north, Annan have actually had the better of the previous eight meetings at Borough Briggs in the league, winning four times to Elgin’s three. There has been a red card in five of the last six matches between the sides. The last three have featured in ties at Elgin.
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