DUNFERMLINE‘s title chances look to be slipping away, but they can still have a big impact on the promotion race with home and away matches against both Morton and Partick Thistle still remaining. The first of those comes on Saturday, when leaders Morton travel to East End Park as they aim to preserve their unbeaten away record in the league. The Pars have taken just ten points from their last 11 league matches – they were level on points with Partick Thistle at the top when we entered December (and four points ahead of Morton), but are now ten off the lead.
The two previous meetings between the sides have featured ten goals, with a 2-2 draw at East End Park then a 4-2 win for Morton at Cappielow. East End Park has not really been a happy hunting ground for Morton historically – they have only won nine times in 42 visits in the league.
Partick Thistle welcome bottom club Airdrie to Firhill as they look to keep up the pressure on Morton. Thistle have won 11 of their 12 home matches this season, and thrashed Airdrie 7-0 when the Lanarkshire side visited in October. Airdrie have picked up just seven points from their last 14 league matches, with their only win in that period coming at East End Park in January. Thistle have kept three consecutive clean sheets against Airdrie at Firhill – striker-turned-musician Simon Lynch was the last player to score for them in the West End of Glasgow.
Alloa Athletic will look to cement second place when they welcome fellow play-off candidates Arbroath to Recreation Park. Paul Hartley’s side are unbeaten in ten home matches in the league and could equal the 11 match run they managed last season. Arbroath have picked up just five points from their away games against the top eight sides in the division, but three of those came on their previous trip to the Recs in August.
Ayr United could still conceivably finish in the play-off places at either end of the table, and a victory at home to Forfar could see them look upwards rather than over their shoulder. Ayr’s last four games have featured 20 goals – they have scored 11 and conceded nine. Forfar have been in a bit of a slump of late, losing six of their last nine league matches and slipping from third to fifth as a result. This will be the 40th league match between the sides at Somerset Park (excluding play-offs), and the Loons have only won five of the previous 39 – although three of those wins have been in their last six visits.
The match of the day sees third placed Peterhead host second placed Queen’s Park as both sides aim to strengthen their hold on a play-off place. Peterhead have not won any of their four games at Balmoor this year and have scored just one goal in those matches. History suggests they will put that right on Saturday – the Spiders have won just once in 17 visits to Peterhead, and that came way back in March 2002.
Two more sides with play-off ambitions are Montrose and Annan, who meet at Links Park. Montrose have lost just three of their 13 home games, while their opponents have won just one of eleven away from Galabank. This will be the tenth meeting of the sides in Montrose, and the home side have yet to record a single victory – Annan have four wins and the other five were drawn.
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