League leaders Hamilton Academical will travel to Alloa Athletic with the aim of extending their unbeaten start to the season to seven matches. A victory for Alex Neil’s side would take them to 19 points, the same total they’d collected after their opening seven games during their last promotion season back in 2007-08. Alloa have lost their last two league matches – they haven’t lost three-in-a-row since Paul Hartley took over in 2011.
Hamilton and Alloa have not met in the league since the 2003-04 Second Division season when the Accies took four points from six at Recreation Park on their way to promotion. They have faced each other three times in cup competitions since then; Alloa failed to score a single goal.
Raith Rovers and Falkirk appear to be establishing themselves as Hamilton’s main title contenders, and they meet at Stark’s Park on Saturday. Rovers are unbeaten in five league matches since their defeat to Hamilton on the opening day, while Falkirk have lost four of their last five matches in all competitions. Rovers have not lost any of their last seven matches against Falkirk, and beat them as recently as three weeks ago in the Challenge Cup quarter-final.
The top four sides in the division go head to head this week in what Sky would probably call Super Saturday (if they regularly broadcast Scottish League 1 matches). Leaders Rangers are seeking a seventh consecutive win when they host third place Stenhousemuir. You can expect goals – Ally McCoist’s side have scored 14 goals in their three league matches at home this season while Stenhousemuir’s ten matches in all competitions have featured 44 goals.
This will be the Warriors’ first ever visit to Ibrox in the league, but they have travelled there six times for cup ties. Their only victory came in the second leg of a League Cup tie in October 1972, but they were eliminated on aggregate, having lost 0-5 at Ochilview in the first leg.
Meanwhile, it’s second versus fourth at East End Park as unbeaten Ayr United visit Dunfermline Athletic. Ayr have drawn their last four league matches and a further draw on Saturday would see them equal a club record of five-in-a-row, last set across March and April 2002. The Pars have 13 points from their opening six matches this season – the same tally they managed in their final 17 league games of last season. Both teams have met 100 times in national competitions (Pars 42 wins, Ayr 33), but this is the first time they have met outside the top two tiers of Scottish football.
The top two clash at Ochilview as leaders East Stirlingshire take on Berwick Rangers. The Shire have lost their last two home matches by a 4-1 scoreline, and have lost seven of their last eight home games in all competitions. Berwick have won just three of their last 13 away matches, but one of those came against Shire back in March. Indeed, Ian Little’s side won all four matches against the Shire last season without conceding a goal.
Queen’s Park picked up their first point of the season last week, and will be looking to build on that when Annan Athletic visit Hampden on Saturday. The Spiders have taken one point from their opening six matches of a season on five previous occasions and only finished bottom in one of those years (2001-02) – however that was the only season of the five where wins were rewarded with three points.
Annan have had a mixed start to the season, with two wins (one at home, one away), two draws (one at home, one away) and two defeats (one at home, one away) so far in the league. They have not struggled for goals, finding the net in nine of their ten matches, drawing their only blank against Championship side Queen of the South in the League Cup. Annan have only recorded one win in their eight trips to Hampden since joining the SFL in 2008 – other visits have seen them draw four times and lose three.