Second placed Dunfermline Athletic head North on Tuesday 29th December for a 6:30pm kick-off at the Caledonian Stadium as we move into the second phase of this seasons shortened Championship. No fans of course as we have now been plunged into tier 4 for covid 19. The game can be streamed live, see tweet below from ICTFC.
Sad news this week with the passing of Jim McLean. Former Dundee United manager who dared to build a team that Would go on to beat Barcelona home and away twice. Condolences to his family and friends and the extended football world who knew his worth. One of the great managers to grace the Scottish game. RIP
It all started back in October when we went to East End Park for the first game of the season under covid19 restrictions. The Pars proved to be too strong for an injury decimated Caley Jags who conceded two goals in the final twelve minutes to take the points in a 3-1 win. Nikolay Todorov had given Inverness a second minute lead before captain Euan Murray levelled after twenty. Unfortunately two goals saw the Pars run out winners, Ryan Dow and Declan McManus with a belter were the late scorers.
We were inactive on Boxing Day as storm Bella drenched Cappielow and the game was called off around 10:00am. The previous week we earned zero points as we slumped at Recreation Park after taking an early lead through Brad Mckay. A stunning free kick from Innes Murray drew the Wasps level before a Mark Ridgers blunder gift wrapped the points for Alloa after Robbie Thomson volleyed towards goal.
Whilst we were undermining our recent recovery, the Pars took four points from their last two games. A tremendous three goal comeback at Dens Park was backed up by a hard earned win over Arbroath on Boxing Day, Kevin O'Hara with a 91st minute winner as Owain Fon Williams kept the Red Lichties at bay. At Dens Park the hosts had taken a three goal lead which they held until the 78th minute. Goals from Watson, McManus and a 93rd minute equaliser from man of the moment Kevin O'Hara earned a point for the Fifers. What a signing he has been.
With our game against Morton having been postponed, I would hazard a guess that Robbo will still be looking at making one or two changes with Wallace Duffy now ready to return to action. I doubt there will be sweeping changes although starting Aaron Doran might be an option with Kai Kennedy being kept quiet over the last couple of weeks and could be more of an impact player later in the game.
Dunfermline will not need to alter much, if it's not broken, don't fix it.
Here's their starting XI for the Arbroath game.
1 Owain Fôn Williams; 22 Lewis Mayo, 44 Paul Watson, 5 Euan Murray (c), 3 Josh Edwards, 16 Steven Whittaker, 11 Ryan Dow, 8 Kyle Turner, 15 Iain Wilson, 23 Dom Thomas, 10 Declan McManus.
At the moment, this is how I see it. The Pars look likeliest to keep second place for themselves with Dundee shaping up for third. That leaves Raith, Ayr, Morton and ourselves scrapping for the final play-off position. A lot can change between now and the end of the season, but you would expect Dundee and Pars being able to strengthen as required and us and the rest having to make do with what we have.
ICTFC will be ball number 27 in the draw...aaaand we are away to ball 8
Any further team news will be added to preview when available.
Here's a wee tune to see us through the winter of woe...