Two teams with contrasting fortunes meet at EEP tomorrow with Dunfermline enjoying a 7 game unbeaten run that has reignited a promotion challenge that at one point seemed to be no more than wishful thinking. Brechin, meanwhile, were officially relegated 2 weeks ago and have one target for the remainder of the season: to record a first victory in the League this season, having drawn 4 and lost 28 of their 32 fixtures so far.
THE OPPOSITION: BRECHIN CITY
Last 6 League results:
Relegated and winless, Brechin have still retained a competitive edge to their game, which was evident again last weekend when they lost by a single goal to St Mirren - the third time this season they have lost by 1 goal to the Paisley team. That has been the story of Brechin's season - 14 of their defeats have been by a single goal and lack of attacking threat has often been their downfall. As one of only 2 part time teams in the division, and with the smallest budget by some distance, it was inevitable that this season would be a struggle. Manager Darren Dods commented last week that: "It has been a tough season for us where we have found the demands placed on the squad difficult. It's been a case of bows and arrows against machine guns."
Last 6 League results:
The boost from last week's win at Falkirk, which continued an impressive sequence of results over the past 7 games, should give Dunfermline belief that a promotion play-off place can be won, with the team's fate now in their own hands for the first time. Regardless of other team's results, if the Pars can win the remaining last 3 games, a top 4 place will be guaranteed. Two of those games are at home against the bottom 2 teams in the division, starting tomorrow. Complacency could be Dunfermline's only enemy now, having won in challenging games against Livingston and Falkirk, and ending both of those teams' unbeaten runs in the process. The players and management will ensure that they do not take a game against an already-relegated team easy; having overcome bigger hurdles on the way to the top 4, the same fierce will to win that has proved so effective recently will be taken into tomorrow's match.
The team will almost certainly remain unchanged for tomorrow's game, unless midfielder Tom Beadling’s minor injury from last weekend’s game against Falkirk carries over. There is strength in depth available through players such as Joe Cardle, Nat Wedderburn, James Vincent and Jason Talbot but the current starting 11 is our strongest and there is no need to change the team or formation.
The passion in the away stand at Falkirk will be needed to drive the team onto securing the top 4 place that was Allan Johnston's pre-season aim. This team are capable of making the end of this season memorable and returning the club to the top tier of Scottish football after a 6 year absence. Let's get behind them again tomorrow and record another important win.
Match report/opinion will be posted on Saturday evening