Photo above shows Cowdenbeath FC groudstaff preparing the Central Park pitch for Saturday's game, all dressed in the latest Cowdenbeath fashions.
The rapid succession of games in the Betfred League Cup continues on Saturday when the Pars travel to Cowdenbeath. Such is the condition of Cowden's playing surface, silky football will be at a minimum, and Pars fans housed behind the wire fence will be glad just to win the game and get out without catching something.
Central Park does not lend itself to the type of one touch, clever play that Pars players including the Moff, Kallum Higginbotham, Paul McMullan and Joe Cardle are capable of. The most recent visit to the decrepit ground was in March this year, when a deflected free kick by Rhys McCabe late in the game gave Dunfermline a 1-0 win. In many visits to see the Pars play at Cowdenbeath, I have rarely seen a game that rose above mediocre in terms of entertainment.
Cowden's new manager Liam Fox has watched his side lose their first two Betfred ties, albeit against opposition from higher divisions (a 2-1 home loss to Inverness, followed by a 6-1 thrashing from Dundee United at Tannadice). The new manager, aged 32, is in his first role as a senior team manager, and has the orange-glowed spectre of new Cowden director Jimmy Calderwood (pictured) breathing down his neck, ready to waddle into the dugout should results not go their way in the weeks ahead. Calderwood joined the board of Cowden earlier this month, teaming up with fellow blue nose Donald Findlay, so plenty of funny handshakes are guaranteed in the Central Park boardroom this season. The Cowden squad has gone through massive changes over the summer, with 13 new players joining. Included among the new signings is former Par Greg Ross, who once scored the winner for Dunfermline in a Premier League game at Parkhead in 2005.
Pars line-up: David Hutton will continue in goal, with Sean Murdoch still injured. Fullbacks Ryan Williamson and Lewis Martin both had very good games against Arbroath, and any changes will be no reflection on either player's form. Jason Talbot could be selected at left-back, as Allan Johnston has stated that he will need his full squad for the Betfred games. Martin could also replace Williamson at right back, with the narrow Cowden ploughed field not the best surface for Ryan's attacking game. The central defensive partnership of Big Ben and Lee Ashcroft is developing, with both players enjoying excellent form in pre-season and against Arbroath. In midfield, Kallum Higginbotham was very impressive as a sub on Tuesday and could start. Geggan and Wedderburn are automatic choices, and unless the manager prefers to put in the more battling qualities of Lewis Spence, the selection could be as seen in the graphic below. Up front, both strikers are playing well and there is a lack of real options in any case.