Forfar can make play-off push
Colin Ross previews Saturday's action in the Scottish lower leagues and fancies Forfar to claim a vital three points.
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All teams have had a week's break and many of the clubs are involved in transfer wheeling-dealing. With a full set of fixtures you would have thought value would be in decent supply. The five teams on my radar are either too short or have been supported since Monday.
With all due to respect to clubs such as Morton, Cowdenbeath, Airdrie, Arbroath and Queens Park it's all about finding enough improvement to stay in their division. For quite a few others it's stick or twist time - twist means some moderate investment and shrewd transfer dealing to give a push towards that important play-off spot.
I feel there at least seven places up for grabs and up to 20 clubs will feel they have a chance which gives the leagues a competitive slant and it's one of these that takes the eye........Forfar at 6/5.....currently in sixth spot in League 1 and three points behind Saturday opponents Stenhousemuir and seven points off a play-off place.
Wily gaffer Dick Campbell has seen it all before and can guide his team upwards. Their 5-1 away victory at Angus neighbours Brechin was the performance of the season. Lightly raced with only two games over the holiday period, their players should be rested and eager for action. The very experienced Forfar backline has conceded 10 goals fewer than Stenny and, in a game that's bound to be close, it is an important stat. With Jamie McCluskey extending his spell at the club and with Dale Hilson and Chris Templeman chipping in with goals they look a capable squad with the all important depth.
Stenhousemuir have been struggling for goals recently and have left top scorer John Gemmell on the bench for their last three games. Loan defender Ross Smith has gone back to Dundee United with Stenny hoping experienced Stewart Greacen will stay fit to help shore up the leaky backline. Both clubs will be desperate to make the play-offs. Both may ultimately fail. I would spend my hard earned fiver on the Loons finishing above the Ochilview men at the end of the league campaign, and, hopefully, to be level on points at 4.45pm on Saturday.
Of the others Peterhead look too short at 4/5; I missed the 11/10 on Monday morning. Annan would have been interesting but influential loan player Josh Todd has returned to Carlisle and David Hopkirk is still out. Second plays third in both Championship and League 1. Two massive games for Falkirk, Hamilton, Dunfermline and Stranraer. Too close to call. Home sides Falkirk and Dunfermline possess talented youngsters who will definitely go further in the game and, by the end of January, the clubs' bank balances may be boosted but onfield they may be a little weaker. At present it may only be the one interest for me.