Back To The Bread And Butter
By Alex Horsburgh
Updated Saturday, 24th February 2007
It's a clash of two under pressure managers at Somerset Park as Cowdenbeath replace what would have been a historic cup tie with a trip to Burns country. Hosts Ayr United hope to avoid two defeats in four days at the hands of Kingdom clubs
|story by Alex Horsburgh of www.internetfootball.co.uk|
The Blue Brazil are now hovering above the dreaded relegation play-off position and for some long suffering Cowdenites there is a feeling of inevitability about it all. Ex-Dundee Utd player Brian Welsh has had his moments since replacing title winning Mixu Paatelainen as Cowden head coach but it hasn't been enough to stop last season's Third Division Champions slipping down the table. While Mixu prepares his first training camp for the new Finnish season at TPS Turku this weekend Welsh has a real fight on his hands to get Cowden back into contention for the play-offs at the other end of the table.
One consolation for Welsh is that Saturday's opposition boss Robert Connor is under just as much pressure right now and the Honest Men on the terracing weren't holding back when Ayr lost 2-0 at home in midweek to Raith Rovers. Many Ayr fans want Connor out but he refuses to discuss his future and he gets on with the job tomorrow against a visiting side who took a Dunfermline team heavy with first teamers to penalties in the Fife Cup on Tuesday before losing 6-5 on spot kicks after a 1-1 draw.
Cowdenbeath will again rely on the goals of the divisions second top scorer Liam Buchanan as they attempt to bounce back from last weekends 3-0 home league defeat by Brechin but many Fife ears at Somerset Park will be on the Stranraer score as the Stair Park Blues can close the gap on the third bottom side and make it an uncomfortable weekend for Welsh and co .
Cowdenbeath have gained promotion to a higher division just four times since 1945 and they have only managed to stay up longer than one season on one occasion so it's no surprise that Blue Brazilians see their current plight as Groundhog day.
Many have already resigned themselves to a play-off against old rivals East Fife for the right to a Second Division place at the end of the season, more than a few Cowden supporters think that is how it's all going to end this term.
Veteran midfielder Danny Lennon is the only injury worry for the visitors while the home side need to win to claw back some of the daylight between Raith and Ayr which now stretches to 10 points after the midweek win for the Kirkcaldy club, a Cowdenbeath win at Somerset surely ends United's promotion play-off hopes.
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)
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