MIDWEEK MIDLANDS LEAGUE PREVIEW
The East of Scotland League have taken this midweek off but there is a full calendar of nine games in the McBookie.com Midlands League involving 18 of the 19 teams, the odd one out this evening is Arbroath Vics.
The big game of the evening is at North End Park where the home side, fresh from drawing 2-2 with title favourites Lochee United on Saturday, face another of the favourites in Broughty Athletic tonight. Both sides are expected to have the same squads that were available at the weekend, meaning Broughty Athletic are likely to be without Brad Smith once again with a hand injury.
Tayport manager Chris Macpherson was far from complimentary of his side following their 2-2 draw at Glenesk Park against Dundee Violet at the weekend. Macpherson’s side came from 2-0 down to take a point but the manager was highly critical of his sides defending in the first half. Three points this evening is vital for Tayport against Scone Thistle at The Canniepairt with anything other than a victory likely to have repercussions. The home side are likely to have the same squad as were available at the weekend, while Scone boss Willie Laing is without Ross Nicholson who is suspended following his red card at the weekend.
Blairgowrie boss Mark Brash has seen an upturn in fortunes for his side with two wins on the bounce including an excellent 2-1 win at Arbroath Vics on Saturday whilst Kirriemuir Thistle manager, Stephen McNally will admit that it has been a very mixed bag of results for his new charges. The two sides meet this evening at Ogilvy Park with both looking to take the points. Brash expects to have a squad of 16 players available and has asked his squad to build on the progress made and to get a run of results going. McNally would just like to see a bit of consistency from his troops and expects to have the same squad that beat Dundee St James on Saturday.
Brechin Vics will be smarting from their heavy defeat to Broughty Athletic on Saturday and will be looking to bounce straight back this evening as they welcome Coupar Angus to Victoria Park. Vics hope to be able to recall Euan Duff, Elliot Burns, Ben Sellars and Robbie Ferries who all missed the defeat at Broughty Athletic. The visitors expect to have a similar squad to the one that was beaten at home by Lochee Harp at the weekend.
Midlands League leaders Carnoustie Panmure welcome Downfield to Laing Park this evening as they look to maintain their 100% start to the season. Gowfers boss Phil McGuire made a number of changes at the weekend, resting bodies ahead of two big games coming up and is expected to utilise his squad once again, Ryan Dignan is close to a return with Pat Martin a couple of weeks away. Downfield are expected to have the same squad that drew with Forfar United at home at the weekend.
Dundee East Craigie have had to switch their games from Craigie Park due to ongoing maintenance issues and have managed to swap fixtures round. This evening they have borrowed Downfield Park for their game against Dundee Violet and will be looking to continue their run of results that has seen them unbeaten since the defeat at Carnoustie. Craigie are able to welcome back Paul Moran but they have a couple of concerns with players requiring late fitness tests. Violet boss Andy Heggie expects to have a full squad available for what is expected to be a tough game for their young squad.
The two new boys for this season Dundee St James and Letham meet at Fairfield Park this evening and they will both be looking to bounce back from defeats at the weekend. St James will be without Daniel Smith through suspension but other than that, both sides should be at full strength.
Lochee United will definitely be looking for an improvement this evening on their performance at the weekend, that saw them have to come from behind to take a point against Dundee North End as they travel to Guthrie Park to face Forfar United. However, Lochee manager George Shields is without Bryan Deasley, Greg Kirk, Gary Kenneth, Scott Webster and Calvin Colquhoun for the game. Forfar United will be without Rory Crighton with an ankle injury but otherwise will have the same pool available as at the weekend.
Two of the surprise sides from the first month of games in the Midlands League, Lochee Harp and Forfar West End meet at the Lochee Community Hub. Harp are able to recall Steven Tront to the squad that was on duty at Coupar Angus on Saturday with West End fresh from a day off, expected to have a full squad on duty.