SCOTTISH football bible Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) is back with his best bet from north of the border this weekend.
East Kilbride v Cowdenbeath | Saturday 15:00
They say that it’s tough at the top, but it’s no picnic being at the bottom either. Just a couple of years ago, Cowdenbeath were plying their trade against Hearts, Hibs and Rangers in the Scottish Championship.
Back-to-back relegations, though, has seen the Blue Brazil slip into League Two and this season, Cowdenbeath’s calamity continued, for they finished 42nd and last of the teams competing in the top four leagues in Scotland – does a third successive relegation lie in store?
Lowland league winners
East Kilbride will certainly hope so; the Lowland league winners came out on top of a tousy two-legged affair against Buckie Thistle of the Highland League for the right to play Cowdenbeath for a place in the senior leagues.
And they will hope to follow in the footsteps of Edinburgh City, who joined the set-up this season after beating East Stirlingshire at the end of last term.
East Kilbride will certainly come into this clash in confident mood, for they knocked Cowdenbeath out of the Scottish Cup back in October – but the Blue Brazil may well rise to the occasion this weekend.
Rising to the occasion
Under the stewardship of former Hearts, Kilmarnock and Raith boss, Gary Locke, Cowdenbeath have been much, much better in recent weeks.
In fact, they lost just two of their last eight league matches and, in essence, finished bottom of the pile only because, by then, the damage had already been done.
Cowdenbeath lost 10 of their 11 League Two matches between mid-December and mid-March; Locke’s arrival has coincided with the upturn in fortunes that, ultimately, wasn’t quite enough for the Blue Brazil to pull themselves from the mess that they were in.
The League Two side, though, should take some confidence from their recent run and there is no doubt that they are in significantly better shape than they were when they were bundled out of the Cup by Martin Lauchlan’s men at Central Park.
Locke’s men are decent value at 29/20 (Boylesports) to take a first leg lead back to Fife and backing the Blue Brazil to do the business may well prove profitable for punters.
East Kilbride v Cowdenbeath – Cowdenbeath to win (29/20 Boylesports)