Ninth place meets tenth this weekend in the Championship as Alloa Athletic host Partick Thistle. The two meet in what must be seen as a six-pointer of vital importance.
The visitors and their recent (encouraging) form
Whilst Thistle have a game in hand on the Wasps, Gary Caldwell’s side know that this game is colossal.
They must do everything in their power if they are to prevent consecutive relegations. However, they can carry a great sense of belief if recent fixtures are anything to go by.
The Jags are unbeaten so far this calendar year. After getting the better of League One outfit East Fife, they’ve set up a Scottish Cup quarter final tie against Premiership side Hearts.
After consecutive 1-1 draws away to Dundee United and at home to Falkirk, Thistle did win consecutive league games. A 2-1 win over Queen of the South came first. They then picked up a win in the Highlands against Inverness by the same scoreline.
While they haven’t kept a clean sheet since early December (a 2-0 win over Dunfermline), they haven’t failed to score since the 22nd December. No shame in losing 2-0 to current league leaders Ross County in Dingwall. The signs are certainly there for a side potentially on the up.
The hosts and their recent (concerning) form
As for Jim Goodwin’s Alloa, they haven’t won since early January. A 2-1 win over Greenock Morton was followed by a real sticky patch, including being knocked out of the Scottish Cup. That 3-2 defeat to St Mirren, in which they were 2-0 up with 25 minutes to go, was followed by three consecutive league defeats.
They too lost to County in Dingwall 2-0 before second placed Ayr won 3-1 at Recreation Park. All things considered, these results are by no means unexpected. What will annoy Goodwin though is the 2-1 loss at home to Falkirk moved their fellow strugglers up to eighth, out of the potential relegation places and condemning the Wasps to the playoff spot.
Previous battles this season
Alloa, so far, have the upper hand between the two this season. A 1-0 win over Thistle at Recreation Park and 2-2 draw at Firhill means Partick are yet to beat them this season.
Form would suggest an away win, but having lost to fellow strugglers at home, the last thing Alloa want to do is lose this one.
The incentive is there for Thistle, they can climb out of the spots in the same way Falkirk did. Can they match the Bairns’ result here?