SPFL 2: Six of the best – Skipper calls for big final push in play-off place hunt

Posted on Thursday, March 28th, 2024

The Spartans head into the final six league games of the domestic league campaign in an inaugural season that has whizzed past our collective eyes.  Next up at Ainslie Park are Forfar Athletic. 

Despite missing out in recent games through injury, Kevin Waugh remained focussed on ensuring the side continue over the coming weeks to achieve their play-off goal.  The last five outings have seen battling performances, three draws and to defeats however it’s a return to winning ways that’s firmly on the Captain’s mind.

Earlier in the week, the skipper offered his thoughts ahead of this crucial clash, “Getting back to basics is key to be honest.  We’ve maybe deviated away from that a little bit and maybe changed our style and our approach and maybe played too many shorter passes that we’re not used to playing.  It’s hard to put your finger on it, sometimes results just don’t go your way.

“I actually don’t think the performances have matched the number of points we’ve picked up in the last six weeks or so.  I thought on Saturday at Clyde in the first half we were brilliant but maybe just lacked that cutting edge. Against Dumbarton we just weren’t good enough defensively and last weekend we probably didn’t click going forward, but it’s now about knitting those two parts of the game together and once we do that, we’ve be back to winning ways for sure.

“The Gaffer is keen to constantly remind us that we are just two points off second place.  Let’s not start thinking about how far other people are away from us.  We’re sitting in a good place, a win from propelling ourselves into second spot and that is the aim from all of us over the next six games to achieve that goal.”

The Loons head to North Edinburgh on the back of a 1-1 draw at Elgin City last weekend, their 15th draw of the season so far.  Ray McKinnon’s side sit in 6th spot in a table that not only sees them just ten points off the play-off positions, but only eight away from basement club Clyde, such is the competitive and compelling nature of SPFL 2. 

The Spartans have consistently appeared in the top four since week 8 into their inaugural SPFL 2 campaign whilst Saturday’s visitors have seen them move up three places in the last six weeks.

It all shapes up for yet another SPFL 2 arm-wrestle in a match featuring a number of players who have pulled on the colours of both clubs.

With a win, draw and defeat in the previous three encounters, Waugh knows exactly what’s required to ensure his men take the bragging rights come 4.45pm on Saturday.

“It’ll be yet another tough game against them that’s for sure as they are a well drilled, physical side and a bit threat from set-pieces so we’ll have to be mindful of that.   We managed to get a good point in the bag earlier in the season up there and followed it up with a win the last time we played them here. 

“I thought in the game up there last month it was one of the games we actually had most control but that was a strange game.  We lost three midfielders through injury and had to play the last quarter of the game with 10 men and were unlucky not to pick up something positive from it.

“We’re confident enough.  We know that we’ve got the players in the dressing room that can win any game regardless of who it is home or away as well. 

“We need to make sure that when we playing here, we pick up three points when we’ve got the home crowd behind us.  You’ve also got the astro out there so it’s the opportunity to get the ball down and play. 

“It’s definitely something we need to look at especially if we get ourselves into the play-offs that these home games will be really important to us so we need to make sure that those teams don’t want to come here.”

Kick-off is 3pm. 

Admission prices: Adults £15. Concessions £10. 12-to-16 yo £5. Under 12’s free.

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 27th April
Opponent: Peterhead
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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